On a recent call-in to The Atheist Experience, a woman went on a rather interesting discussion. The topic was posted as “Atheist Evangelism” and the caller was interested in learning about Atheism (Part I, Part II). Try as I might, I do not think it is possible to really console people in this type of situation. I don’t even know what it means to be looking for the truth, these days. Science is the effective word we use for the results of experimentally showing patterns in our world, but it shows no truth. Gravity is not truth; evolution is not truth; geologic time is not truth.
Meanings for the word truth extend from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular.
– Wikipedia Truth
To be chasing after the truth is to follow science into the darkness of our understanding without regard for one’s personal beliefs, so I don’t know if I can connect with the concept of science being of a similar thread to religion. Science is a pursuit of knowledge, not truth. Science and its methods provide tools to us to help weed out the lies, and all of the synonyms, but the facts that it finds are not always truth. They are more steps toward truth, but you can never know everything about anything. We take small steps forward in the process of learning. Newton didn’t solve everything with his equations, and no matter who we put that faith into within the scientific realm, it isn’t in that person or the results of that person. We trust in the scientific method and its ability to provide reliable results. We trust in the scientific method to provided OBJECTIVE results. We trust in the scientific method to be able to make predictions about the world around us.
In this regard it can be fairly said that I put faith in science, but it is a loose application of the term. It is in no way the same as when a religious person shares their devotion and faith to Christ or Muhammad or their god(s). Maybe one day this argument will not be had and the views that many atheist’s I know share will be common knowledge. I look forward to that day, and hope that when my lack of belief is not questioned it is before hell has frozen over.