Ah, but you see the "how" and the "why" have been historically fused into one question until our tools for finding knowledge were sharpened enough to separate them. This separation is very profound in the history of science and philosophy- the Greeks were some of the first western thinkers to ask scientific questions and let's not forget that mathematic inquiry, the result of philosophy, is what eventually gave birth to the hard sciences and attempt to describe the universe deductively. I don't see the meaning in even considering the "how" and "why" function or non-function of science or religion because to me this discussion isn't about the validity of science, which I acknowledge as a fact-producing process, it's about whether or not science can serve as a replacement for religion and more importantly on a larger scale could religion and science be wedded concepts considering the mutual necessary conditions that they share. The answer is meaningful because it contributes to either the inflation of the deflation of the popular science movements against religion. If there's any question of whether or not this movement exists, ask and I will provide examples. I understand that you believe that they are distinct terms based on the function of each, but to the religious person the how and why are often synonymous.
This is an interesting and highly complex argument, IMO, which goes beyond philosophy and into politics. Aside from the Hawking/Dawkins perspective, I haven't heard much of a "published" push for science to replace/supplant religion. OTOH, I don't see why the religious and scientific philosophies could not be wedded as long as their realms of understanding were clearly defined as I've specified before, or somehow similarly.
What concerns me is the political side of this argument. Seems that most of the conflict of science vs. religion has stemmed from organized religion (a very different thing from religion alone) feeling its power/interests/finances threatened by the free will presumably offered by science-based materialism. This argument usually takes the form of religion providing all moral direction, the removal of which will corrupt society. There's a long history of this type of conflict, going back to Galileo, and it is not dissimilar from Socrates', and, paradoxically, Jesus' persecutions.
I may be a bit controversial here, but I think the reason why religious people see the how and why as synonymous lies with the social brainwashing of organized religion to reduce capacity for critical thought. This relates directly to the links you posted in response to Gerry.
Read the article quoted by the article you quoted (haha), which attempts to stir up new debate over evolution based on the misrepresentation of a (IMO mistaken) competing alternative to natural selection disproving evolution:
http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story. ... 177&page=1
Its got such memorable quotes as:
"In light of the controversy over evolution, it is important to possess a sound understanding of Church teaching concerning the origin of man, for there are some aspects of the theory of evolution which intrude upon Catholic doctrine, and, as a result, can be the cause of serious errors in understanding. Although the Church herself is, of course, not directly involved in scientific study, she nevertheless is the authoritative transmitter of God's revelation, and therefore provides the faithful with the certainty of God's revealed truth as it relates to the origin of humankind."
Read: we know what happened but cannot explain it. All we know is that the mechanism of evolution is wrong.
"Total Evolution -- also termed material evolution -- is a theory which assumes the eternal existence of uncreated matter, and posits that all living creatures emerged from it through a process of evolution. Such a theory is incompatible with God's revealed truth, for we know that God indeed created the material universe and all the matter within it from nothing. The notion that uncreated matter exists without a point of beginning, uncaused and without origin, stretching infinitely into the past is pure nonsense."
Again, science has no bearing on the creation of the universe, per se. Even the big bang theory can't explain WHY the big bang happened.
"Evolutionism is a theory which posits that everything in the universe, including the spirit or soul, is explained by a development from lower to higher orders, or from simple to complex. Evolutionism is a theory which posits that everything in the universe, including the spirit or soul, is explained by a development from lower to higher orders, or from simple to complex. Evolutionism holds that the human soul"
Misrepresentation of evolution- it requires heritable information with a variance of fitness. Material does not evolve. Living organisms do. Science has no bearing on what a soul even is, and no scientist would argue that it does. Organized religions misrepresent science to protect their power.
"F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever have. He is managing editor of catholicpathways.com, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online."
Self-explanatory. Gifts received are highly relative, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Why do you wonder that an evolutionary biologist would take issue with this website? These are clear misrepresentations of evolutionary biology simply because it disproves the literal translation of the bible. Organized religion acts to protect its interests, at the cost of its followers freedom and critical thought. The issue isn't with spirituality or religion, but with the means by which organized religion controls its followers.
I think this is a pretty heavy point that supports my criticism of scientist zealots like the one that I just posted...the fact that scientists themselves are often so hateful toward one another (anyone remember the posts about Burbrink's rat snake phylogeny?) shows that peace isn't necessarily found in science and neither is happiness or wisdom...but there sure seems to be a lot of dissension and childish hand waving.
Nobody ever said peace/happiness was found in science. Again, this is a wisdom/truth vs. reality argument that misrepresents the goals of science. The goal of science is to determine the mechanisms of the universe, not make anyone feel good about the results. As such, science has NEVER attempted to replace religion (aside from the money-grubbing arguments of Dawkins et al), but has been accused of doing so by various organized religions concerned about losing their power over the public.
Confusion of the how/why argument (as you stated before) lies in the FAILURE of scientists to adequately educate everyone else (with interference from organized religion, of course). That may sound like indoctrination to some, but its really not because the basis of science is critical thought. Critical thinking gives people the freedom to make up their own minds, not be stonewalled into one or another argument by anyone, spiritual leader or ivory-tower scientist alike. That philosophy is apparent in what you call "dissension": the arguments/debates in science as seen here represent the active voices of critical thinkers unwilling to accept the evidence someone else has propped up as the basis for some conclusion. This may not appear to be a rewarding, happy experience, but the goal is to find the "most correct" answer. As such, scientific principles themselves evolve as new data become available.
Science is a means to an end. Not a way of life. Religion is a way of life. Confusion of the two result from manipulation by organized religion, and from fraudulent scientists seeking to make easy money.