BENGALURU: Scientists from several top research institutes in the city and science propogators are upset with the statements of Satyapal Singh, MoS, HRD Ministry, with regards to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
S Mahadevan, professor, Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetic, IISc says, “What the minister has said is dangerous. It is based on an erroneous understanding of of the theory of evolution. People can believe anything and they can propogate what they want. However if a person such as a union minister who oversees the welfare of 1.2 billion people and who has the power to change the education system and people’s lives, makes such a statement, he sets a dangerous precedent,” he says.
Rajini K S, state secretary, Breakthrough Science Society (BSS), a national organisation that aims to promote scientific temper and education, says. “Our aim should be to defend science against such careless statements and to always oppose any attempts to dilute science.”
Her organisation has been busy collecting signatures for a petition called ‘In Support of Evolution’, that was started by scientists from Mumbai on January 20, a day after the minister made the controversial statement.
Till Tuesday (last day to sign) over 4000 scientists from across the country had signed the petition among them prominent Bengaluru scientists from some of the top institutions such as Raman Research Institute, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, National Institute of Advanced Studies, to name a few.
“The petition also has signatories from some well known scientists from state universities such as Bengaluru University, Gulbarga University, and others” says Rajini. Three science academies - National Academy of Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Academy of Sciences have also written to the PM on the issue, she adds.
The petition will be sent to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the HRD Ministry and the Ministry for Science and Technology.