Just a couple of links for further discussion on topics that have been bandied about here recently.
First, The Edge features a colloquium on Jerry Coyne's piece in The New Republic, "Seeing and Believing: The Never-Ending Attempt to Reconcile Science and Religion, and Why It is Doomed to Fail," which I mentioned in my post on Darwin's anniversary. Respondents include the two authors (Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson) whose books Coyne was reviewing (and attempting to refute), along with a host of others. Historians will recognize how much of this discussion dates back to arguments during the Enlightenment which have been ongoing since. Miller warns that Coyne's stark answers will "divert those of us who cherish science from a far more urgent task, especially in America today. That is the task of defending scientific rationalism from those who, in the name of religion would subvert it beyond all recognition. In that critical struggle, Jerry, scientists who are also people of faith are critical allies, and you would do well not to turn them away."
Second, Blake Ellis, a PhD candidate at Rice, offers up his thoughts on "Can Evangelicals Be Part of a Pro-Choice Consensus." His thoughts come from his dissertation research "Texas Baptists and the Rise of the Christian Rights, 1975-1985," based on the extensive oral history collections at the Institute for Oral History at Baylor. Ellis explores the history of Texas Baptist progressive figures such as Foy Valentine and suggests why it is that "despite substantial evidence that government-funded birth control reduces the number of abortions, white evangelicals have been among its fiercest opponents." It goes nicely along with Historiann's question: "why do conservatives oppose publicly funded contraception"? Her answer: because it works.