New Delhi: Satyapal Singh has received much criticism from all quarters for saying that Darwin's theory of evolution of man is "not scientific" and no one saw an ape turn into man.
After protests from the scientific community, actors Farhan Akhtar and Prakash Raj too chimed in on Monday, telling the union minister to stop monkeying around. But Singh stuck to his guns and even called for an international debate on the issue to decide if Darwin’s evolution theory merits a place in school textbooks
In a sarcastic tweet, Akhtar said that even apes have joined the protest against the theory and deny any involvement in the creation of human beings.
Prakash Raj also took a jibe and called Singh’s remarks as the ‘reverse’ Darwin theory. “Our ancestors have not seen ape evolving into a man” says minister. But dear sir,..can you deny that we are witnessing..the reverse….man evolving into ape by digging the past and trying to take us back into STONE AGE (sic),” Prakash Raj tweeted.
Singh, however, said he “absolutely stands” by his comment. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Guwahati, he said 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 said.
"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.
Asked if the Centre will 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".
"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.
Blaming the media for fuelling a controversy over his statement, Singh said the issue calls for debate and not controversy.
"In the last 100 years, many evidences have come out against the theory, in favour hardly anybody. It is not my statement. So many world scientists have said it," Singh, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, said.