leap to mind when we consider making peace with an old foe, ultimate
success depends on identifying not where each side is wrong, but where
each is right. Seeing some good in others doesn't mean blinding
ourselves to what's wrong, and harping on the latter is no way to make
Current attacks on religion are ignoring the fact that it
got some very big things right. However, religion must acknowledge that
its spokesmen have repeatedly failed to distinguish between its great
discoveries and its mistakes.
Not only have some religious
leaders ignored compelling evidence, but they, like the leaders of
secular institutions, have all too often failed to live up to the
standards of behavior they espouse.
Paradoxically, science makes
even more mistakes than religion; but it saves itself by being quicker
to recognize and correct them. Niels Bohr, the father of atomic physics,
ascribed his breakthroughs to "making my mistakes faster than others."
difference between science and religion is not that one has "babies" in
its bath water and the other doesn't. The difference is that science
drains its dirty bath water faster, leaving its gleaming babies for all
Science gives us reason to think we can vanquish
famine, disease, and poverty. Religion heralds "peace on Earth, goodwill
toward men." Neither of these venerable institutions can deliver on its
promise without help from the other, but together there is reason to
hope that they can.