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Darwin theory row: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar asks Satyapal Singh to refrain from ‘such comments’

Javadekar, the Union Human Resource Development Minister, maintained that science should not be diluted, insisting that the government has no plans to hold a national seminar to prove Darwin's evolution theory wrong.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 23, 2018 6:37:14 pm
Darwin theory row: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tells Satyapal Singh to refrain from 'such comments' Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar (Express Photo)

With BJP earning brickbats for MoS Satyapal Singh’s remarks that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “scientifically wrong”, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday went into damage control mode and said he has asked Singh to refrain from making ‘such comments’.

Javadekar, the Union Human Resource Development Minister, maintained that science should not be diluted, insisting that the government has no plans to hold a national seminar to prove Darwin’s evolution theory wrong.

“I have discussed the matter with my MoS and I have asked him to refrain from making such comments. We should not dilute science. This is the advice I have given him,” Javadekar was quoted as saying by PTI. “We are not going to fund any event or don’t have any plan for a national seminar to prove Darwin wrong. It is the domain of scientists and we should let them free to continue their efforts for progress of the country,” he added.

Last week, Singh, Minister of State for HRD, had stoked controversy after stating: “Darwin’s theory (of evolution of man) is scientifically wrong. It needs to change in the school and college curriculum. Since (the time that) man is seen on Earth, he has always been a man. Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, said they saw an ape turning into a man.”

READ | Need international debate on Darwin’s theory of evolution, says Satyapal Singh

His remarks elicited strong condemnation from Indian scientists. “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. There is plentiful and undeniable scientific evidence to the fact that humans and the other great apes and monkeys had a common ancestor,” said the statement, which has over 2,000 signatories from scientific institutes across the country.

These institutes include the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in Pune, National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, IIT Bombay and the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.

ALSO READ | By not teaching them Darwin, we have failed our children

Singh also stuck to his claim and called for an international debate on the issue to decide if it merits a place in school textbooks.“I absolutely stand by my comment that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is not scientific. There is hardly any evidence to substantiate the theory. Great scientists of the world came out to say there is no evidence available in the world which can prove the theory of evolution is correct,” the minister had told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting at IIT-Guwahati.

“There has been no ‘evolution’ or ‘destiny’. There is only ‘being’. Evidence has come out against the theory,” Singh said, giving out a list of international scientists since Darwin’s time who opposed his theory of evolution.

With PTI inputs

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