Faith and science are usually mutually exclusive

Stabroek News
July 7, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have read a number of letters in your newspapers recently which purport to debate whether life on earth came about via "Creation" or "Evolution". I believe that the two concepts are incapable of being debated in order to determine which is "true".

Religion, or rather, Christianity and related religions, postulate that life on earth is the result of the actions of a Divine Being. This is a postulate which is taken on faith by believers in Christianity.

Scientists believe that life on earth resulted from a confluence of the right materials in the right place at the right time, which coincidentally produced something which could be referred to as living, and this subsequently evolved into life as it is now known.

Religion and the belief in a divine creator has to be taken on faith by its adherents. The faithful acceptance of God and Creation, despite the lack of evidence, is an integral part of Christianity. One has to believe and accept without actually seeing. This is anathema to scientists.

Modern attempts to disprove Evolution and the scientific explanation for the origin of life by using logic and probability, such as the letter of Mr. Neil Mercurius (SN 5/7/01) fail because what purports to be logic crumbles under scrutiny. And this is as it should be, faith cannot and should not depend on logic to explain itself.

However, scientists' belief that life arose out of chaos and through happenstance and not according to a predetermined divine plan is anathema to believers. The thought is that the glorious nature that surrounds glorious creatures like man cannot have come about merely by chance, this is presumably "strong support for the 'intelligent design' proposition" to which Mr. Mercurius refers. This is an attempt to explain faith using flawed logic. Faith is its own explanation and needs no assistance from Mr. Mercurius or anyone else.

I don't wish to incur the wrath of any believers of Christianity if I say there is no evidence of Creation. I merely wish to say that belief in Creation, and by extension, God, is and should be faith, whereas the belief in Evolution is based on scientific exploration and determination. Faith and evidence are usually mutually exclusive and incapable of being set off against each other in the nature of a debate. And one is not necessarily better than the other.

At some point in your life you must decide whether you will have faith or whether you will question what is around you. Some of those who decide to question eventually find faith and others continue to question. This is a journey each person must take without assistance.

I believe that the never?ending stream of discourse, often inaccurate, from both sides of the divide clouds the issues that those inclined to ask questions need to study. In short, please respect your neighbour's beliefs even if you don't subscribe thereto.

Yours faithfully,
Nikhil Ramkarran