24 SEPTEMBER 1994, Page 30

What facts?

Sir: Your correspondents' discussion (Let- ters, 17 September) of Paul Johnson's whinge (And another thing, 3 September) about Richard Dawkins overlooks how Mr Johnson epitomises the difficulty rational- ists have in any debate with religious believ- ers. It is that many of the latter have only to assert something for it to be a fact for them. Paul Johnson thrice uses this word: 1. 'The fact that we are eternal is far more important than the fact that we are, for a time, material.' Where is a shred of evidence to support the first of these `facts'?

2. 'Our material importance . is belied by the fact that ... we send a signal to the architect of all existence .. . which is instantly received and registered.' Where, oh where is the slightest evidence of such a transmission, reception and registration? If there is evidence, it can only be by way of a conversation with or communication from the architect himself, in which event Mr Johnson should disclose the details in order that they can be subjected to the same scrutiny as he would give to, say, a bill from me asserting that he owes me £500.

Rayne Kruger

Chastleton Glebe, Moreton-ln-Marsh, Gloucestershire