Michael Shermer wrote:
If no empirical claim is made that science can address, then there is little more to be said on the matter. If specific claims are made in the name of God and religion then let's hear them and put them to the test.Jerry Coyne comments on what Shermer wrote saying:
Until then, I believe that it is time to step out of our religious traditions and embrace science as the best tool ever devised for explaining how the world works, and to work together to create a social and political world that embraces moral principles and yet allows for natural human diversity to flourish. Religion cannot get us there because it has no systematic methods of explanation of the natural world, and no means of conflict resolution on moral issues when members of competing sects hold absolute beliefs that are mutually exclusive. Flawed as they may be, science and the secular Enlightenment values expressed in Western democracies are our best hope for survival. Link
I know he had limited space, but I wish Shermer had emphasized a little bit more the huge incompatibility in methods between science (doubt, skepticism, use of empirical test to resolve dissenting views) and religion (dogma, revelation, and acceptance of what you’re taught). Nor does he mention the incompatibility of outcomes: that faith does make truth claims, and that many of these conflict with those of science (creation ex nihilo, Adam and Eve, the exodus of the Jews from Egypt,and so on). It didn’t have to be that way: scripture could have been literally true, but it wasn’t.Coyne also had some good things to say against what Christian biology professor Ken Miller wrote.
But Michael makes good points, and of course, given that I agree with his view at the outset, I judge him the winner. Link