LETTER: Rationalism and milk-sniffing

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From Mr Richard Ward

Sir: Randhir Singh Bains tells us that certain Nobel laureates have believed in a god or gods (letter, 25 September). Quite how this supports the view that a milk-drinking statue is a miracle is not at all clear, particularly as no one, to my knowledge, has yet studied the claim scientifically.

If this were done, we might find that, like the "miracle" of fire-walking, a rational explanation does exist, but most people prefer to believe in its mysteriousness rather than accept that hot coals do not conduct heat quickly enough to burn flesh. I should know; I've actually done it.

If a search for simple facts and the exposure of folly is an example of an "inward-looking approach", then long may Western rationalists reign. Or does Mr Bains think it is healthy to gaze in awe at the sartorial elegance of a stark naked emperor?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Ward

London, SE13

25 September