Being out of town until this week, I’m getting to my new issues of New Scientist out of order, but the March 17-23, 2012 issue declares on its cover that it is “The God Issue” of the magazine and claims that it discusses “the surprising new science of religion.” (The contents so far don’t seem to be “surprisingly new,” so far, BTW.)
In the editorial page, on page 3 at the beginning of the magazine was an admission I appreciated for its honesty. “Know your enemy” the title declared, before explaining that the reason scientists and militant atheists aren’t making significant headway against religion is because they misunderstand religion, explaining that new developments should shed light on how natural to human nature religious belief is. However, as they state plainly in their last paragraph, “This is not an apologia for god. [Lower “g” theirs.] Religious claims still wither under rational scrutiny and deserve no special place in public life.” As hilarious as that second sentence is in the sweeping scope of its claim (and, to a not-entirely-insignificant degree, countered by one of their own articles later in the magazine), it is clearly believed by the editors of the magazine. An article later in the magazine, “The God Hypothesis” by respected (if horribly wrong) atheist Victor Stenger, provides a good example of how such claims are pushed to say more than they should.
I look forward to getting into the magazine and reading the other articles. But I’ll keep in mind that they’ve made their feelings pretty clear on page 3.