Scientists in Kolkata came together on February 12, 2018 to observe the ‘Darwin Week’ to effectively put an end to any confusion regarding his ‘Theory of Evolution’.
The week will be celebrated from February 12 to February 18. It is being organised by the India March for Science Organising Committee and the Breakthrough Science Society, West Bengal Chapter.
The main objective of observing the week is to remove any doubt that has been planted in the minds of the common people about Darwin's theory of evolution.
• The week aims to generate awareness among the public including students, about Darwin’s contributions to the science of evolution.
• During the week, scientists will initiate a special drive to reach out to the people to disseminate Darwin's theory of organic evolution through natural selection, which states that life evolved from single-celled organisms over a course of millions of years.
• Through a series of workshops and seminars, scientists will assert that Darwin's theory of evolution offers the correct explanation of the observed evolution in nature and is no longer a subject of debate within the scientific community.
• The awareness raising drive will be extended to cover schools and colleges as well.
• Apart from West Bengal, universities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka would also be participating in the drive.
About Darwin and his theory of evolution
• Born on February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist who was best known for his contributions to the science of evolution.
• He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, which means that humans and monkeys had a common ancestor at some point in history.
• Darwinism or theory of evolution stated that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive and reproduce.
• The theory had two main points:
- All life on Earth is connected and related to each other.
- The diversity of life is a product of modifications of populations by natural selection, where some traits were favoured in over others.
• Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book, ‘On the Origin of Species’.
• Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.
• Overall, Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.
• Recently, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh had stated that Darwin's theory of evolution was ‘scientifically wrong’ and proposed to drop it from the school and college curriculum.
• His statements proved to be a uniting force for the scientific community, as it compelled them to step out of their laboratories and raise their voices against political interference in the field of science.
Hence, the observance of the week is a way to remove any pieces of doubt planted among the common people that the theory may be wrong or that it is just a theory.