The "Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science" conference

In case you haven't already sold your possessions to buy your tickets and book a hotel room and buy all the books by all the speakers so you could get plenty of autographs, there's this big Christian event happening next week called the Vibrant Dance of Science and Faith conference. The fact that it's sponsored by the creationist loons at the Discovery Institute along with the fudge-rational-inquiry-with-superstition guys over at BioLogos should tell you everything you need to know, but the speaker list is quite a doozy as well – it includes notable crackpots Steven Meyer and Dinesh D'Souza, among other creationists and whackjobs.

The tagline of this event is "How science supports Christianity and Christianity explains science". Ethnocentric hogwash like that really grinds my gears. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's read this blog... well, ever, that I hold the same position as folks like Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, and popular bloggers Hemant Mehta and Jen McCreight: I think that science and religion are inherently in conflict and ultimately irreconcilable. Science does not support faith, and faith does not support science. Sure, a lot of non-believers think we ought to play nice, lest we alienate believers who might be allies with us on important issues like evolution. And to an extent, I do agree – we don't need to rail against religion all the time. There are times when we'd do better to cool off a bit. Keeping Biblical creationism out of public schools and ensuring a rigorous science-based education is vastly more important than our more general quarrels with religious faith, and we ought to seek common ground where we can. We can be idealists sometimes, but we have to be pragmatists sometimes too.

But that doesn't mean we should keep silent about the clash between religion and faith. Exercises in foolishness like this comedically inane conference ought to be rigorously and harshly criticized. We cannot afford to sit idly by while people muddy the lines between science and superstition. We should at least, I dunno, blog about it.


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