Fool proof

Steuart Campbell (Letters, 27 December) states that Hugh Reilly’s “confidence in Christianity may be misplaced and as an atheist I think it is”. He thinks it is? He goes on to say that “beliefs should be founded on evidence”. In that case he either knows, from his own evidence, that Hugh Reilly’s beliefs are misplaced or he doesn’t. Sorry you can’t have it both ways.

He also makes the common mistake when dealing with faith that it demands proof.

The “faith” bit is the giveaway. An act of faith is just that. It is taken on faith and trust and as such the believer doesn’t need proof.

Alastair Gentleman

Greencloaks Cottage

Linlithgow, West Lothian

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Richard Lucas’s “perfect plan” to debate intelligent design creationism is perfect only for him (Letters, 27 December).

It is impossible to adequately discuss complex technical issues in the course of a short oral debate.

But it is easy for his side, who are not bound by the facts, to make any bogus claim they like, secure in the knowledge that it cannot be fact-checked in the limited time available.

Nevertheless, the ultimate debate took place in the Dover, Kansas, courtroom in 2004 when Lucas’s side got their wish.

With 40 days to examine the intelligent design claims they were soundly thrashed. The judge referred to the “breathtaking inanity” of it, and condemned some of the defendants for lying under oath. Lucas’s side lost the debate, but remain stuck in denial.

(Dr) Stephen Moreton