Although I read Peter Atkins's review of Ian Barbour's When Science Meets Religion (Books, THES, December 8) with salacious pleasure, I could not help feeling that someone who was really so sure of themselves would be a bit of a dull dog.
Such a dog might gnaw away contentedly on its bone of, say, theoretical chemistry but could it distinguish between religion and philosophy? Or between philosophy and mathematical logic, for that matter? In all these fields, the "discourse is clever and consistent (and involves) bright people (who are) grappling with problems of their own making".
To me, Sirius is the dog who knows that such distinctions must be postponed and that, meanwhile, genuinely new ideas might be discerned in the confusion.
Robin Whitty South Bank University