Letters - God and the left

Francis Beckett's report (Observations, 8 November) that 17 per cent of children at Catholic primary schools qualify for free meals, compared with 20 per cent at non-denominational schools, is hardly clear evidence of Catholic "middle-class enclaves in working-class areas". It is more likely that Catholic schools have a wider geographical catchment, and hence wider social inclusion, than secular neighbourhood schools. Their apparent success probably derives from sharing values - the key to most successful organisations - to a greater degree than is often possible in secular schools.

Jerry Park
Nantwich, Cheshire

Why does Francis Beckett see creationism as "right wing"? Darwinism provided backing for racism and capitalism, by portraying inequality and competition as key to the natural order. In contrast, the Genesis story inspired the first left-wing movement in English history: "When Adam delved and Eve span/Who was then the gentleman?" asked the peasants in 1381.

Philip Jones
Morden, Surrey

Francis Beckett perpetuates the myth that the world was created by God in seven days. Genesis 2, v 2 states clearly ". . . on the seventh day he rested from all his work". This leaves six days to create the world, not seven.

Alfred L C van Amelsvoort
London N21

This article first appeared in the 15 November 2004 issue of the New Statesman, Culture wars