As it happened, I listened to the podcast featuring Russell Blackford just after hearing this one with Chris Mooney. While I understood and appreciated Mr. Mooney’s views with regard to the need to bring “moderate” believers to the defense of science and science education given just the sheer numbers of such folk in the U.S., hearing Mr. Blackford helped remind me that distortion of science and the promulgation of scientific ignorance is just the tippy tip of the iceberg when it comes to belief-generated harm to humankind.
Therefore, I too, cheer everyone who speaks out vigorously against supernatural superstition, and if they/we sometimes upset some people by so doing, I believe such is the cost of progress.
Both diplomatic and more strident approaches are necessary given current circumstances, and in the long run only both approaches will produce the needed results.
The only excesses I would criticize or censure when it comes to debate over this most important public issue are those of fundamental lack of civility or of gross vulgarity/ignorance. To my knowledge, none of the “Four Horsemen,” for example, all of whom are very articulate and civilized gentlemen, have EVER exceeded those bounds, except in the minds of those with exceedingly thin skins.
Some of the sniping back and forth between Mr. Mooney and his critics, however, may be another thing…