What's wrong with minister's argument against Darwin's theory, IISER students asked
Pune: What is 'wrong' with Union minister Satyapal Singh's criticism of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, students of the city-based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research were asked in a recent exam.
The institute, an autonomous body set up by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, said the question was not meant for 'opening debate' on the minister's statement, but to test 'logical thinking of students'.
"The minister of state for Human Resource Development [MHRD] in India recently claimed that the Darwinian theory of evolution is wrong because 'Nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, has said they saw an ape turning into a man'. What is wrong with this argument?" read the question.
It appeared in mid-semester exam of under-graduate students pursuing a course in evolution on February 22.
"The students are supposed to think and provide logical reasoning, and the question, which was posed during the exam, was quite straightforward and was aimed at testing logical thinking of the students," said Sanjeev Galande, Dean of Research and Development, IISER. "This is not that we are opening a debate (over the statement made by the minister) but it is theoretical exercise to make the students do logical arguments and (test) how they can answer in a different way," Galande said.
Singh, the Minister of State for the Human Resource Development, had last month claimed that the Darwin's theory of evolution of man was "scientifically wrong", and it should not be part of school and college curriculum.