YOUR report (7 September)about a chaplain distributing creationist dogmas raises some rather concerning issues regarding the public understanding of religious appointments, dogmatic discourse, and their place in education. As a “chaplain”, was this gentleman merely not doing his job of raising awareness of one of the principle conflicts in the science-religion dialectic? Given that a significant population of the world potentially maintains the “creation” dogma (outside of the post-modern western education system), is it not sensible to keep this debate on the table?
To many people, and contrary to our public misunderstanding, the matter is far from being settled conclusively; and even if it were, to ignore a competing dogma is to encourage ignorance or even an intolerance of others’ core beliefs. How is this conducive to promoting equality, respect, unity and a tolerance of others in society? Surely education is all about raising and discussing vying paradigms. As long as these paradigms are not dangerous, in an evidential causality sense rather than a mere scaremongering sense, then these will only potentially broaden awareness and access to truths. Furthermore, excessive censorship will breed greater censorship and so on, exponentially, until people only know what they are spoon-fed, without manoeuvre to challenge, test and develop. Then we will lack the sort of freedom that permits us to criticise the sort of restrictive totalitarianism we view elsewhere.
South Charlotte Street