Is the Letters column of Physics Today abandoning the scientific method in favor of the method more generally used in political advertising? I refer to two letters on page 12 of the September 2008 issue.

Charles Gallo laments TV’s version of science by stating, “Most of the programs turn people away from physics rather than draw them in.” An interesting theory, but he mentions not a scrap of observational data to back it up. The statement should have been posed more properly as a question, with the usual exhortation of theorists urging some experimentalist to test it.

Worse still is the reply from Robert Griffiths to Eric Lerner’s argument concerning science and religion. Lerner poses specific questions to which Griffiths’ only reply is to call Lerner’s letter a “dogmatic caricature” and to urge readers to look into the book he reviewed—a book that also does not address any of the questions. Lerner’s point, that science and religion do not share any of the same methods and that consequently science provides continuing insights into the universe while religion fails to do so, is certainly valid. After teaching a course in “religion and science” for several years at the University of Miami, I can only conclude that religion, most particularly Christianity, is based on unreproducible phenomena stipulating the existence of an unobservable entity. Can anything be further removed from science than that?

It is sad that, as a nation, we routinely accept politicians stating wild and unverified hypotheses as fact and evading direct questions by offering nonanswers. Should we not expect to find relief in a science magazine?