Theory v theology

4th August 2000 at 01:00
THE letter by Andrew Bowdler (TESS, July 28) is indeed right when he says there is a problem with science today, as was indicated in your article, "Science students don't believe in Darwin". However, contrary to what he writes, scientists do not "believe only in those things that can be proved".

As any good scientist knows, a theory is never proven to be true. Scientists judge alternative theories by the evidence that supports or disconfirms them. The theory that best explains the prevailing evidence is considered most likely to be the corrct one.

However, any theory can be revised or overturned in the face of new evidence, unlike "theories" based on religious faith. That is what we should be teaching our science students.

And by these criteria, Darwinian evolution, and its modern variants, have vastly more scientific credibility than creationism.

Mr Bowdler is free to believe whatever he likes based on his faith. He should just not make the mistake of thinking that it is science. That is the problem with science today.

Jean McKendree

Edinburgh


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