Teeny weeny elfin godlings
I like the way David Barash puts the matter.
the National Academy of Sciences came out with a report titled Science and Creationism, which stated that “…science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience. Demanding that they be combined detracts from the glory of each.”
Pace the National Academy of Sciences, however, I do not demand that “science and religion be combined”—quite the opposite. Rather, let’s acknowledge the truth: Science and religion overlap substantially, notably whenever religion makes “truth claims” about the world. And when that happens, time and again, religion has a long track record of being simply and irretrievably wrong.
That’s good, isn’t it. It’s not that they ought to be combined, it’s that they do overlap. And when they do overlap, religion gets it wrong. That sums it up nicely, and cuts through the usual nonsense.
NOMA is merely another version of “God of the gaps” thinking, which employs the deity as needed to plug the temporary vacancies in our science-generated knowledge. It seems to me that this is neither good science nor good theology, since—in the first case—reliance on the supernatural is simply inconsistent with anything remotely approaching a scientific world-view, and, in the second, such a God would necessarily shrink as our science-based knowledge grows, so that eventually, we’ll be left with a bunch of teeny weeny elfin godlings crammed into an oddly distributed array of little cavities in our otherwise expanding knowledge.
That sounds like the homunculus in the buttocks! In more ways than one.