Joseph C. Richards (Readers' Forum, May 12) is correct that evolution is an "unproven theory," but not in the ways he probably thinks. Science does not prove theories; it only collects evidence for or against them. And the word "theory" in science has never meant a flimsy guess. Scientific theories, like those of germs, atoms and gravity, are explanations of observed facts with the power of evidence behind them. And the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. Mr. Richards' idea that evolution seeks to destroy God shows an insecurity that most religious scientists do not share. BYU teaches evolution in its biology classes. Certainly students there have learned to reconcile their faith with scientific reality.

Daniel Andersen

Salt Lake City