Intelligent debate on design 6

June 30, 2006

Everyone has a right to express his or her opinion. But the fact that a minority of people hold a view ought not to mean that that view warrants a place on the science curriculum, whether in schools or universities. Some people believe we descended from spacemen; others from 7ft lizards; and some believe that the world is only a few thousand years old. Such views are interesting in an "aren't-people-strange" way. But I find it terrifying that senior academics seem willing to give up precious time from science courses to teach students about ancient religious myths.

This is not an issue of the toleration of alternative views, it is about our duty to educate students to become well-informed, critical people. As an old teacher used to say to me: "There's a difference between an open mind and a hole in the head."

Richard Bailey

Roehampton University

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