Letter: Science and theology: material and spiritual questions that are worlds apart

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Sir: If the events in Waco, Texas, haven't caused just a few Christians to blink twice at their local vicar or priest and wonder just a little, Richard Dawkins wishes to assist in what is essentially the same very old and unresolved question.

For however liberal one might be in the tolerance or value offered to a vastly diverse range of Christian cults and traditions, science and religion use criteria for truth which are inherently conflicting and irreconcilable. There is no honest way to bridge the gap. Science has offered mankind partial insight into the nature of his universe, theology has provided nothing on the nature of its maker.

What then of Susan Howatch's pounds 1m lectureship to Cambridge? If money could buy wisdom, no doubt the world would be stuffed full of it. No one may doubt her good intentions, and yet theology itself might even be described as man's best intention at understanding God. But we've all heard 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

If God was really going to reveal something useful to mankind, it is most implausible that he would trust his wisdom to obscurantist theologians.



London, SE12

21 March