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Phew! Darwin is safe

Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday snubbed his junior Satyapal Singh over his comment that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was "scientifically wrong".

Basant Kumar Mohanty   |     |   Published 24.01.18, 12:00 AM

New Delhi: Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday snubbed his junior Satyapal Singh over his comment that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was "scientifically wrong".

He also rejected Singh's suggestion for the conduct of a debate between supporters and opponents of Darwin's theory.

"I have already advised our MoS (minister of state) not to make comments that are not in our domain. We believe our scientists," Javadekar told The Telegraph over the phone from Mangalore.

Singh had rejected evolutionary theory on Saturday on the ground that "no one has ever seen a monkey turn into a man", and suggested changes to the subject's treatment in school textbooks.

On Monday, addressing an IIT Guwahati event, he offered to debate the matter at an "international seminar" with "evolutionists and Darwinists".

"We are not organising any such seminar," Javadekar said.

Noted scientist Anil Kakodkar said the controversy now should be laid to rest with Javadekar's clarification.

"The matter should end here," Kakodkar said.

Sources in the National Council for Educational Research and Training, which develops school curricula and publishes textbooks, said there were no plans to modify or withdraw the content on evolution. The council is currently reviewing all its textbooks.

On Sunday, the Indian National Science Academy, Indian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, India, had termed Singh's comments "retrograde".

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