Scientists true start

October 25, 1996

I was shocked by Keith Ward's reply to Richard Dawkins and Peter Atkins (THES, October 11) because of his illegitimate mixing up of religion and "the humanities".

Ward has created the impression that the scientific attitude prohibits the appreciation of the creations of artists, unless it manages somehow to incorporate religious beliefs. I know several scientists who have the deepest respect for music, art and literature, and at the same time share Dawkins's and Atkins's ideas about religion. This is possible because questions of truth and falsehood are irrelevant in the domain of art, while they are central in any formal religion, even more so than in science.

Luc Raeymaekers KuLeuven Campus Gasthuisberg Leuven, Belgium

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