I'm new to the site and would like to offer the following thought about why some people have difficulty accepting science over religion – davetiye although someone's bound to have already made this point:
I was questioning someone's beliefs recently and they quite rightly accused me of proselytising (because I was).
It made me realise that science is something that most people have not studied or at least not in any great depth. It's a subject most of us drop after school and only occasionally come into contact with again – maybe via the odd 'Horizon' documentary or a popular science book, or worse, a scare story in the Daily Mail…
To ask a "believer" to accept scientific "truth" is as much a leap of faith for them as accepting Jesus into their lives, or whichever God they happen to feel attracted to. Although we atheists might think them wrong, they have constructed a certain framework of belief and have come to understand their lives in relation to this framework. Why should they drop their comfy belief for what would essentially be a new, less familiar one?
I know Dawkins is trying to provoke discussion and argument and not trying to change everyone into a rational scientist so I'm glad that there's now a discussion about religion vs atheism, but unless a religious person studies science or already has doubts about their belief then I can't see many believers suddenly "seeing the light" and dropping their 'faith'. I suppose this is why it's so important to ensure that schools teach science and not "Intelligent design"!
Anyway, be interested to read what others think