India’s minister for higher education has been condemned by scientists for demanding the theory of evolution be removed from school curricula.
“Darwin’s theory is scientifically wrong,” he said at the weekend. “It needs to change in the school and college curriculum. “Since man is seen on Earth, he has always been a man. Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, said they ever saw an ape turning into a human being.”
“I have a list of around 10 to 15 great scientists of the world who have said there is no evidence to prove that the theory of evolution is correct,” Singh told a crowd at a university in Assam state, adding that Albert Einstein had agreed the theory was “unscientific”.
More than 2,000 Indian scientists have signed a petition in response calling Singh’s remarks simplistic, misleading and lacking in any scientific basis.
“It is factually incorrect to state that the evolutionary principle has been rejected by the scientific community,” the statement said. “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.”
rof Raghavendra Gadagkar, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, in Bangalore, responded on NDTV, saying: "It seems to be aimed at politically polarising science and scientists, and that is the real danger we must guard against."
Well worth a read is Anton Pannekoek's pamphlet 'Marxism and Darwinism'