The Real Reason Some Scientists are Upset with India for Removing Evolution from One Part of Its Curriculum

A politician (Bhupesh Baghel) inspects an Indian school’s chemistry lab. (click for credit)

The two most important science journals in the world (Nature and Science) are aghast at the news that India has dropped evolution from one part of its curriculum (Std X, which is taken by students who are typically 14-15 years old). Indian scientists are similarly dismayed. An article written by Indian scientists L. S. Shashidhara and Amitabh Joshi puts it this way:

…other than basics of how the human body functions, evolution is perhaps the most important part of biology that all educated citizens should be aware of and, therefore, it should remain in the Std X curriculum which all students study before they choose different specializations in Std XI.

The authors of the article point out that younger students (ages 12-13) will still learn about evolution, and if older students decide to specialize in biology, they will learn about it again. Nevertheless, the authors think it was a huge mistake to remove it from this particular year of study.

Why? They regurgitate the typical evolutionary propaganda that has been repeated over and over again in an attempt to make evolution more important than it really is. For example, they quote Theodosius Dobzhansky’s nonsensical comment that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” and Sir Peter Medawar’s inane idea that the only alternative to evolutionary thinking for a biologist is no thinking at all. In fact, flagellate-to-philosopher evolution makes very little sense in the light of modern biological data, and biologists not thinking in evolutionary terms have made incredible scientific discoveries (see here, here, here, here, and here, for example).

If you read Shashidhara and Joshi’s paper closely enough, you will find the real reason they (and others) are upset:

Following the Copernican and Newtonian intellectual revolutions in Europe, living organisms were the last bastion of “religious” or “supernatural” explanations in nature. The Darwinian intellectual revolution showed, that just as in the case for movement of celestial bodies after Newton, there was no need to invoke supernatural explanations to understand the living world, the diversity, relatedness and adaptedness of life forms, or of human origins (see Thus, evolution is also a central concept in our modern rational world-view, as opposed to a superstitious or mythological one…

In other words, Shashidhara and Joshi decry the loss of evolutionary content in one part of India’s curriculum because it hinders their attempt to root out any hint of religious or supernatural thinking in science. Never mind that religious thinking produced modern science and is used successfully by modern scientists today (see here, here, and here, for example). They don’t like it, so they want to keep Indian students from considering it.

It’s sad when scientists conflate their personal worldview with science. It’s worse when they try to force students to learn that worldview under the guise of “science education.”

4 thoughts on “The Real Reason Some Scientists are Upset with India for Removing Evolution from One Part of Its Curriculum”

  1. I don’t comment often Dr. Wile, but I read your blog veraciously 🙂 Another great commentary, and I appreciate the linked references. Thx again!

  2. It’s ridiculous to use Newton and Copernicus as examples for moving away from ‘superstitious’ religious thought in science when Newton published a book about the prophecies of Daniel (among others of religious content), and Copernicus was a Catholic canon (!). Just a quick skim of their biographies shows that these men contributed much more to society than just the study of math and physics and to say that these men were atheists is either incredibly ignorant or outright dishonest. Evolutionists often seem to use these men’s (and other religious scientists’) theories as supporting their atheism when the men themselves are explicitly NOT atheists, and I find it irritating every time.

    1. AND Copernicus proposed a heliocentric solar system specifically because he believed an intelligent creator would create a better organized solar system that a geocentric one…

      AND Issac Newton considered his greatest accomplishment dying a virgin just as Jesus did…

      Yeah, it annoys me too

  3. I disagree with the atheistic evolutionists, but at least they are somewhat self-consistent. The more confused people are the theistic evolutionists – the ones saying the Darwinism is compatible with Christianity. How do THEY explain the position of mainstream evolutionists, which is that religion, especially Christianity, is pure superstition dispelled by the light of evolution?

    Another question: I never hear theistic evolutionists criticize atheist evolutionists. They only go after creationists and intelligent design proponents. Why?.

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