There are those whose views about religion are not very different from my own, but who nevertheless feel that we should try to damp down the conflict, that we should compromise it. … I respect their views and I understand their motives, and I don’t condemn them, but I’m not having it. To me, the conflict between science and religion is more important than these issues of science education or even environmentalism. I think the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief; and anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.
He made this comment at his Beyond Belief speech in 2006, in response to many fellow scientists there expressing worry that aggressive, anti-theistic types of atheism are wasting their time and not focusing on real issues like science education. Well, I’m with Weinberg on this one - if you want to spread knowledge of science then you must want to spread the truth. And from a scientific point of view, the truth about the universe is not to be found in 2000 year old books. Science must stay separate from religion, and the fact that it calls for evidence for every knowledge claim about the universe, means that science is anti-theistic in it’s very nature. The amount of scientific understanding we have today rules out the possibility of the god’s of the main religions undoubtedly, and so belief in them cannot enter the territory of science.
Not only should science stay separate from religion, but it should also do human civilisation a favour by voicing it’s condemnation of holding non-evidence, faith based beliefs as facts about the universe.