Hey guess what the war is over!
This year has marked, I believe, the beginning of the end of the war between science and religion. Creationism cannot last. The New Atheists are now old (or departed). And between these camps the middle ground continues to expand.
Has it all, doesn’t it. The air of easy omniscience, the disdain for atheists, the gloating at the death of one particular atheist, the false dichotomy, the warm uncritical affection for the middle ground, the stupid assumption that it’s “extreme” (not to mention old, or dead) to think science and religion are not in every way compatible.
Indeed, many folks have been hard at it, doing a new kind of peace work. Some have done it intentionally, some have not. Outliers, both atheist and religious hardliners, continue to wage battle but they look increasingly irrelevant.
Yup, there it is again: marginalize those atheists, lump those atheists in with religious fundamentalists, declare the enemy irrelevant.
Here are ten who, in small ways and large, have helped to spread seeds of peace on the blasted-out battleground of science and religion.
10. Karl Giberson, science & religion writer and former physicist, for reminding evangelicals that science is not the enemy
And who took a lot of grief from evangelicals as a result – but Paul Wallace omits to mention that.
6. Jack Templeton, surgeon, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, for bringing science into the church
And the church into science, but Paul Wallace omits to mention that.
5. Chris Stedman, interfaith activist and super-swell atheist guy, for decoupling atheism from science, and for being the face of a kinder, gentler atheism
This year saw the softening of the atheist universe. Perhaps the Four Horsemen came out hard because they had to, but in their wake have emerged atheists who are more interested in dialogue and shared values than in pounding the snot out of other people’s notions of God.
Kinder, gentler than what? Well, than those Other atheists, of course, the one who pound the snot out of everything. That seems to be almost the whole point of this super-swell interfaith atheism: to carve atheism into two pieces and claim the Good, Kind, Gentle, Non-snot-pounding piece for oneself while implying (in a super-swell deniable sort of way, of course) that the people in the other part are mean belligerent shits.
Maybe the war isn’t over after all.