Two weeks after he created a controversy by calling Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution “scientifically wrong”, Minister of State for HRD Satya Pal Singh said on Thursday there was no proposal to remove the chapter from school or college syllabus. “CBSE has intimated that Charles Darwin’s evolution of species is a part of the curriculum under the elective subject of Biology for class 12,” Singh said in response to a written question in the Rajya Sabha.
On the sidelines of a meeting at IIT-Guwahati last month, Singh said our ancestors had nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man, thereby casting doubts on Darwin’s evolution theory. “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,” the MoS said, triggering an outrage among scientists. Singh’s remarks prompted HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to advise him against making such comments.
However, Singh informed the Upper House on Thursday that the HRD ministry was not considering any proposal to omit the theory from school and college curriculum. The remarks show that Singh had toned down from his earlier hawkish stance. Last month, when asked if the Centre would delete references to Darwin’s theory from textbooks, the minister said, “I propose, if the Ministry of Human Resource Development is ready to sponsor a world-level international conference to decide what is true and factual and that must be taught in schools and colleges.” He said all kinds of scientists should be invited to the debate — evolutionists and Darwinists, and also “other kind of scientists”.
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“They (scientists) are saying no we cannot see evolution is taking place because it happened millions of years ago. You can find the evidence in the fossils. There are billions of fossils, not even in one fossil in intermediate evolutionary stage has been found,” Singh claimed.