Calling out the not-so-scientific statement by Union Human Resource Development (MHRD) Satyapal Singh about Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, posed a question for its students. And the question goes like this:
The minister of state for Human Resource Development [MHRD] in India recently claimed that the Darwinian theory of evolution is wrong because “Nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, have said they saw an ape turning into a man”. What is wrong with this argument? NOTE: This question is NOT asking why biologists believe evolution to be correct. It is asking why the quoted argument cannot be correct in terms of disproving the Darwinian theory of evolution.
Satyapal Singh, while speaking at Aurangabad, had claimed in January that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution of man was "scientifically wrong", and it needs to be changed in school and college curriculum. He said, "Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man.”
His comments, however, were subdued with uproar from scientists and scientific institutions from around the country, who slammed the comments.
According to an NDTV report, three top science academies of India, including The Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, and the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, put forth a joint statement in response to Singh’s remarks.
"...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." - The joint statement, as reported by NDTV
It is important to note that Darwin, in his theory, does not claim that apes had turned to men or that they were transformed into humans in a single lifetime, forget about it happening “in front of anyone’s eyes”. The notion that the theory holds is that ‘all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor.’
(With inputs from NDTV, The Wire)
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