This panel discussion took place
The thing that troubles me most about this discussion is the general agreement that "science" is nothing more than learning about physics, astronomy, chemistry, geology and biology. I think "science" is a way of knowing that includes absolutely everything; english, history, music, sociology and whatever. Real knowledge ("truth") in any of these subjects can only come from applying scientific methodology based on evidence and rationality coupled to a healthy degree of skepticism.
The discussion about whether science should confront religion is particularly interesting. Ann Druyan was the wife of Carl Sagan and she helped produce Cosmos. She claims that science has a wonderful story of its own to tell and there's no need to criticize religion. In fact, it's counter-productive to do so.
Ms. Druyan suggests that Sagan's description of science in Cosmos is the best way to sell science to the general public. She says that the TV series is still being shown frequently on television even though it was made in 1980.
To me that raises an obvious question. Thinking scientifically, I can't help but ask the obvious question. If this was such an effective way to communicate science how come after 29 years it hasn't had much effect on science literacy in the USA? Shouldn't we be basing our claims about science education on evidence and not on wishful thinking?