From the Print: Theory of evolution and Religion


Here is the reproduction of my letter published in Navhind Times today.

Rational Thinking over Religious Dogma
MR Michael Vaz has made very relevant comments in his letter Science and Religion (NT, October 27) in reference to a letter by Eduardo Manuel Sequeira (NT, Oct 16). Despite the scientific progress that the human race has achieved, many people tend to believe still believe in the Word of God. So firm is the belief that they start rejecting scientifically established theories such as Darwin’s theory of evolution etc. Several noted scholar’s like Mr Sam Harris and Mr Richard Dawkins–most of them atheists–have written ample on the topic. Like any other scientific theory, even the theory of evolution can be subjected to criticism and is open to challenge, but it is not a sign of intelligence to accept dogmatic propositions against a scientific theory. Despite this, a progressive and developed nation like the United States ran into a controversy. In 1925 the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly approved legislation making it a crime to teach ‘any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animal’. On a personal note, I have realised through my study that the theory of evolution is visible not just among the species but in many other problems. Several algorithms like ‘genetic algorithms’ based on this concept of evolution are very useful in ‘artificial intelligence’. Even fields likes economics, linguistics etc have made use of theories of evolution and ‘survival of fittest’. In fact several studies have been published about how evolution is affecting religious beliefs as well. Slowly but steadily, the rational thinking capabilities of human beings is winning over pure faith on religious dogma. If we go by ‘survival of the fittest’, religious dogma seems to be the lease fittest of all.
AKSHAR PRABHU DESAI, Canacona


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