Jason Rosenhouse has an excellent post on the science ‘n’ faith panel at the World Science Festival.
He notes that Chad Orzel says, “The simple fact is that people with fixed and absolute views do not make for an interesting conversation,” and comments
Right, because it’s only New Atheists that have fixed and absolute viewpoints. When someone like Francisco Ayala writes,
I contend that both — scientists denying religion and believers rejecting science — are wrong. Science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.
there is nothing fixed or absolute in his views? To declare bluntly that any conception of the science and religious dispute different from his own is an improper (as opposed to merely different) view is every bit as absolute as anything the New Atheists say.
And he gets to say it louder than most of us, thanks to the Templeton Prize. Not because he wrote a book that appealed to a lot of people, as several of the New Atheists did, but because Templeton gave him its prize. Templeton gave him its prize because he could be relied on to say things that Templeton wants said – in other words, because his view is pretty fixed and absolute.