Friday, October 16, 2015

Monkeying with Evolution

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." I was reminded of this line when I read the following part of a newspaper report.

Dhananjay further said that unlike the Constitutions of other countries, the Constitution of India expressly says that its citizens and children should cultivate scientific temper and rational thought. “When school children are repeatedly told that Darwin’s theory is already a scientific fact, their constitutional right to a scientifically acceptable curriculum is violated,” he said.

It cites one of the most progressives lines in our constitution to do exactly the opposite!!

Please read the full report here:

Monkey Trial or the Scopes Trial took place in 1925. More formally known as the “The State of Tennessee v John Thomas Scopes”, the defense lawyer in the case was none other than the inimitable Clarence Darrow. Since then the world, many of us thought, had moved and will move inexorably forward, but damnably, no!

You may also read the brilliant book, Clarence Darrow for the Defense by Irving Stone in which the Monkey trial takes the pride of place.

Many of the so-called fundamentalist Christians hold, or should hold, the pope as their moral and spiritual leader. The present pope has declared as reported here: “The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not a magician with a magic wand”. Apparently, these people are holier than the pope!

Still, a large number of Creationists, Intelligent Design advocates, and their ilk believe that god created the world as we know it in six days and rested on the seventh, about 6000 years ago!

But, I digress. What surprises me in this case is the following. ‘Unaided schools’ is a euphemism for private schools. They are commercial establishments. All commercial establishments are characterized by self-interest. That means profit. They bend backwards to make their schools ‘better’, whatever form it may take. Do they really believe that this refusal to teach evolution makes their schools better and more attractive to the parents of their prospective students?

Either they are delusional or they have rightly sensed the mood of the prospective customers. I shudder at the thought that the second is the reality. The future generation of students will be shielded from the most profound scientific thought. If you believe the forwards on WhatsApp and posts on Facebook, many Indians are inordinately proud of the contribution the Indian diaspora makes to the greatness of US. Don’t bother about the contributions they did not make for the greatness of India. If we produce a huge body of students denied the knowledge about the fact of evolution, I wonder if they will be as welcome as hitherto anywhere. If they are not, and remain in India, the future of India, not to mention its science, is bleak indeed!

I hope that whichever honourable court that is burdened with this case, perhaps the Supreme Court, will throw it out as frivolous and inadmissible!

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