August 14, 1998
U.S. News & World Report
2400 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-1196
To the Editor:
I saw a number of letters in response to your article on the beginning of the universe ("What Came Before Creation?" July 20). Unfortunately, several of those letters missed an important point.
Chris Baughn claimed that each theory had a "metaphysical flaw" in that they "fail to explain who we are, where we came from, and what our purpose in life is." Baughn apparently misunderstands what science actually is.
Scientific theories aim to explain how something occurred – in this case, the origins of our universe. This has absolutely nothing to do with his religious questions of "who we are" or "what our purpose in life is." That is like complaining that the equation "1+1" does not explain why a banana is yellow. It is simply not a logical outcome, and no good scientist would ever claim that it is.
In short, science and religion are simply two different things. He should leave it up to scientists to objectively answer "how" while he, as a pastor, can explain the much more subjective "why" to his ministry.