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In his Jan. 11 article, “Time a Darwinian ‘true myth’ evolved to rival religion,” writer Rowan Hooper seems to long for a “true myth” that can help science replace “supernatural thought systems” and “compete with the old stories that give meaning to people’s lives.” But why in Darwin’s name would Hooper want to create a myth to “compete with” such stories?

Is it the goal of science to replace what gives meaning to people’s lives? Hooper seems incoherent when he laments with (British novelist) Ian McEwan that “supernatural thought systems” must be replaced by “true myths.” Are true myths going to exclude everything supernatural?

Perhaps Hooper has heard of Philip Pullman’s “Golden Compass,” supposedly an atheist’s “Narnia,” aspiring to be the kind of “true myth” that Hooper wants created. After watching the movie version of “Golden Compass,” a religious philosopher totally unaware of Pullman’s anti-religious stance told me it was one of the best religious movies he had ever watched.

Pullman’s story has so many elements of “supernatural thought systems” — destiny, witches, magic, miracles, guardian demons, etc. — that one is tempted to conclude that anti-religious propagandists just cannot escape their deep-seated supernatural, one may say “religious,” longings and leanings.

It is simply vain to expect that the arrival of a nonsupernatural myth, for every myth — scientific as well as religious — will necessarily demand the supernatural and suspension of reason.

francis britto

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