David Sloan Wilson certainly got a warm and appropriate welcome here. His first post was titled Science as a Religion that Worships Truth as its God, a phrase that purées together both “religion” and “science” with “truth” as a wickedly wielded whisk, and immediately set a number of people on edge. Eric Michael Johnson jumped on it, as did Henry Gee (I know he irritated many of the regulars here last time he dropped by, but trust me, sometimes he does say smart things). Gee, in particular, succinctly corrected the title to be “Science as a Religion that Worships Doubt as its God”, which is much better. It’s still a bit confused.
Science isn’t a religion, period. It doesn’t worship anything. Science is a toolbox, and if you must stretch the metaphor even further, doubt is the crowbar we use to get at useful answers…but again, we don’t worship the crowbar. We admire it, can ooh and aaah over a particularly well-tricked-out crowbar, and we can relish opportunities to swing it, but it never, ever assumes the role of religion in our our lives.
David Sloan Wilson is going to fit right in. He’s giving everyone an excuse to swing their crowbars.