Don’t mock

Dr Stephen Moreton (Letters, 29 December) urges me to reject the firm conclusions of my own thinking and accept evolutionary theory because lots of 
scientists do.

The history of science is replete with cases where a majority of scientists cling to an untenable theory, mocking those who question it. The scientific community is notoriously bad at jettisoning discredited ideas before a better alternative comes along.

Could it be the case that many atheistic scientists have already ruled out any intelligent cause for life’s staggering complexity because of their philosophical assumptions? Do they therefore keep trying to prop up the implausible evolutionary story because they have no alternative?

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One of the world’s leading philosophers, atheist Thomas Nagel, says of intelligent design proponents: “Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair.”

Richard Lucas


Colinton, Edinburgh