Anticipating that you will receive a great number of letters disagreeing with Will Provine’s article, I wish to come to his defense. It is currently popular for scientists to champion the “no conflict” attitude. I have engaged in a number of discussions with colleagues over this issue and it is my experience that compatibility is bought at a high price. The price is that the supposed deity becomes so nebulous, so indistinguishable from nature that the normal language for existent entities loses its meaning. One might say God’s effect on the world is about the same as the effect of antibodies on water molecules in Benveniste’s highly diluted solutions.

Provine is right about believers attempting to have their cake and eat it too. If God created the universe initially and left it to run on its own, why do we need to be concerned about his/her existence? Like Ronald Reagan,...

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