Poles of the Conflict Model Are Self-Reinforcing
The conflict model of the relation between science and religion is polar, with doctrinaire religious people at one pole and adherents of evangelical atheism at the other. Each time one stakes out an even more extreme position, it elicits, in almost Pavlovian stimulus-response fashion, an equally extreme rejoinder.
Take, for example, Carol Iannone’s piece in NRO, taking a recent set of book reviews by Jerry Coyne as a jumping-off point. And, boy, does Carol jump.
Remember this when you see a version of Inherit the Wind, with its fradulent implication that the Bible and Darwin are perfectly compatible, and its closing scene with the Clarence Darrow character exiting happily with both in his briefcase. Generations of schoolchildren have been misled by this lie. Now at last we have the truth and can begin again to build on that.
According to the polar extremes, any middle ground doesn’t actually exist, so one may as well migrate to a pole right now… the one the particular person writing happens to reside at being the only reasonable choice, of course.