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Scientists ‘deeply pained’ by Minister’s claim on Darwin’s theory

A file picture of Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh.

A file picture of Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Waydande

Satyapal had said Darwin was wrong on evolution

Scientists have come out against the comment of Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is a myth and should be taken off school textbooks.

Talking to The Hindu over phone, Sandhya S. Visweswariah, Chairperson of the Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, said: “Evolution is such a fundamental aspect of all biological processes. The time scales that it occurs in are not comprehensible to the human mind.”

Minister: I’m a Ph.D.

This happened on a day Mr. Singh stood by his comment, telling a television channel: “Darwin’s theory is being challenged the world over. Darwinism is a myth. If I’m making a statement I can’t make it without a basis ... I am a man of science, I’m not coming from an Arts background ... I have completed my Ph.D. in Chemistry from Delhi University.”

 

A letter to Mr. Singh with at least 1,800 signatories, shared on social media, questioned his claim.

“We, the scientists, science communicators and scientifically oriented members of public, are deeply pained by your claim. It is factually incorrect to state that the evolutionary principle has been rejected by the scientific community. On the contrary, every new discovery adds support to Darwin’s insights,” the letter said.

While BJP spokespersons The Hindu contacted refused to comment, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “The problem with the ruling party’s arrogance is that each member is a self-proclaimed, self-appointed sociologist in one case, historian in another, scientist in a third and psephologist in a fourth.”

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon, tweeted, “‘Darwin Wrong, Nobody Saw Ape Turn Into Human’: Junior Education Minister — this is not just an embarrassment but an insult to the high office of education.”

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:57:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/satyapals-comments-on-darwin-criticised/article22486240.ece

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