Novel Idea: "Think Tank Will Promote Thinking"

A story in the Post yesterday, "Think Tank Will Promote Thinking: Advocates Want Science, Not Faith, at Core of Public Policy," begins this way:

Concerned that the voice of science and secularism is growing ever fainter in the White House, on Capitol Hill and in culture, a group of prominent scientists and advocates of strict church-state separation yesterday announced formation of a Washington think tank designed to promote "rationalism" as the basis of public policy.

It's being promoted by the Center for Inquiry-Transnational, which apparently also just put out a "Declaration in Defense of Science and Secularism," according to the article.

I don't know anything about the organization, but it's run by Paul Kurtz, professor emeritus in philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo. So consider this post an informational alert, and one I figured PZ would've already posted about.

Again, are religion and science so opposed as Kurtz and friends suggest?

Or is it the particularly insidious version of faith in the Bush White House that gets their goat?

And can "religion" and "science" be used in a sentence as if they meant one singular thing?

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The Center for Inquiry, based at SUNY-Buffalo, publishes Skeptical Inquirer, Free Inquiry Magazine, and includes the Council for Secular Humanism and the Center for Scientific Investigations of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). I'm very glad to see this office open on behalf of the secular community.

Again, are religion and science so opposed as Kurtz and friends suggest?

I wonder is it even possible to answer this question in principle? So much so, that I am starting to think that it is the wrong question to ask.

I have found that by adopting the NOMA stance as a pragmatic matter for public conversations, it can go a long way to disarming religious opponents of science, and defuses the emotionality that one tends to encounter.

By boojieboy (not verified) on 17 Nov 2006 #permalink