Pune: Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune found itself in a controversy after it asked a question over Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh's comment on the Darwinian theory of evolution to second year graduation students.
The institute's Facebook page was abuzz with comments and opinions.
IISER, Pune said that in a society as diverse as ours, we should respect everyone's right to express their opinions and also respect their views. However, science is fact and evidence based and one should not ignore these.
"We do not ask questions based on textbooks, but we judge their ability in logical and analytical thinking through questions that would stimulate their thinking capacity," said Sanjeev Galande, Dean of Research and Development, IISER, Pune.
While talking to Sakal Times, Prof Galande said, "We had given a disclaimer that said this question is not asking why biologists believe evolution to be correct. It is asking why the quoted argument cannot be correct in terms of disproving the Darwinian theory of evolution."
The question was asked to 50 students who appeared for their
mid-semester examinations of 30 marks and this particular question carried two marks. The examination held on February 20. He said, "Here, at the institute, we have Biology as a subject and a major course on evolution. The question was aimed at judging the students' ability to think logically. It has no political inclination and neither was it intended to demean anyone."
A major controversy broke out after Singh had claimed that the Darwin's theory of evolution is wrong because nobody, including our ancestors, in writing or orally, have said they saw an ape turning into a man.