Over at EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse has a very nice post about accommodationism.
The forces of darkness keep trying to suck me back into the debate, but I’ve said about everything I have to say on this topic. I will summarize my views one last time and move on:
1. I see faith and science as epistemically incompatible, though of course some religious people can accept evolution and some scientists can be religious. This cognitive dissonance does not, however, show anything more than that people can simultaneously hold in their heads two philosophically incompatible approaches to the world.
2. I think the National Center for Science Education and other scientific organizations should make no statements about the compatibility of science and religion. When they insist on this compatibility, they are engaging in theology. And if they must say something about compatibility, let them recognize that a large fraction of scientists see science and faith as incompatible.
3. I applaud religious people like Kenneth Miller when they fight against creationism, and I join them as an ally in that battle. But I reserve the right to criticize them when they try to maintain that both faith and science are valid ways of understanding the world.
4. I see no conclusive evidence that vocal atheism is forcing Americans to choose between science and religion, pushing them back into the creationist corner.
5. I think that, in the long run, the best way to rid our country of creationism — and, more important, of irrational views on many issues like stem cell research, condoms as preventors of HIV, and the like — is to diminish the hold of religion on America. I want Americans to become more rational, and I think that working for atheism is a good way to do it.
6. People like Dawkins and myself have two goals: diminishing the influence of faith, and helping people accept and see the wonders of evolution. There is no evidence (see #5) that these goals are inimical. But even if they were, that doesn’t mean that atheists should shut up. If, for example 5% of “waverers” were forced back to creationism by people like Dawkins (thus yielding “anecdotes” that can be trumpeted on the internet), that doesn’t mean that atheism has a deleterious rather than a salutary effect on accepting evolution. Similarly, if a godless country eliminates creationism entirely, that doesn’t mean that the interim retreat of religious “waverers” to creationism is a bad result. A godless America will be an America without creationism.