‘Theory of Evolution has become sole criterion for civilisation, emancipation’
Lecture programme held to mark the
bi-centennial of Darwin
Those who do not accept Darwin’s theory are still ‘uncivilised’, Bhargava says
VIJAYAWADA: Accepting Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has become the sole criterion for civilisation and emancipation, noted biological scientist and former National Knowledge Commission vice-chairman P.M. Bhargava has said.
Speaking on the “Significance and relevance of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution” at the Atheist Centre here on Thursday, the scientist said in his opinion those who did not accept Darwin’s evolution theory were still ‘uncivilised’. Delivering the lecture at a programme held to mark the bi-centennial of Darwin, he said the Theory of Evolution had rendered redundant the Creation Theory that said God created everything. Dr. Bhargava recalled how reading Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ had changed his life. Before that he was not even a student of biology, but after that he studied the subject with great interest. He said the outcome of an international survey conducted by the British Council on the influence of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution astonished him. A huge number of people in the world said it was possible to believe in a God and still hold the view that life on Earth, including human life, evolved over time as a result of Darwin’s ‘Natural Selection’. Adults in India showed the highest level of agreement (85 per cent) with these divergent views. Following the Indians, 65 per cent of Mexican agreed that it was possible to believe in God and the Evolution Theory at the same time. The other countries that also showed high percentages were Argentina (62 per cent), South Africa (54 per cent) Great Britain and Russia (54 per cent), USA (53 per cent), Spain (46 per cent), Egypt (45 per cent) and China (39 per cent).
Terming this “absurd”, Dr. Bhargava said in his opinion nearly 50 per cent of the people in the world were still uncivilised based on the criterion that they do not fully agree with Darwin’s theory. “Belief in God and agreeing with Darwin’s evolutionary theory are mutually exclusive,” he asserted.
Dr. Bhargava said several religious institutions that had a vested interest were still preaching against the Evolution Theory and promoted discrimination on the basis of caste and creed. But Darwinism showed the commonality in all forms of life. It showed that the genetic material of a man and a chimpanzee were 99 per cent similar and the genetic material between people of the different races – “be it black, white or yellow” – were 99.9 per cent the same. This left no scope for any kind of discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, sex and race, Dr. Bhargava said emphatically.
Another social scientist Chandana Chakrabarti, Atheist Centre leaders G. Vijayam and G. Samaram spoke.