Editor, Daily Nexus,

In rebuttal to Art Battson (“Science and Atheism Duke It Out,” Daily Nexus, Feb. 26), there is a reason for systematic materialism in science – the only things we can study are phenomena in the material world. This has nothing to do with a majority position; things of a spiritual nature are beyond our capabilities to study. Attaching supernatural significance to something – a “God of the Gaps” approach – is anathema to science because science requires rigorous testing. While it may or may not be true, saying, “God did it” can’t be tested and doesn’t lead to meaningful answers.

I’m also insulted at your insinuation that materialistic science and atheism go hand in hand. I am a Christian, and as a student I’ve been privileged to study under the professors of this university, many of them very spiritual people outside the realms of their research. Not acknowledging spiritual forces for the sake of objectivity isn’t inherently atheistic.

As an advocate of evolutionary theory, I’m also disgusted at your gross mischaracterization of evolution as “The Arrival of the Fittest by Means of Pure Chance.” While there are a couple chance-related factors – namely natural disasters and mutation – evolution is primarily dictated by environmental factors: balancing foraging behavior versus predation risk, mating display versus metabolic costs, shifting environmental conditions, divergence, species range, phenotype stability, etc. It is far from “pure chance.”

In closing, I have a question for the Nexus: Why did you give this man a column, particularly one with the heading “A Diversity of Ideas?” If last week’s presentation is any indication, the only faculty members Battson will be speaking with will be those biased towards his ideas. Trust me, this column is going to produce more angry rebuttals than Liberty Belle.

Also, the domain name www.charlesdarwin.org is misleading