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Faith and Science: Is Religion a Science-Stopper?

Anika Smith

Regis Nicoll at Break Point has an excellent article for those interested in understanding the relationship between faith and science (like so many seem to be these days *cough* Francis Collins *cough*):

In a recent essay in The New Republic, evolutionary scientist Jerry Coyne asked, “Does the empirical nature of science contradict the revelatory nature of faith? Are the gaps between them so great that the two institutions must be considered essentially antagonistic?” Coyne has no doubt that the answer is yes.
Religion is so hopelessly inimical to scientific progress that any attempt to reconcile them is futile. As Coyne explains, “Accepting both science and conventional faith leaves you with a double standard.” And to make sure you are clear on what religion is at issue, Coyne adds that “rational on the origin of blood clotting, irrational on the Resurrection; rational on dinosaurs, irrational on virgin births.”
While hallowed bodies, like the National Academy of Sciences, claim publicly that faith and science do not conflict, privately, their “dirty little secret” is that religion is a science-stopper. Their public face, Coyne lets on, is all in the interest of maintaining public trust–one that is overwhelming religious and, professedly, Christian–and with it, public funding.
To the illuminati, a believer lumbers to the edge of every frontier of knowledge, poised to retire his investigations with “God did it!” contentment. Meanwhile, dead ends caused by their own faith in scientific materialism remain unexamined–the premature designation of “vestigial” organs and “junk” DNA being two examples.
Contrary to modern criticism, the scientist who approaches the world as a product of intelligence, rather than of matter and motion, is less likely to stop short of discovery. Instead of dismissing a feature that, at first glance, appears inert, unnecessary or just plain mystifying, he is more inclined the push the envelope of investigation to unravel its function and purpose.

Read the rest here.