Monday, November 02, 2009

GODS ARE DREAMS OF MEN:

The Story of Darwin, Creationism, Evolution and Law Courts 


Charles Darwin 1809-1882 
(This is the text of talk delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabad High Court, in the inaugural function of Zoological Society University of Allahabad in DR Bhattacharya auditorium, Nehru science centre on 31st October 2009.

Summary: It is a tribute to Charles Darwin on his bicentennial birth anniversary and 150th year since publication of 'On the Origin of Species'. It talks about his life, origin of species, objections of the creationists, and the cases banning teaching of 'Origin of Species' or requiring the schools to teach creationism/ artificial intelligence.
 

Click here to download the pdf format of the article.)

Five of my life's finest years, have been spent in this University and two out of these were spent here, in the science faculty. In the year 1968, when I took admission (ours was the first batch with statistics), NCC was compulsory unless one represented the University in some game. At that time Nehru Science Centre was not there and this used to be an open field. I spent some time parading here until I was selected in the University table tennis team. Thank you for bringing back those fond memories.

Arre (अरे), some tense faces in the audience. Oh, I understand, you are bothered about the title of my presentation. You must be wondering if I am going to hurt with your religious sentiments?

I have no intentions of doing so.

The title is a quotation and it is not mine; it is of Carl Sagan, a well known scientist, who, perhaps, has popularised science more than anyone else in the last century. This phrase was used by him in the most popular thirteen episode science TV serial of 80's – 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage'. Later a book, based on this TV serial entitled 'Cosmos' was also published. By this phrase, Carl was describing the most dominant religion in our lives - Hinduism
(see here). An obvious question,

'Why have I used it as the title of this presentation?'

Monday, October 26, 2009

SHARPENING THE AXE

Allahabad High Court - picture from the centenary volume
(Paper with some suggestions circulated by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabd High Court for reducing pendency at the High court level in the 'National Consultation for Strengthening the Judiciary Towards Reducing Pendency', organised by Department of Justice, Government of India and the Indian Law Institute on 24, 25th October 2009, at New Delhi.
Click here to download the article in the pdf format.)


 Abraham Lincoln once said,
'If you have eight hours to chop down a tree then spend six hours sharpening the axe.'
It is good that we are sharpening our axe today. Arrears cannot be reduced unless we set a goal, have a plan, and work according to that plan. Here are some suggestions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

GOOD SEED, MAKES A GOOD CROP

{Summary: This paper explains moral and legal implications of open format and suggests ways to implement it.

This text of Talk was to be delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh on August 26, 2009 in the Third International Open Document Format User Workshop organised by SERPRO (Federal Service for Data Processing - Ministry of Finance, Brazil) and Caixa Econômica Federal in collaboration with the OpenDocument Format Alliance (ODF Alliance), at Brasilia, Brazil. However due to unavoidable circumstances, he could not participate in the workshop but this text was sent for circulation.

To read it in Portuguese (titled as 'Uma Boa Semente Faz Uma Boa Colheita') in pdf format - click here}

If there is any country that I wanted to visit in 2009, it is Brazil. And there is a reason for the same.



Charles Darwin in 1881
About 175 years ago, on 27th Dec 1831, HMS Beagle started its second voyage. Aboard was a naturalist, born on 12th Feb 1809. The first important stop of Beagle was at Bahia, a north eastern part of Brazil. The naturalist was struck by the beauty of the Brazilian forests. In 1939, he published his memoirs—'The Voyage of the Beagle'. He wrote, 
'BAHIA, OR SAN SALVADOR. BRAZIL, 29thFeb.—The day has past delightfully. Delight itself, however, is a weak term to express the feelings of a naturalist who, for the first time, has wandered by himself in a Brazilian forest. The elegance of the grasses, the novelty of the parasitical plants, the beauty of the flowers, the glossy green of the foliage, but above all the general luxuriance of the vegetation, filled me with admiration. A most paradoxical mixture of sound and silence pervades the shady parts of the wood. The noise from the insects is so loud, that it may be heard even in a vessel anchored several hundred yards from the shore; yet within the recesses of the forest a universal silence appears to reign. To a person fond of natural history, such a day as this brings with it a deeper pleasure than he can ever hope to experience again.'


So much awe-stricken was he, that he started his own journey: a journey that changed the World; changed our thinking how we came about. The young naturalist was Charles Robert Darwin, one of the greatest scientist of all times. And irrespective of faith, his theory on 'The Origin of Species' changed perception of our origin. The World over, this year is being celebrated as his bi-centenary birth year. It is for this reason that I wanted to be in Brazil, to see the beauty of the country that inspired him to take that extraordinary journey.






Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to be in Brazil in this memorable year.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE LEGAL PROFESSION

The three generation in legal profession
(Summary: This paper explains how information technology may be used by the persons pursuing legal profession.

This was read by Justice Yatindra Singh, judge Allahabad High Court Allahabad at Kerala Law Academy Trivandum on 12.3.09 and before Karnataka Judicial Academy Bangalore on 23.3.2008.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

OPEN FORMAT, OPEN SOURCE AND THE ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

{This talk was to be delivered in the convention held on 26-28 December 2008 in Calcutta by the Institute for Open Technology and Applications, a society formed under Department of Information Technology, Government of West Bengal (IOTA) to create awareness to create awareness in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). However due to unavoidable circumstances it could not be done but was circulated in the convention.}

We, at the Allahabad High Court, not only use but advocate open source software (OSS) and open formats. Many raise the question,
'Why is it so? Why do you do it?'

Let me take this opportunity to explain it. 

Naked In The Khan Market

Judiciary must change its mindset. With lifting veil on collegium recommendation it has started but a lot is yet to be done. It should cont...