At least they’re honest: Religion as the “enemy” of science

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.

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4 thoughts on “At least they’re honest: Religion as the “enemy” of science

  1. I don’t understand why science has to be against God. There is a reason that faith in a god is a part of all of us, whether or not we like. Therefore, it is something we should try to understand–not undermine.

  2. I skimmed over some of their articles online the other day. At first, I thought they were going to at least attempt to be intellectually honest about how religion affects people positively… You know, something on the other side of the coin. But no, they gave less than a sentence or two of lip service to it and promptly stated that most of the New Science staff and the society that backs it are indeed atheistic and for good reasons at that.

    But now that I think about it, it technically is the ‘god’ issue for them? After all, they were clearly describing their beliefs and mode of worship, weren’t they?

  3. Norbert

    I’d like to know if there is a difference between “religion as the enemy of science” and religion is the enemy of science?

  4. Fredrick H. Winterbauer III (Fred)

    Could it be reasoned that as they “worship” the evolution of science itself, that they are really worshiping death? If the overwhelming statistics and flowcharts forecasting the imminent annihilation of humanity due to the spectacular growth factor of uncontrolled scientific applications were to be presented to them, they would have to agree in form. Keep in mind that all the data pointing to “death” as the end of the scientific equation has been formed by the scientific community itself. Their answer currently, it seems, is to leave this planet and pollute the universe. They call this, correct me if I err, SPACE EXPLORATION! I’ve gained enough scientific knowledge to know that it is an absolutely absurd endeavor…..and a denial of the death card they have already dealt mankind. The truth that GOD holds all the cards is not going to be delivered to them fully until the Last Trump.

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