When asked what he finds interesting or surprising, Victor Stenger responded "I find it surprising that most scientists, believers and nonbelievers alike, refuse to apply their critical thinking skills to matters of religion:"
The rationale usually given by those who reject any role for science on religious matters is that science concerns itself, "by definition," solely with natural phenomena. Since the supernatural is unobservable, then, they assert, science has nothing to say about it.
However, while supernatural entities may not be directly observable, any effects these entities might have on the material world should manifest themselves as observable phenomena. Anything observable is subject to scientific inquiry. On the other hand, if the supernatural has no observable effects on the natural world, then why even worry about it?
Stenger concludes with the observation that "scientists and science organizations are being disingenuous when they say science can say nothing about the supernatural:"
They know better. Their policy of appeasing religion for presumably political reasons only empowers those who are muddling education and polluting public policy with anti-scientific magical thinking.
Jerry Coyne replies:
Can anybody really deny that? They do know better, or if they don't, they're dumb.
I wouldn't attribute this faith-driven blindness to an intellectual deficiency, but rather insufficient self-awareness. We all have blind spots, but it's odd that theists' blind spot is something so central to their psychological being.