...the data is that science and religion coexist nearly all the time – most of those who support scientific views are religious.
And herein lies the heart of the confusion, and I can't believe that folks like Wilkins are still putting their fingers in their ears and saying "Lalalalalala I can't hear you." What us non-accomodationists mean when we say that science and religion are not compatible is not an empirical claim -- it is a philosophical claim. Ultimately there are empirical underpinnings that drive this philosophy, but in the end it is a philosophical claim.
And what is that claim? We are asserting that two epistemologies which consistently yield different results for the same truth claims are inherently incompatible. By definition. That is how we are defining the word "compatible" -- for two epistemologies to be compatible, they must usually yield the same or similar answers to the central questions they seek to answer.
Given that definition, there is of course vast empirical support for the contention that science and religion -- and in this case, I mean "religion" to signify a collection of histories and dogma, rather than a vague notion of spirituality or our good old friend apophatic theology or anything -- are not "compatible". We can see time and time again that they yield different values for the same truth claims. Was Jesus born of a virgin? Science says this is impossible2, Christianity says it is true. Did Mohammed ascend into heaven on the backs of winged horses? Science says no, Islam says yes. Are there beings known as avatars running around on earth appearing human but wielding supernatural powers? Science assumes no without extreme proof, Hinduism assumes it must be true because some dusty old books said so.
The accomodationists typically ignore this line of argumentation altogether, and simply point out that lots of people believe in both science and religion. We know that. I'm so tired of hearing that repeated like it is a refutation of the philosophical claim of incompatibility. It would be like if somebody was trying to argue that music piracy was wrong, and the rebuttal was "but so many people do it!" So what? Yes, we agree, many people simultaneously subscribe to incompatible epistemologies, and the human mind has proved impressively deft at reconciling and dealing with this. There's a reason the idea of doublethink in 1984 was so plausible -- we all already do this, all the time.
That goes for me, too, and Larry Moran, and PZ Myers, and Richard Dawkins, and Josh Rosenau, and every other homo sapiens on this planet. We all engage in a bit of doublethink now and then. Some of us do it more than others, but anybody who denies ever doing it is a liar or a fool. Whether it's rationalizing a minor ethical lapse, convincing yourself that a recent expensive purchase was the right choice, or devotion to a family member even when a cold calculating approach might dictate otherwise... holding contradictory positions is part of being human, and that's okay.
This does not mean that if a particular set of contradictory positions is held by a large number of people that we are forced to stop saying they are contradictory, or else we are being "unscientific" by ignoring the empirical data. That's just inane beyond all comprehension. Yes, absolutely, lots of people are both scientific and religious. This empirical claim is beyond a doubt. The philosophical claim that the two epistemologies are incompatible is a whole separate issue. Care to debate that one, accomodationists? Or do you find the strawman you've constructed too tempting?
1After re-reading Rosenau's original post, I have decided that in one respect he was right on the money: Far too much of the accomodationism debate has centered around who picked the fight. Was it the accomodationists when Mooney et al started saying that Coyne et al were damaging the fight for science education? Or was it Coyne et al when they harshly criticized the NCSE for their stance on science/religion compatibility? I have an opinion about this, but on this point I think Rosenau is right: Who fucking cares. There have been so many shots fired at this point that it is irrelevant who started it. As a result, I regret having commented about that in my original post, and have struck it out.
2Yes, I realize that some people have made the claim that science cannot comment on the truth or falsity of individual claims of supernatural events in the distant past, because there is no way to repeat the experiment or observe it or what have you. Hogwash. By that some logic, science cannot comment on the truth or falsity of the claim that "the sun will rise tomorrow". Nobody has observed that, we can't perform the experiment right now... but I think it's clear that science can say that, in all likelihood, the sun will rise tomorrow, with such a degree of confidence to be essentially true. By the same token, science can properly assert that a virgin homo sapiens cannot become pregnant, with such a degree of confidence that the proposition is essentially false.