[Comment on “Keep Religion out of National Space Policy”] Guidelines for writing about science and religion



When scientists write about the relation between science and religion, I suggest they follow four principles: (1) Be accurate in statements of fact and in the use of terminology; (2) use examples that are germane to the issue at hand; (3) provide conclusions that follow logically from the given premises and discussion; and (4) acknowledge that the practice of science has its own dogma.

Scientists routinely follow the first three principles when writing their science reports. But a recent Eos article on science and religion [Carter, 2006] violated these three principles. It is important to discuss how scientists sometimes err in statements on religion because nonscientists will detect any errors and will conclude that scientists cannot make a rational case for their position.