Refutation? Denied

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.

Featured Jobs

Learning Enhancement Manager UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

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

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions