Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh on Monday said he stood by his statement that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was "scientifically wrong", and called for an worldwide debate on the topic, PTI reported.
Satyapal Singh, MP for Baghpat in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and a former Mumbai police commissioner, challenged the idea that Charles Darwin's writings on evolution should be automatically taught in science classes.
The three top Science Academies of India in a joint statement said that they "wish to state that there is no scientific basis for the minister's statements".
Later, speaking to newsmen, Singh further said that there was no historical evidence available to suggest that our ancestors had recorded that they had seen the "evolution" taking place. "If ministers and policy makers make such statements, what is future of our country?" "It is not only unscientific, it's illogical", he said.
A former commissioner of Mumbai and Pune police, Singh said that Indian scientists working overseas had said "35 years ago" that Darwin's theory of evolution is scientifically wrong.
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Ameek Bhalla, a Ph.D. student in Life Sciences from IISc, seconded the general sentiment among his peers on the lack of logic behind the Minister's statement.
A junior education minister has been accused of pandering to religious hardliners after dismissing Darwinism as a myth because nobody had witnessed the literal process of ape turning into man.
Science educators said the Indian scientific community can longer keep silent on ill-informed statements because it affects the scientific temper of the country. It is factually incorrect to state that the evolutionary principle has been rejected by the scientific community.
"These statements are silly because descent and evolution do not happen in real time (human evolution anyway)".
Last week, Singh said there was no evidence to show evolution. "On the contrary, every new discovery adds support to Darwin's insights", the letter read. Such an exaggerated claim can not be substantiated with the evidence available and is an insult to the genuine research work or history of Indian scientific traditions.