Jan 19, 2010
Chris Mooney imagines the kind of conversation a representative of the National Center for Science Education might have with a religious believer if the organization didn’t make statements on the compatibility of science and religion (as the “new atheists” would have it):
Religious believer: I know you say that evolution is good science, but I’m afraid of what my pastor says–that accepting it is the road to damnation.
NCSE: As a policy, we only talk about science and to not take any stance on religion. So we couldn’t comment on that.
Religious believer: I do have one friend who accepts evolution, but he stopped going to church too and that worries me.
NCSE: All we can really tell you is that evolution is the bedrock of modern biology, and universally accepted within the scientific community.
Religious believer: And I’m worried about my children. If I let them learn about evolution in school, will they come home one day and tell me that we’re all nothing but matter in motion?
You get the point, I think. To me, it is obvious that, far from enforcing an unnecessary purism, a group like NCSE should be encouraged to speak with religious believers in terms they can understand, and in a way that will help them accept evolutionary science. The same goes for other science organizations.