By Dr. Soma Marla
Several scientists, educators raised serious concern last week about NCERT removing theory of evolution from science syllabus in class X curriculum of CBSE. The letter said, “Understanding the process of evolution is crucial in building scientific temper”. And depriving students of this exposure is depriving them of rational knowledge. Sadly, the list of deleted science topics include, Charles Darwin, molecular Phylogeny, Evolution and tracing evolutionary relationships.
The scientists appealed against exclusion of theory of evolution from curriculum and demanded it to be restored without delay. The signatories include prominent scientists from IITs, IISER, ICAR, TIFR, CSIR and other central universities. Knowledge and understanding of evolutionary biology is important not just for biology, but also for understanding tapestry of life and place of man in the nature. Evolutionary Biology helps to analyse array of problems we face in daily life in society from human diseases to epidemiology, ecology, environment to drug discovery.
We though do not realize in our busy daily life that Natural selection had played a major role in analysing the genome of recent COVID viral pathogen, it’s gradual evolution and mutation to various strain subtypes. These scientific investigations have helped epidemiology in containing further spread of the pandemic. Viral genome evolutionary studies greatly helped to understand the various disease causing genes and enzymes in pathogen that eventually led to discovery of different vaccines that saved millions of human lives.
Our planet is populated with diversity (different species) of animals, plants, microbes. Understanding Biodiversity and existing relationships between different species only helped scientists to hybridize related plants and come out with high yielding, better adopted crops, that helped to increase food production and save our planet from starvation. Darwin’s theory of Origin of species helped us to understand how the gradual transformation of different plants and animals to other species takes place for better survival when challenged with threats in the environment.
Biology taught us that all living creatures share a common structure of DNA or RNA, metabolism, physiology, and inheritance of common genetic code (programme of life).Genetics, is an area of biology that flourished after Darwin’s epoch making theory of evolution and helped to draw similarities and interrelationships among different animals using Tree of life. Frederic Engels, in an essay on ‘The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man’, analyses evolution of man to present civilized stage and hails role played by human labour in their process of evolution.
Contrary to the universal understanding of Evolution, former BJP Union minster for Human Resources development (January, 2018), not only challenges Darwin’s theory of evolution, but said, “It was never seen how apes turned into humans.” He said further that Darwin’s theory (of the evolution of humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to be removed from school and college curriculum.” So, today’s exclusion of Darwin’s Evolutionary theory, Eucladian geometry and replacing them with fictional Dashavatars and Vedic mathematics and endorsement of Theory of Creativity is no surprise in this background. RSS and present regime have been targeting science, rational thinking so as to subvert ‘Critical thinking and Questioning’ from the minds of the students. This is part of a larger design to drag modern India back to the dark ages of ignorance, especially under the domination of Manusmriti and casteism.
Considering the huge destruction that such steps would cause, nearly 1800 prominent scientists, educators from IITs, IISER, ICAR, TIFR, CSIR and other Central and other Universities appealed against exclusion of theory of Evolution from Curriculum and demanded it’s immediate restoration. The signatories include prominent scientists from all over the country.
People should join the scientists in demanding the NCERT and Union Ministry of Human Resource Development to immediately restore the excluded content from school syllabus. (IPA Service)