20 years ago

June 5, 2008

The ideas of Charles Darwin are slowly taking hold in America. Very slowly. A survey of 2,100 college students, taken at 40 campuses, shows that although the majority believe in the scientific theory of evolution, some 38 per cent still think life evolved in the Garden of Eden. Most of the students involved had completed courses in the biological sciences or anthropology. Yet more than 40 per cent believed that fossils were the remains of animals that died in the biblical flood and the same percentage agreed that "cavemen had to protect themselves against marauding dinosaurs".

Reports of "the demise of Mongol studies" at the School of Oriental and African Studies are greatly exaggerated. We share the services of the visiting Mongolian lecturer to Britain, Mr B. Damdin, with Cambridge. There is a lively interest in classical as well as modern Mongolian at Soas and Mr Damdin's time with us is filled almost beyond the point of comfort with classes ... It is true that our professor of Mongolian retired a short while ago but has by no means abandoned us and we continue to look to him for guidance. (Letter).

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