Published: 20th August 2019
161 years of Evolution theory: When religious outfits couldn't accept Darwin
Believe him or not. But you cannot ignore Darwin and his theory of evolution. Here's how offended religious groups got about it
161 years ago, on this day, Charles Darwin first published his theory of evolution through natural selection. Even though this had created a lot of hue and cry initially, especially among the religious circles. More than half a century later, we take a look at a few instances where religion and Darwin clashed.
1) BJP MP Satyapal Singh
Do not be surprised because this is coming from a BJP politician. The former HRD Minister of state said that Darwin's theory of evolution is scientifically wrong and that it should be changed in school and college curricula. He said, "Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. No books we have read or the tales told to us by our grandparents had such a mention." He also said that he isn't "a child of the monkeys."
2) Satyapal Singh returns
A year later, during a discussion on Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Singh said, "It is our belief that we are descendants of rishis [sages]."
3) Yasir Qadhi
Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute, an international Islamic educational institution, rejects Darwin's theory of evolution. He believes that the idea that humans evolved is against the Quran. Ismail Fennî, a late Ottoman intellectual , insisted that it should be taught in schools as even false theories contributed to the improvement of science. He held that interpretations of the Quran might require amendment should Darwinism eventually be shown to be true.
The biblical version of evolution is in stark contrast with what Darwin has said. At the same time, most mainline Protestant denominations support or accept theistic evolution. Believers were even told that they do not have to choose between biblical stories of creation and Darwin's theory.