A reader writes:
Thank you for posting that wonderful quotation from NAS. It is refreshing to see such a sense of balance from an organization dominated by atheists and agnostics. (Is it politically expediency?)
The last sentence reads, “… it would be false to assume that all religious beliefs can be challenged by scientific findings.”
New atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, do not agree. By explaining evolution, for instance, they feel they have discredited the very need for God. Hence, they say he does not exist. And if God does not exist, then all religious beliefs are challenged.
We should all be able to see that it is a stretch to go from discrediting the need for God to claiming that he does not exist.
But is it not also false to assume that some religious beliefs can be bolstered by scientific findings? Many religionists seem to think so. Should the NAS statement have addressed that? Is that not what so many of you are doing with your shroud of Turin research? The whole of mankind’s greatest historical debate resolved by proving a single miracle?
I don’t think you can prove it. That stretch, by-the-way, is nothing more than a leap of faith. It is that for Atheists just as it is for anyone else.
FYI: Repeating the quote for NAS:
Science and religion are based on different aspects of human experience. … Because they are not a part of nature, supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. In this sense, science and religion are separate and address aspects of human understanding in different ways. Attempts to pit science and religion against each other create controversy where none needs to exist. … Many religious beliefs involve entities or ideas that currently are not within the domain of science. Thus, it would be false to assume that all religious beliefs can be challenged by scientific findings.