IAS

On evolution: statement by three Indian science academies

IASc, INSA and NASI

The Hon. Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Shri Satyapal Singh has been quoted as saying that “Nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. Darwin’s theory (of evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to change in school and college curricula."

The three Science Academies of India wish to state that 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. An important insight from evolutionary theory is that all life forms on this planet, including humans and the other apes have evolved from one or a few common ancestral progenitors.

It would be a retrograde step to remove the teaching of the theory of evolution from school and college curricula or to dilute this by offering non-scientific explanations or myths.

The theory of evolution by natural selection as propounded by Charles Darwin and developed and extended subsequently has had a major influence on modern biology and medicine, and indeed all of modern science. It is widely supported across the world.

See for example http://www.nas.edu/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

See this statement in other languages.

See also: Defying both Logic and Biology (in English and other Indian languages)

Volume 1

RESEARCH

Arsenic Toxicity in Soil-Plant-Human Continuum and Remedial Options

Saroj Kumar Sanyal
Even though the widespread arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater in West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh has remained mostly confined to the Bengal delta basin, bound by the rivers Bhagirathi and Padma, the spread (detection) of such groundwater arsenic contamination has been reported from several states of India, as well as certain other parts of the Indian ...

PERSPECTIVE

Commonwealth Academies of Science Statement on Climate Change

The world’s climate is changing, and the impacts are already being observed. Changing agricultural conditions, ocean warming and acidification ...

PERSPECTIVE

Evaluate the Evaluations!

Raghavendra Gadagkar
Bad practices seem to spread very rapidly and go to near fixation, making it very hard to subsequently replace them with good practices...

PERSPECTIVE

Science in the public sphere: Dissemination, discussion, and dialogue

Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
By its very nature, the scientific pursuit is a highly creative and individual undertaking. Today it has also concurrently become a highly collaborative enterprise ...

MEETING REPORT

Outcomes and lessons from the first CDRI-NRDC- industry conclave

Sabyasachi Sanyal, Saman Habib, Ritu Trivedi, K.V. Sashidhara, Kishor Mohanan and Amit Misra
The first Industry Conclave organized jointly by the CSIR-CDRI and the National Research Development Corporation ...

PERSONAL NEWS

Dr. Lalji Singh

L.S. Shashidhara
I woke up on 11th December 2017 with the news that Lalji or Dr. Lalji Singh (famously known as the Father of DNA Fingerprinting in India) died of a massive heart attack on the previous evening (10th December)...

INTERVIEW

Standing conventional wisdom on its head: An interview with Raghavendra Gadagkar

Raghavendra Gadagkar, Hari Sridhar
The motivation for this interview is the talk you gave in Young Ecologists Talk and Interact (YETI) conference in 2009, which was in the form of advice to young ...