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The Society of Biology wants to ensure that no pupil in Scotland is taught that belief in Intelligent Design is a valid intellectual position. Evolution must be taught without rival.

I’ve got the perfect plan. How about arranging a debate in every school between articulate and knowledgeable proponents of each position?

Then the pupils will be able to see for themselves how obvious it is that complex functional systems of interrelated components can come into existence without intelligent input.

Despite the utter lack scientific explanation, pupils will also develop blind faith in the speculation that the first life arose by purely natural processes.

Surely the best way to expose bad arguments is to discuss them openly.

Or are aggressive atheists afraid that evolution, an indispensable foundation of their belief system, might not stand up to open debate in our educational institutions?

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe

Edinburgh

Gavin Cargill (Letter, 24 December) chides Hugh Reilly for his confident atheism but forgets that confidence in a belief does not justify it.

His own confidence in Christianity may be misplaced and, as an atheist myself, I think it is.

Beliefs should be founded on evidence. In the case of belief in an “afterlife” (an oxymoron), there is no evidence. Nor does it make any sense.

The claims of Christianity are based on misunderstandings of Jesus’s life and the Jewish superstitions about the Kingdom of Heaven he espoused.

This justifies the belief that it does not exist and Mr Reilly’s atheism.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan

Edinburgh