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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 7. June 11, 1947

Evolution and Curricula

Evolution and Curricula

It is a public duty to criticise the curriculum of schools, provided the bases for criticism are sound and logical. The only criticism was on anti-evolutionary grounds and that in the Letters to the Editor of the daily newspapers. We can only conclude that the serial was suspended because it teaches evolution. If this is so, a large number of school textbooks will have to be purged, including Volume 1 of "Making New Zealand," which contains material that is at least as irritating to anyone with an anti-evolutionary itch. There are still people who believe that the only history which should be taught In school is that which adheres strictly to the story as given in the Bible.

However, New Zealand public schools are supposed to be secular. (See the Education Act, "Free, compulsory and secular.") Should the Book of Genesis be broadcast in chapters? No, because it is outside the province of the schools. In any case there is no reason to suppose that the process of evolution is irreconcilable with genuine Christian doctrines. Why should we assume that the "days" in the Book of Genesis are twenty-four hours long? But it is not consistent with secular educational policy to introduce religious views. This does not imply a contempt for these views but merely accords with official educational policy. Galileo was right when he said that the world was round, in spite of contrary assertions, and to deny the process of evolution is equally futile.