Oh, how I hate this stupid question:
Many popular scientists are atheist, so why are they so happy to use the misty-eyed language of religion?
Check your assumptions, journalist. Why do you associate feelings of wonder and awe with fucking religion? Look at the stuff she quotes from prominent scientists: it has nothing to do with religion, except that religion has spent millennia appropriating these ideas.
It’s ironic that the public engagement with the science crowd is so pro-wonder, because they’re so anti-religion. "All the great religions have a place for awe, for ecstatic transport at the wonder and beauty of creation," writes Richard Dawkins. "And it’s exactly this feeling of spine-shivering, breath-catching awe – almost worship – this flooding of the chest with ecstatic wonder, that modern science can provide."
"I’m an atheist," said maths professor Marcus du Sautoy when he took up the Charles Simonyi chair in the public understanding of science at Oxford. "But for me the important thing is the wonder of science." Advocates for science can’t seem to give up on religion’s selling points: the awe, transcendence, and worship.
Notice what the godbots have managed to do: they have taken a child’s delight in the natural world, stolen it, and said, “Awe belongs to god; you aren’t thrilled with dandelion fluff, stars in the sky, or the leap of an antelope, you’re really feeling ecstasy at gods and the supernatural.”
That’s a lie. The scientists are taking back a stolen joy and placing it where it belongs: in our universe, in our natural world, in us. The journalists should be asking instead how we got so duped that we take it for granted that we’re worshipping an invisible man when we find happiness in a clear warm sky and the scent of grass on the wind and a calm sense of our place on Earth.
That isn’t the language of religion. The language of religion is dominion, tribalism, ignorance, and fear.