Shadows of doubt No 3975

Set by George Cowley

<strong>Ziauddin Sardar</strong> wrote: "All of us, whatever our beliefs and

Report by Ms de Meaner

Hon menshes to Barry Baldwin and Katie Mallett. £20 to the winners, the best of whom, Rufus Stone, also gets the Tesco vouchers.

Des Browne Yes, yes, it seems very clear to me that I have expressed a degree of regret which can be equated with an apology . . . But should I have? Have I given away too much? The nightmares wake me, screaming. I tell you yet again, Sir Jock Stirrup, chief of defence staff, thinks I am doing an excellent job! . . . And yet I told them: I am happy to say I am sorry! . . . But can happiness be equated with regret? Or sorrow? - whichever . . . Should I have said I am happy/comfortable/ OK/fine with everything I have done for these young people who are so terribly young? . . . I used the word young 12 times but did people understand? Should I have said youthful? I shall never know. That is my tragedy . . .

Josh Ekroy

Richard Dawkins Come to think of it, evolution might be an accumulation of random events - but Intelligent Design has its attractions. There's no denying that an all-powerful being could have designed it all - a sort of biologist figure: highly intelligent, experimental - a bit like me. It might, just might, account for one or two gaps in the record, like the giraffe's neck. Yes. Imagine that finger, infusing the primal soup with life. (Because that's the bit we haven't figured out yet; how it started.) Not impossible. Can't withdraw all copies of The God Delusion now, but maybe I should approach the Beeb for an occasional slot. Not recanting exactly, but admitting the faint possibility that one might have been mistaken. Thought for the Day, perhaps.

Gerard Benson

Jeremy Paxman You know the rules . . . well, you probably do, so fingers on the buzzers and here is your starter for ten - no, maybe seven. Which philosopher said, "Religion is the opium . . ." Oxford, Smith? No, I'm fairly sure that's not the answer, almost certainly not. I think you lose five points for incorrect interruption. Anyone from Lancaster? Ah, Manchester, is it? You may confer, sorry, you may not confer. Manchester, Jones? No, probably not Karl Marx. It says here . . . Well, perhaps . . . All right, Marx! Manchester, you get the questions on architecture. Name the feature coloured red in the diagram. Clerestory, Jones? It doesn't say that here. It's . . . You're studying architecture? Oh, whatever!

Shirley Curran

Rowan Williams Who will rid me of this turbulent atheist? Dawkins has never met God; therefore, so he argues, God does not exist. And this passes for logic! You might equally argue: God (who definitely does exist; He even fathered a Son, and I regularly meet Them Both) has never met Dawkins, and therefore Dawkins does not exist. And if God really is a delusion, the delusion must exist, ergo God exists! I must admit to having seen Dawkins on TV once, worshipping the false god Publicity. So: evidence, but no proof. Doubts persist. One thing, however, I am sure of: if Dawkins does not exist, it will not be necessary to invent him.

Rufus Stone

No 3978 Don' diss the daffs
Set by Ian Blake

To attract teenagers to the Lake District there is now a rap version of Wordsworth's "Daffodils". We want similar promoting teenage tourism to other poetic locations: Dover Beach, Burnt Norton, etc.

Entries in by 10 May

This article first appeared in the 30 April 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Pakistan: The Taliban takeover