It's back, predictably, the conflict between science and religion! James Hannam has a new article on Patheos about the bruhaha rising from Martin Rees receiving the Templeton Foundation's annual award. Atheist scientist, religious foundation, its not hard to see where the conflict comes in, right?
Hannam seems to think all the fuss is posturing over nothing, because in his words (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Religion has never impeded science." While that is patently false, its interesting that his examples are all from antiquity, and he seems to disregard the fact that religious beliefs are impeding science NOW and are in conflict with rationality NOW, fuck the past! You have large portions of the population who blatantly disregard scientific findings on Global climate change (because God said the earth is for us/ Because God promised he won't flood the world again!) you have people who are trying to shut down one of the most pioneering branches of medical biology [stem cell research] because of passages NOT in the bible; and of course, people who discriminate against and deny rights to a large minority population in the US because of two or three lines of their "holy book" that say being gay isn't "ok." This is absolutely wrong, all of it, but the real point of Dawkins, Coyne and Meyers is that hypocrisy is never easy to swallow~ Science is completely pragmatic (or at least, by definition, it should be) and having beliefs is NOT. Religion and Science will ALWAYS be in conflict (at least traditional religion) because one is based on reason, evidence, testability, and repeatability, while the other is based on FAITH. Thats it, faith. That is what is at the core of religion, because there is no unrefuted/un-debunked evidence to support it. Seriously, that's it. The fundamental opposition of the two is staggering, and I don't care how nice they [the religious] are about it, the two should and are mutually exclusive in that respect. Just as the study of Unicorns is not comparable to the study of Cephalopods.
Ugh, sorry to cut it short, I'll write more on this later.