Signature campaign over minister's view on Darwin's theory

Bengaluru scientists and researchers have joined their fraternity across the country in signing a petition against Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satyapal Singh.

Singh had claimed that Charles Darwin's theory of man's evolution was 'scientifically wrong' and that it should be changed in school and college curricula. Scientists and doctors from across the country are signing a petition supporting the theory of evolution.

The petition has already garnered over 4,000 signatures including those of scientists and professors from more than 25 renowned institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune and National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru.

The letter, in the form of an appeal to the President, Prime Minister and Ministry of Human Resource Development will be mailed on Tuesday. It states that the scientists' community was deeply pained by the claims made by the minister.

"There is plentiful and undeniable scientific evidence to the fact that humans and the other great apes and monkeys had a common ancestor," the letter said. It says that the minister's statements were an insult to the genuine research work on history of Indian scientific traditions.

The scientists community, through the letter, has urged the minister to retract the reported speech at the All India Vedic Sammelan with immediate effect and issue a clarification about the ministry's policy on teaching the theory of evolution.

"Even if the evolution theory is wrong, it should not be removed from the textbooks. It is a theory and a theory should be improved. Removing it is censorship and knowledge cannot be censored," said Professor, Dr Dilip Ahuja from National Institute of Advanced Sciences.

He added that anybody can be mistaken and the minister is also mistaken.

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