Letter: Rational faith needs no ark

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Sir: The letters by Mark Smith, Deborah Woolhouse and Dr A Majid Katme (10 April) were all so preposterous that I had to check my diary to make sure it wasn't the first of April. It really is a pity that apparently intelligent people can make a literal interpretation of the Bible, the Koran, or any other ancient religious document to explain the origins of life.

The implication in all critiques of evolution by religious fundamentalists is that, in some way or another, there is a conspiracy by scientists either to cover up the truth or a refusal to investigate the Creationist viewpoint because of prejudice. This is complete nonsense.

Science is a dynamic discipline in which theories are constantly challenged and refined. The evolution of life over hundreds of millions of years is not just a theory that popped into someone's head and then all scientists adopted it. It has evolved and been tested from every possible direction and withstood all of the tests.

Religious fundamentalists will never be persuaded to change their views by any arguments, for to do so would destroy their faith. For those who are truly open-minded, however, you can still believe in a god and recognise that the ancient religious texts were written in times when people did not know that the Earth moves around the Sun, that the Sun and all other stars were products of sustained thermo-nuclear reactions, that lightning is produced by a high voltage discharge across the insulating medium.

If you were asked to explain the origins of life back in those times, what implausible stories would you have written?