Sorry for misquoting, I wrote that message before going to bed, actually in bed... I won't do that anymore!

A Lurker, you said: "I?m sorry Marc P, but they just DO NOT MIX."

Well many many people think as you do. I've just dug up an article on this very subject in my stack of "The Sciences" magazines from a few years back. Interesting reading where you have both sides of the debate.

You said: " The reason that they don?t mix ? ever - is that the METHOD itself of the search of the truth is so fundamentally different.... There may be scientists who are religious. But if they mix religion with their work, they are not adhering to scientific methods."

I totally agree with you on the fundamental difference about the method. What I'm saying is not that you should incorporate religious beliefs into scientific data or that you should use the core method of religion, which is "revelation" and oppose it to the scientific method, which is systematic skepticism. What I'm saying is that you can be an intelligent human being (even very intelligent), even a scientist and still have faith. The concept that you have to be stupid to have faith (I'm not saying you said this, but the idea was included in someone else's posts as a quote) is usually based on a stereotypical and simplistic concept of blind mindless faith that I referred to as "Mrs Smith's Sunday school classes".

You said: "And also; the comment of how little religious knowledge atheists have. Oh, please. This is just plain dumb. Why would an atheist not take interest in religious matters?"

What I was referring to (maybe not very skillfully) was the impression I get that when certain people (atheists or otherwise) refer to faith or religion, they seem to convey the idea (in my mind anyway) that to have faith and to practice religion, you have to blindly and mindlessly believe, for example, that the world was created in 6 days just as it is written in the Bible. Although some people of faith do believe this and many more did in earlier centuries, a very small proportion of them still do today. The bible creation stories were never intended as an empirically correct account of what went on at the time of creation. They are simply faith affirmations (basically, God is the origin of everything that exists) using what common knowledge was available at the time the texts were written (700 BC). By saying this, I'm not denying my faith, I'm simply using my god-given intelligence to better understand it and there's nothing "un-christian" about that.

You said:
"In reply to my post you said:
?Glad we're sticking to the issues and the science here!?

I'm just surprised at the level of personal insults here. I'm not saying that I didn't fan the flame a bit (my two first posts were written with my mind half awake... won't do that anymore!), but I don't see how personal insults contribute to debating the issue at hand.

Marc P.