Three Indian Science Academies Issue a Statement on Evolution
January 24, 2018
After a very long time the three premier Indian science academies, Indian Academy of Science (IASc), Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), have issued a joint statement; it is a response to the Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satyapal Singh’s outright denial of Darwin’s theory of evolution of humans. This is not the first time such ridiculous views have been proposed by the members from the Sangh Parivar.
The people running the present government at the centreconsider Hindutavavadi ideologue Golwalkar as their guru. He is known to keep religion over science which is why for the past three and a half years we are hearing one absurd comment after another not only about science but everything between earth and moon.
Three Indian science academies have issued a statement on Minister Satyapal Singh’s comments. The statement is given below:
On evolution: Statement by Three Indian Science Academies
IASc, INSA and NASI
The Hon. Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Satyapal Singh has been quoted as saying that “Nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. Darwin’s theory (of evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to change in school and college curricula."
The three science academies of India wish to state that there is no scientific basis for the Minister’s statements. Evolutionary theory, to which Darwin made seminal contributions, is well established. There is no scientific dispute about the basic facts of evolution. This is a scientific theory, and one that has made many predictions that have been repeatedly confirmed by experiments and observation. An important insight from evolutionary theory is that all life forms on this planet, including humans and the other apes have evolved from one or a few common ancestral progenitors.
It would be a retrograde step to remove the teaching of the theory of evolution from school and college curricula or to dilute this by offering non-scientific explanations or myths.
The theory of evolution by natural selection as propounded by Charles Darwin and developed and extended subsequently has had a major influence on modern biology and medicine, and indeed all of modern science. It is widely supported across the world.”
Newsclick spoke with Professor Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, who is the former VC of University of Hyderabad and is currently the President of Indian Academy of Science, on the issue. He said, “India's self-sufficiency in food, affordable medicine, and our abilityto provide vaccines to the masses, has come in large part because ofapplications of the theory of evolution by our science and technologypersonnel in the past decades since Independence.”
The Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satyapal Singh has said that Darwin’s theory of evolution of humans is scientifically wrong since nobody saw an ape evolve into a human. This statement is coming from a former IPS officer who also claims to have a Ph.D in Chemistry. Science seems to be taking one blow after another in past three years of Modi’s rule. From the claims of organ transplant surgery in ancient India using the Ganesha’s story as evidence to the existence of aircrafts using another mythological reference of Pushpak Vimaan, there is a growing tendency to replace science with mythology. And now minister Satyapal Singh has taken this tendency to another level by denying a scientifically proven theory .
These tactics have nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics. They are clearly an attempt to divide the Indian society in the lines of religion. They want to extract science not only from our schools and text books but from our very thought process. This clearly goes against the spirit of our Constitution which bestowed us with the responsibility to develop scientific temper in the society.
First published in Newsclick.
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