Truth isn't out there 2

April 5, 2002

Besides formal courses in evolutionary biology, studies in archaeology provide a salutary perspective on creationism. In The Idea of Prehistory , Glyn Daniel points out that in the 17th century, the original date of 4004BC for the creation of Earth, calculated by James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh, from evidence in the Old Testament, was even further refined by John Lightfoot, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, namely, "(all of creation) took place and man was created by the Trinity on October 23 at nine o'clock in the morning".

As Glyn Daniel wryly observes: "We may perhaps see in these dates and time a prejudice of a vice-chancellor for the beginning of an academic year."

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge were one-faith institutions for centuries, whose essential function was to educate the clerical intelligentsia; thus, all those who did not subscribe to the 39 Articles of the Church of England were excluded from attending them (atheists, non-conformists, Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc).

Stanley Alderson
Cambridge

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