Science Blogs are abuzz since PZ, Rob, James, John, and Skatje Myers have reopened the Pandora’s box on matters of Faith. As I’ve stated before, I feel strongly that Science need not become universally synonymous with Godlessness because that certainly doesn’t win any converts. Any breed of fundamentalism (atheism included) usually results in alienating good folks and losing credibility among everyone who thinks or believes differently. Granted, I’m green in the blogosphere, but the topic is one that really gets under my skin because it pits two fundamentally different levels of argument against one other. That said, I recognize it’s a recurring theme and source of contention, and therefore the great science religion divide needs to be addressed. (deep breath) Here goes..
Based on experience, I believe it’s futile to battle over religion. With regard to PZ, what’s important to recognize is that he’s not alone in his views and represents a growing perspective. And while I may not always agree with everything he writes, his inflammatory remarks keep us all reading and interested. What will he say next? Who will he infuriate? It’s almost Howard Stern/Rush Limbaugh-esqu. Love him or hate him, he’s popular. He’s notorious. He’s very much PZ!
Now the reason we’re all here and part of this SB community is to turn these issues on their head. Debating is half the fun, but all the hullabaloo and angry discourse lately seem to leave many less than enthusiastic to stay engaged. As for me, I love topics like this for the very reason that no matter what you advocate, there’s no conclusion.. but it gives us all more to ponder. So I’ll continue spinning ideas around and certainly hope you’ll join me because clearly, there’s no escape from the interaction of religion and science with culture. Regardless of where you fall in the equation these topics will continue to impact all of us and thus, I encourage exploration, contemplation, and friendly discourse sans all the huffing and puffing and hurt feelings. Just maybe, when we’re open to alternative views, everyone wins.
Several readers seem to have bypassed these comments so I’ll repost here:
I’m by no means purporting atheism is fundamentalism, but rather that any belief has the potential to approach that level when we get to the point we’re not willing to listen to those who hold other perspectives.
PZ – I daresay I don’t know where I stand with regard to religion. [Note: I've never actually written about that in detail!] But it sure is fun following the fallout.. I mainly advocate tolerance and respect for others beliefs universally. And please don’t be offended with regard to the radio reference – after all – I spent years in radio and mean no ill will other than you’re successful in that you keep people interested and engaged – whether they agree or not.