Schools are for teaching, not preaching

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Matthew Anderson (Letters, 9 September) is wrong on so many points about creationism and 
education that it is difficult to know where to begin.

First, it is not the case that the matter of biblical creationism versus evidence-based science “has not been settled conclusively”.

It has, repeatedly, although evangelicals will continue to place their dogma over evidence-based science.

Biblical creationism is an ancient and recycled Babylonian myth, just one of 
many ancient myths about how the world came into 
existence.

The sad fact that many 
people still cling to myth and superstition for their explanations of the world is irrelevant.

Perhaps in the interests of tolerance Mr Anderson would advocate primary school children being given copies of the Koran, for example, by a Muslim chaplain with the message that this book contains the truth and all other sacred texts are wrong.

Perhaps the week after they could be given the Bhagavad Gita on the same basis by a Hindu chaplain.

Second, preventing intellectually vulnerable children being brainwashed with untruths has nothing to do with intolerance.

If they are to be taught about truth, then it should not be about what some 
adults would like to be true based on their non-evidenced beliefs.

What is evident from this episode is that the chaplaincy position in schools is being abused by Christian evangelical groups to target school children for evangelisation and proselytisation.

This is a direct result of the Scottish Government’s guidance to schools on the subject of religious observance which promotes the spread of confessional Christianity in faith and non-denominational schools and even name-
checks evangelical groups in the provision of suitable teaching aids.

It is state-sponsored indoctrination in religious belief, and must be stopped. Schools should be for teaching, not preaching.

Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

Atholl Crescent

Edinburgh

Matthew Anderson says that school children should be taught about creationism as an equal theory alongside evolution because in parts of the world religious “leaders” don’t believe in evolution.

He omits to say what parts but presumably he means highly religious countries. These would be places like Saudi Arabia or Iran which ban anything which contradicts the Koran.

If we are to start teaching creationism as science, then what other dogma should children be told? The idea that the Earth is round contradicts the Bible.

Also, the Big Bang theory gives the age of the universe as roughly 14 billion years. This does not square with the Biblical claim of a planet 6,000 years old. Or maybe we should teach alchemy as an equal theory to chemistry or astrology alongside astronomy.

Alan Hinnrichs

Gillespie Terrace

Dundee