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While I admire Gregory Clark's determination to push for scientifically defined evolution ("Creationists show how far we have to go," June 6), I think that he is wrong in assuming that religion, all religion, is at the heart of the problem. Many of us religious types understand that " magical thinking " has no place in science; belief is one thing, science is another.

The problem with Dr. Clark's attack is political. As Eric Alterman once pointed out, coalitions are formed by addition, not subtraction. If only atheists can be for science, we won't have the number of science supporters that we will need to achieve what science desperately needs to achieve.

Which brings up the other problem with Dr. Clark's letter. As wrongheaded as creatonism is, it is far less of a threat than its intellectual cousin, global warming denialism. Creationism won't destroy Western civilization, but denialism very well may.

I guess what I'm asking for is tolerance. Here's what I would tell Dr. Clark: "Look, I believe in a loving personal God while you believe in heroic individuals who believe in only that which can be rationally proven, but let us not quibble. We can't afford to. Science needs all the friends it can get."

Glen Gerald Hatch

Salt Lake City

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