WB Richardson (Letters, November 26) makes the mistake of treating creationism and evolution as two mutually exclusive concepts.

Evolution is now recognised as the process by which life has evolved on earth. The process is not fully understood. Evolution deals with the development of life on earth rather than the question of how the whole process started. It is now generally accepted that there was a creation point and that is referred to as Big Bang. The Genesis story can be seen as an attempt to explain that phenomena. As our understanding of the universe increases it is quite likely that in time Big Bang will simply be seen as having been an attempt to explain creation in a manner that was understandable to our generation. The alternative is that there was no creation point and that the universe has existed in perpetuity.

For those who believe in God the question is whether or not he was created at the point of creation or has existed before Big Bang (who created the creator?). For those who do not believe in God that question is still relevant in so far as one can still ask what, if anything, existed before the Big Bang.

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Sandy Gemmill,

40 Warriston Gardens,

Edinburgh,

David S Fraser's letter (November 25) on creationism and schools misinterprets the view of Scotland's largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, on this issue. In praising the EIS, Mr Fraser states, "Our leaders need to follow the robust example of the EIS and defend the rights of the majority for the expression of their faith across the spectrum of school subjects". However, this is not an accurate representation of the views of the EIS.

The EIS does believe, however, that the curriculum is a matter for teachers and that legislative interference in the content of the curriculum is both undesirable and unnecessary. .

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) professional standards for teachers make clear that it would be inappropriate for a teacher to use his or her position to propagate particular personal views/

The EIS position is that teachers can be trusted to conduct themselves professionally without the need for legislation.

Brian Cooper,

Head of Communications,

The Educational Institute of Scotland,

46 Moray Place,

Edinburgh.

The demands by various groups that creationist perspectives are taught alongside Darwinian evolution make no logical sense. Science, including the science of evolution, works by testing hypotheses and refining and abandoning those that are erroneous or disproven.

Religion by definition relies on faith and is considered to be immutable and untestable.

As the philosophical divergence is so great it makes as much sense to demand that creationism is taught in science classes, as to demand that a scientific alternative to the creation story is presented in every act of religious observance. Scientists, to my knowledge have never been rude enough to demand the latter.

Bob Downie,

66 Mansewood Road,

Glasgow.