POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN THE GUARDIAN
Science indeed has been a remarkable success at explaining our world. The progress in the last 500 years is astounding.
Religion has succeeded in explaining nothing. Its devotees pretend that it exists in a spiritual world, but we have no idea what that is.
Not only that, but since there are hundreds of religions, there is not even one consistent idea of the spiritual world.
Religion undoubtedly started as a primitive attempt to explain the world, but its explanations do not change or progress as do the explanations of science.
This fact is viewed by devotees as unchanging truth rather than the intellectual dead end that it truly is.
Of course, even the best scientist may have a private life of rich in superstition. As long as the superstitions don't cross over, no one cares.
But they do sometimes cross over, and that's when they deserve our condemnation. The current raging popularity of 'creationism' in the United States is certainly an instance of this, a clear and ridiculous attempt to use science as explaining a belief.
Religion earns our contempt with this sort of thing. Keep it in your churches and temples, and truly no one cares what you believe. Drag it into science or government, and you become an enemy of free thought and democratic values.