Here’s more of the imperishable Henry’s lucubrations about accommodationism. This passage is from pp. 306-309 of Minority Report: H. L. Mencken’s Notebooks. I guess Millikan and Eddington were the Francis Collinses of their day.
Mencken’s first sentence is just as true now as it was decades ago. And the arguments for accommodationism are unchanged as well: note the NOMAism and reference to “god of the gaps.”
“… The only real way to reconcile science and religion is to set up something that is not science and something that is not religion. This is done with great earnestness by Robert A. Millikan, A. S. Eddington and other such hopeful men—all of them bred so deeply in the faith that they have been unable to shake it off in their later years, despite their training in scientific method and their creditable professional use of it. The thing that Millikan describes as Christianity is simply a vague sort of good will to men: it has little more objective reality in the world than abstract justice or the love of God. And the thing that he describes as science is so halting and timorous that it is quite as unreal. The notion that science does not concern itself with origins and causes—that it leaves that field to theology or metaphysics, and confines itself to mere effects—this notion is surely quite unsound. If it could, science would explain the origin of life on earth at once — and there is every reason to believe that it will do so on some not too remote tomorrow. To argue that the gaps in knowledge which still confront the seeker must be filled, not by patient inquiry, but by intuition or revelation, is simply to give ignorance a gratuitous and preposterous dignity. When a man so indulges himself it is only to confess that, to that extent at least, he is not a scientist at all, but a theologian. This is precisely what Millikan, Eddington and their like come to. They reconcile science and religion by the sorry device of admitting, however cautiously, that the latter is somehow superior to the former, and is thus entitled to all territories that remain unoccupied. All they really prove is that a man may be a competent astronomer or physicist and yet no scientist, just as Blind Tom was a competent pianist without being a musician.
“Nor is there any more validity in the position of that other school of reconcilers (it is led at the moment by J. Arthur Thomson, the English zoologist, but really goes back to Max Muller), which teaches that science and religion address themselves to quite different faculties, the former to the intellect and the latter to the emotions, and that they are thus independent, and equally entitled to respect. Here, unfortunately, the psychology is very dubious. It must be manifest that even the most instinctive of emotions, in adult human beings, owes something to the intellect, and it must be equally manifest that no intellectual process can ever be wholly devoid of an emotional element. So much, indeed, is a commonplace to every schoolboy: the Freudian gospel has carried it, along with a great deal of racy nonsense, from end to end of the world. The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way. Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality, and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation, and that this fear, on the same principle, proves that there is nothing beyond the grave. Such childish “proofs” are typically theological, and they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents.”