The notion that science rests on faith, as some recent correspondents would have it, reflects some semantic confusion, as well as a deep misunderstanding of science.
Webster's gives six definitions for faith; five religious in nature. The sixth, non-religious definition, uses these terms: "unquestioning belief ... uncritical grounds for belief ... unquestioning trust."
Scientists eschew such, for they are not helpful. Indeed, one of Webster's examples of the use of the word was: "for the scientist, faith can be no virtue, because it is inconsistent with the resolution to accept the fact as supreme -- P.W. Bridgman."
The latest letter writer gives us a list of things scientists take on "faith." Some of these are believed by scientists; they are the most reasonable explanation of the known facts; e.g., "Life evolved by chance." Some are negations of statements for which there is no proof and small probability: "The universe has no purpose."
One: "The universe is rationally ordered by mathematical principles," is simply wrong. Math is perhaps best thought of as a language for describing things, and like any language, it has certain rules to prevent incoherence. But like any language it can describe the real or the imaginary, the abstract or the concrete. But it does not order universes; though it may describe an order they might intrinsically have.
Informally, one may say a scientist has more faith in one explanation than another, but real faith, no. It's a matter of probable factuality.
David D. Peterson