But really, some of these anti-god polemicists are just ridiculous. I read a piece in yesterday's USA Today that's a great example, by Karl W. Giberson, a physicist, college professor, and member of the Church of the Nazarene. Giberson, active for many years in the faith-science discussion. He believes in evolution. In his piece, Giberson argues against the position now being taken by some atheists that faith is totally incompatible with science, indeed that scientists who are not atheists cannot be true to science. Well, this is absurd. Several winners of the Nobel prize are theists. And the very notion that to be a a good scientist, somebody ought to give up their faith . . . well, I don't think it comes close to passing the common sense test. Here's Giberson:
For the sake of argument, let us set aside questions about the truth of religion vs. the truth of science. Suppose there is no such thing as religious truth, as Richard Dawkins argued in The God Delusion. Allow that the "New Atheist Noise Machine," as American University communications professor Matt Nisbet calls it, has a privileged grasp of the truth. Even with these concessions, it still appears that the New Atheists are behaving like a boorish bunch of intellectual bullies.
There is something profoundly un-American about demanding that people give up cherished, or even uncherished, beliefs just because they don't comport with science. And the demand seems even more peculiar when it is applied so indiscriminately as to include religious believers with Nobel Prizes. What sort of atheist complains that a fellow citizen doing world-class science must abandon his or her religion to be a good scientist?
What sort, indeed?