I have been told that the difference between science and religion is that science is based on fact, and religion is based on faith. As a lover of science and a devout Christian, these two passions have often butted heads. Nowhere have these two pillars elicited greater conflict in my experience, however, than as a politically conservative millennial on a college campus. And in no issue have science and religion fought harder on campuses than on the issue of climate change.
Now, if the general public had to choose the issue where science and religion caused the most strife, most may pick evolution, or abortion, or stem cell research. But faith is where science and religion intersect on the issue of climate change.
On campus, were I to even utter the words “climate change debate” in a conversation, I would immediately lose all respect. In fact, for many of those I encountered in college, especially professors, to even acknowledge any doubt on whether climate change is completely manmade would be equivalent to personally insulting them. For an intellectually curious underclassman at the time, this confused me and discouraged me from asking questions or participating in discussions.
The fact of the matter is that believing in anthropogenic climate change takes faith. There are smart, experienced scientists publishing reports and research that question the status quo on climate change, and those findings should be discussed and at the very least allowed the chance to be disproven. Shouting down and demeaning those who would dare question a scientific theory sounds more like the reaction of one whose religion is being insulted, not the reaction of a scientist eager to have their findings analyzed and proven true.