On science and/vs philosophy: I consider both science and philosophy to be intellectually serious disciplines, with much to tell to each other. Just in the way I have little patience for scientists who are ignorant and/or dismissive of philosophy, I have little patience for philosophers who are ignorant of and/or dismiss science.
On what counts as knowledge: I distinguish between disciplines / approaches that contribute to our knowledge (in the intellectual sense of the term) and those that contribute to our understanding (both of that knowledge and of life in general). The first group includes science, philosophy, logic and math, and I use the above mentioned umbrella term scientia for it, from the Latin word meaning “knowledge” in the broad sense. The second group includes literature, the arts and other humanities. The relationship between the two groups is helped / mediated by bridge areas, such as history and social science. I don’t pretend this to be the ultimate model of human knowledge / understanding, it is simply my constructive way to push for what I see as a healthy disciplinary pluralism.
On ethics and morality: I think ethics is a branch of philosophy that has to be informed by factual evidence (“science”) as much as possible, but I do think there is a pretty serious distinction between “is” and “ought” (despite some permeability of that famous boundary). I do think science can and does illuminate the origins (evolution) and the material basis (neurobio) of ethical thinking. Just like it can illuminate the origins and neural basis of mathematical thinking, without this resulting in the treatment of mathematics as a branch of evolutionary or neuro-biology.
On the nature of science: I think science is a particular type of historically situated epistemic-social enterprise, and that to attempt to enlarge its domain to encompass “reason” as a whole is historically, sociologically and intellectually misguided, and it does a disservice to science itself.
On religion and the New Atheism: I am an atheist, and I am not shy about criticizing religion. But I like to do that in what I perceive as an intellectually honest and rigorous way. I am clearly not above harshly criticizing other people’s positions, but I try to do it constructively. My problem with the New Atheism is that there is little new in it, that it tends to be more loud than constructive, and that it has a tendency toward science-worshiping. Oh, and I think I have a right (perhaps even an intellectual duty) to criticize big boys who I think need to be criticized.
On atheism and social issues: I do not believe that atheism entails much else other than a (eminently reasonable!) negative metaphysical position (i.e., the denial of the idea that we have good reasons to believe in supernatural entities). As such, I am skeptical of “Atheism+” sort of efforts when they go beyond the obviously germane issue of separation of Church and State and the like. Of course, I do agree with many of the progressive social goals that are pushed by PZ, Coyne and others. I just think we have already been doing that for a long time under the banner of (the philosophy of) secular humanism — so it's another example of people appearing to think they’ve come up with something new while they are in fact simply placing their label onto something that others have been doing (quite well) for a long time.
This has been far too long. ‘Till the next one, folks.