Refutation? Denied

May 27, 2010

We read that Francisco Ayala "refutes the idea that there is any contradiction between science and religion" (The Week in Higher Education, 13 May). I think you'll find that he denies, not refutes, via such well-known methods as claiming that any aspect of religious doctrine that turns out to be embarrassingly false - for example, that a god made the world a few thousand years ago - must be a metaphor.

Refutation is disproof via reason and evidence. In a world where many religious people in the US, for example, believe that human beings are not the product of biological evolution, it is impossible to "refute" the idea of a contradiction between science and religion, because the contradiction is visible.

Stephen Wells, Department of physics, University of Warwick.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • Man walking, University of Oxford campus, photo negative

Donald Brown shares the experiences that prompted him to talk about ‘institutional racism’ at Oxford

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance