The dean of an African medical school tells a story that fascinates and disturbs me.
Two medical students from deep in rural Africa were sent to him because they had behavioural problems. One was the son of traditional healer. When the dean talked to the students it emerged that they were suffering a crisis about what they were being taught. They were being taught about evidence and questioning claims made to them. It was leading them to question much of their African beliefs, including whether the father who was a traditional healer might be doing more harm than good.
“Are you teaching me not to be an African?” asked one of the students, a deeply disturbing question.
Things, it seems, came right in that the students manage to combine being Africans with learning concepts that seemed at first alien.
It makes me think of an African friend, a doctor, who is a creationist but teaches evidence based medicine. Those two things feel incompatible to me, but that perhaps reflects my narrowness. There are many leading scientists who are also deeply religious.