Chris Mooney is at it again. This time he address the question What Should Science Organizations Say About Religion? Answer: A Lot.
It's the accommodationist debate all over again although this time it's more focused. What should scientific organizations say about the compatibility of science and religion? It seems like an question with an obvious answer. Since there is considerable debate about whether science and religion are compatible then there can't be a definitive answer. Why would any scientific organization claim that science and religion are compatible? It's not a scientific question and it's not a true statement. The correct statement is that philosophers are debating the issue. It may be true that science and religion are compatible or it may be true that science and religion are not compatible. That's all that scientific organizations should say.
Chris Mooney thinks that scientific organizations should not tell the truth. He says that in the interest of American politics these organizations should lie about the compatibility issue. They should say that science and religion are compatible. It's called "framing."
I call it lying.
Aware of this context, groups like the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) take a stance likely to help some religious believers reject what they’ve been told from the pulpit, and move toward a more moderate stance on science and religion–in essence, from anti-science fundamentalism to middle-ground reconciliationism. To this end, NCSE states something factually true and indeed, undeniable: that not every religious person thinks science and religion are incompatible.Wow! According to this kind of "framing," science is compatible with Young Earth Creationism because it's undeniable that there are YEC's who are scientists. There are actual living breathing human beings who have no problem reconciling science and Genesis. I wonder if Chris Mooney would be comfortable if NCSE and NAS declared that science is compatible with the Bible?
The veracity of this statement is not really open to debate. The issue here is simply whether such people exist, and of that there’s no doubt whatsoever. In this blunt factual sense, at least, science and religion are compatible–they are reconciled all the time by actual living, breathing human beings. You might take issue with the logical basis for such reconciliation in a particular mind, but you can’t deny that it happens regularly.
Of course he wouldn't. Chris Mooney only wants scientific organizations to lie according to his version of reality.