In the beginning – science and faith

 

Sir, – Andrew Mullen (Letters, July 21st) is in good company when he raises the issue of the legitimacy of the creation story.

Science has made huge steps forward in the last 50 years, with the field of molecular genetics emerging from the realization that DNA and RNA (ribonucleic acid) constitute the genetic material in all living things.

The Human Genome Project, the world’s largest collaborative biology research project, completed in April 2003, was headed up by Francis Collins.

His previous research projects involved the discovery of the genes that cause cystic fibrosis, cancer tumour growth and Huntington chorea, a neurological disease.

As a scientist, he has this to say on the creation story: “The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in a cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, and beautiful”

Progressive science, it seems, favours worship over mockery and ridicule. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS O’CALLAGHAN,

Carlow.

Sir, – Andrew Mullen’s letter is valid up to a point. He has the right to his own opinion regarding creation. Edwin Poots, et al, should not be ridiculed. If they want to believe the Genesis story as literal and historical, let them. They are harmless as long as they do not impose their ideas on others. Science and modern Christian theology agree that creation began around 13.7 billion years ago and what we observe now is the result of evolution. There is no point in arguing with creationists as they already know who God is. – Yours, etc,

PAT COURTNEY,

Kilmyshall,

Wexford.

A chara, – In claiming that a “culture of intolerance” ridicules and mocks “normal Christian beliefs”, Andrew Mullen seeks to defend Edwin Poots’s creationist viewpoint.

As an atheist, I have no quarrel with any individual’s beliefs but the record of politicians dictating what is acceptable through legislation is fairly dismal.

Not so long ago, the religious beliefs of certain politicians ensured that people in same-sex relationships or who got pregnant without being married were, at the very least, culturally unacceptable and, at worst, liable to prosecution.

Belief in mindless tradition and irrational superstition is grand as long as it is kept private. – Is mise,

GREG SCANLON,

Shannon,

Co Clare.