Opinion | Do Religion and Science Clash or Coexist?

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To the Editor:

In “Faith and Science Are Not at Odds” (Opinion, Nov. 8), Tish Harrison Warren quotes Deborah Haarsma, an astrophysicist and a Christian, as saying scientific communities have to “acknowledge the value of religion as a way of answering life’s biggest questions.”

But religions do not reliably answer any of life’s questions. Religions offer verbal arguments and unverifiable claims to appeal to the opinions and emotions of the faithful. The stories told by different religions are inconsistent, and these differences can never be resolved experimentally.

In plain English, a belief is something that is not an established fact. Non-falsifiable beliefs, feelings and opinions are fundamentally incompatible with science. Certainly science doesn’t have an answer for everything, but where it does, those answers work whether you believe them or not.

Pulak Dutta
Evanston, Ill.
The writer is a professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern University.

To the Editor:

Faith and science need not always be at loggerheads. How the world was created, as well as the date of its creation, can reasonably be left to scientific inquiry. Why it was created and our purpose as its inhabitants can properly be left to faith to discern.

Barry Oster
Great Neck, N.Y.

To the Editor:

In her essay about faith and science not being at odds, the only faith Tish Harrison Warren identifies is Christianity. World Religion Day notes that there are more than 4,000 recognized religions in the world, although most people belong to one of five major religions worshiping different gods. So, in which religion and in which god should we place our faith?

Although there are various opinions on how science is done, in the end there is only one scientific method in which to place our faith. People turn to religion when they cannot explain something and to science when they wish to explain it.

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