Letters

I have hesitated to get involved in the debate on science and religion. If there is any subject that cannot be debated rationally and productively it is religion. But Dr. N. Muller's assertion that religious faith and a belief in God are prerequisites for doing "fruitful" science (The Scientist, December 26, 1988, page 9) contains so many outrageous statements that I am drawn into the fray. First, let us deal with his statement: "It is no accident that the culture in which modern science deve

Bernard Erlanger
Feb 5, 1989

I have hesitated to get involved in the debate on science and religion. If there is any subject that cannot be debated rationally and productively it is religion. But Dr. N. Muller's assertion that religious faith and a belief in God are prerequisites for doing "fruitful" science (The Scientist, December 26, 1988, page 9) contains so many outrageous statements that I am drawn into the fray.

First, let us deal with his statement: "It is no accident that the culture in which modern science developed is one dominated by Judeo-Christian religious heritage." This statement ignores the scientific achievements of Asian cultures and of the civilizations that laid the foundations of modern science, the Greeks (atomic theory and mathematics) and the Arabs (astronomy and mathematics).

Second, his argument that religious faith is required for a belief in the consistency of the laws of nature is sheer sophistry. It can easily be...