Paul Wallace at Religion Dispatches picks his top ten peacemakers between religion and science.
This year has marked, I believe, the beginning of the end of the war between science and religion. Creationism cannot last. The New Atheists are now old (or departed). And between these camps the middle ground continues to expand.
Indeed, many folks have been hard at it, doing a new kind of peace work. Some have done it intentionally, some have not. Outliers, both atheist and religious hardliners, continue to wage battle but they look increasingly irrelevant.
Here are ten who, in small ways and large, have helped to spread seeds of peace on the blasted-out battleground of science and religion.
10. Karl Giberson, science & religion writer and former physicist, for reminding evangelicals that science is not the enemy
9. Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China, former Governor of Utah, candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination for president, for decoupling conservative politics and creationism.
8. Jon Stewart, political satirist, for shining light on American Atheists’ frivolous lawsuit against the inclusion of the Ground Zero cross in the 9/11 memorial museum.
7. Nidhal Guessoum, astrophysicist, for reminding us that, in the minds of nearly 1.6 billion people, “science and religion” does not mean “science and Christianity.”
6. Jack Templeton, surgeon, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, for bringing science into the church.
5. Chris Stedman, interfaith activist and super-swell atheist guy, for decoupling atheism from science, and for being the face of a kinder, gentler atheism.
4. Rachel Held Evans, author, speaker, blogger, for making science & religion her thing, but not her main thing.
3. All Those People Who Are Not Backing the Ark Park, for keeping the sure-to-be-divisive Ark Encounter from its scheduled August groundbreaking.
2. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, for reminding us that being ethical does not depend on belief in a personal God—nor, particularly, on science.
1. Terrence Malick, filmmaker, for reminding us that art may be the most compelling way to reconcile science & religion.