I very much admire Jerry Coyne's article on science vs religion in The New Republic [see: Jerry Coyne on Science vs. Religion]. There's been some discussion on The Edge where participants are asked to address the question Does the empirical nature of science contradict the revelatory nature of faith?.
Timothy Sandefur discusses Coyne's article and the various commnents on his blog Freespace [The future of science teetering on the Edge]. He does such a good job that you should all hop over there as soon as possible and read what he has to say.
Timothy points out that the debate is really about ways of knowing. Can we obtain valid information using the scientific way of knowing? Yes we can. This is rationalism, in my terminology.
Can we obtain valid information using faith as a way of knowing? No we can't. This is superstition and it is the opposite of rationalism.
Is it possible to simultaneously practice both ways of knowing? Here's part of the response by Timothy Sandefur.
Keep the issue in mind: the question is not whether it is possible for someone simultaneously to hold unproven, baseless beliefs about a supernatural dimension and scientific, reasoned conclusions with regard to observed phenomena. It is possible for all sorts of people to believe all sorts of things—just as Humpty Dumpty practiced every day believing six impossible things before breakfast. But it is not possible to do these things and still have intellectual integrity. It requires instead intellectual dis-integration: the skill (if it can be called a skill) of not thinking about the possible connections between the phenomena of the universe. That is, it requires precisely the opposite effort that science requires. It requires one not to think. Alas, as Coyne observes, this effort is officially endorsed by many organizations motivated by political expediency:It's nice to see a lawyer making sense.It is in [scientists’] personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict. But their main evidence—the existence of religious scientists—is wearing thin as scientists grow ever more vociferous about their lack of faith.But it’s not just that there aren’t as many religious scientists as some claim. It’s the fact that these two ways of knowing are and always have been, incompatible by their nature, and that those who pledge allegiance to both are either dishonest or simply wrong.