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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 9. June 25, 1947



...not a proved theory

Dear Sir,—

Under the heading "Education or Dogma" "Salient" once more repeats the error that the broadcast complained of was making. In the words of the article, "to deny the process of evolution is equally futile": this is a repetition of one of the implications contained in the "Listener's" summary of the first six broadcasts. The fact is that Evolution is not a proved scientific theory. It is still a theory.

The approval of Professors Ford and Whittard is not sufficient to guarantee its accuracy. There is still a lot of disagreement among scientists as to the validity of the theory. How Tilings Began made no concessions to any of the widely differing views.

I have no wish to deny that Evolution with modifications from the pure evolutionist theory of the last century is reconcilable with Christian teaching. As it is the series was most competently presented and children are inclined to accept that type of programme together with the approval of teacher as dogma. Education is not the presentation of an unproved theory as important as this one.

"Solely a matter for the teachers to decide" seems to me almost as dangerous as your ignoring the real nature of the anti-evolutionists' complaint. It is no reflection on teachers to say that the responsibility is too great for them alone.

The suspension creates a dangerous precedent, but at least it demonstrates that the authorities are willing to concede that reason is often reasonable.

Maurice F. McIntyre.

1. "Salient" may express opinion. If readers accept this as dogma, that is their business.

2. The theory of evolution is still a theory, which better fits the facts than any other idea so far advanced. The approval of Professors Ford and Whittard concerned the scientific approval of the facts presented.

3. "Solely a matter for teachers to decide" referred to the previous sentence, which read: "We wish to emphasise that no school is compelled to take the broadcasts, but each year increasing numbers do so."

4. The authorities conceded to the vociferous protest of a small minority without consultation of teachers or anyone else, without explanations and reason, and most certainly without a consideration of the case on its merits.


The Building

Dear Sir,—

The announcement that net profits from the 1947 Extravaganza amounted to approximately £900 must be welcomed as a gratifying result for the efforts of those concerned in making Extrav an unprecedented financial success. I expect that this sum will now be transferred to the Building Fund which was established some years ago with the object of the erection of a new Students' Building. It became known last year that the Government was willing to subsidize this project on a two to one basis with a maximum of £40,000. On this basis the sum to be collected by the Students' Association will amount to £20,000, £12,000 of which is now available. Assuming that profits on Extrav. in future years will remain at the 1947 level (a highly improbable assumption) it will take another ten years before tenders may be called.

Two years ago the Executive prepared a list of past students of this College with the object of approaching them to contribute individually for the fund. I may add that the Principal completely concurred in this plan and recommendations were then passed to the incoming Executive to go ahead with the job of approaching past members and other potential contributors. The present Executive of our Students Association has given a grandiose display of inertia in this matter. Nothing has been done during the past year. No meeting of the Building Committee was held. Apparently the view is entertained that the efforts of students during Extravaganza are sufficient to obtain our goal of £20,000. I know that I am speaking for many hundreds of students, past and present, in recommending to the incoming Executive to tackle the project seriously and efficiently. It can be done; tasks of a similar nature have in the past been achieved successfully. This is not the time for complacency and eloquent, meaningless apologies.

G. Warner.