BRIAN Quail (Letters, July 17) says that with its profound regard for the principles of logic and rational argument, Christian theology elevated reasoning to the highest place, and thus gave birth to the sciences. Can I respectfully remind him that reason was not the tool of choice for persuasion used by God: ''For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many'' (Isaiah 66:16 ).

Science has done more for the development of western civilisation in two centuries than Christianity did in two millennia. It wasn't Jesus who rid the world of leprosy, it was science. If Jesus fed five thousand, science feeds the world. Science builds planes and skyscrapers, but faith brings them together. Belief without critical examination risks perpetuating error and fostering credulity.

Dr Graham Seed, Livingston.