Scientific inquiry

In response to Alistair McBay (Letters, 16 February), defining what is and is not science has proved notoriously difficult for philosophers of science to agree on. Is it seriously to be maintained that the decision of one American district court can be the last word on the matter?

The use of authority to try to circumscribe scientific inquiry does not have a noble history. In the past, some inconvenient findings were suppressed by religious authorities, but the truth came out in the end. In a neat reversal, it is today's widely-accepted dogma that we are the product of blind and purposeless processes that is now being increasingly questioned, on the basis of the scientific evidence itself.

Contrary to A Guthrie Stewart (Letters, 17 February), Antony Flew did cite the arguments of design theorists in his renunciation of atheism, when he said: "Investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, that intelligence must have been involved."


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