Did you see the discussion between Richard Dawkins and Jonathan Sacks; "Rosh Hashanah: Science v Religion", 11:15 pm, BBC1, Wednesday 12 September 2012?
This was a very interesting and amiable discussion between two very intelligent men of goodwill. However, it ended on a note of false harmony that reminded me of the written 'agreement' between Chamberlain and Hitler immediately prior to World War 2. The only difference was that, in this case, both parties were being suckered into believing they had achieved 'peace in our time', not just the one.
During the discussion, Dawkins accepted that the application of science is capable of doing as much harm as religion. He affirmed that " Science can be hideously misused. Indeed, if you want to do terrible things, you need to use science to do it ---". Straight into the philosophical trap of confusing 'means' with 'motivation'. Yes, science has provided the means to inflect hell-fire and brimstone on one's enemies but religion has often provided the motivation to do so. The 'Social Darwinism' that, to a degree, underwrote the misdeeds of the Third Reich was the exception that proves the rule. Admittedly, this was a genuine motivational misuse of 'science'. However, it was not just a misuse of science; it was also a misinterpretation of science. It was incorrect science. So-called 'Social Darwinism' interprets the evolutionary theory, incorrectly, as meaning that nature works on the principle of 'the survival of the fittest'. The word 'fittest' in the last sentence is the usual one; the strongest, the best, the ones that can vanquish the weak. Natural Selection doesn't use the word 'fittest' in this way. In Natural Selection, the fittest refers to the individuals best suited to surviving and reproducing in the relevant environment. This makes all the difference since the ability to cooperate becomes at least as important as the ability to enforce. There is nothing truly Darwinian in so-called Social Darwinism. Dawkins is, of course, well aware of this. He should have ensured that the distinction was apparent to Sacks and thus cleared correct science - unlike correct religion - of the charge that it has ever been implicated in the motivation of harm.
During the programme, Sachs said "Belief in god doesn't require a suspension of our critical faculties". However he also said "My view is that god made us in his own image. He marked us out from other animals by giving us freewill, morality and conscience". I suggest that the claim of the first of these three sentences is 'called out' by the second and third sentences. Faith always involves a suspension of one's critical faculties. Of course, theologians can argue with each-other about the real meaning of bits of scripture; and that requires them to engage their intellect. However, this always takes place within the questionable epistemology of an unquestioning faith.
This brings us to the nub of the matter. At the end of the programme, Sachs claims that he and Dawkins have agreed that they can collaborate in a common pursuit of truth for the common good. He speaks of a breakthrough; even "an epiphany". Poppycock! However well-meaning and charming the proponents, science will never be able to cooperate with those that pursue truth with a methodology, an epistemology, that is based on faith rather than evidence. Sorry; no deal!