He is also a Christian minister, who contends that there is no real conflict between religion and science, citing the writings and views of Saint Augustine as a guide on melding the two.
From the man himself:
Whom do we thank for over two thousand years of scientific advancement? Aristotle and his translators. University founders. Museum builders. Field surveyors employed by governments. Did religious folks help? Of course.
These don't seem to go along at all with what you are saying, they support my position. The only part that is even close to what you and the OP are saying is when he called all of the "what if" questions "silly." If he means they are silly in the sense that he easily proved them wrong then you are correct. If he means they are silly because all such "what if" questions are silly, then you are wrong. I don't see why anyone would waste time trying to publicly disprove "silly" questions so I assume the later interpretation.
It seems you think it was reading religious texts and allowing God to work through them? Not actually excavations, logical thinking and their daring to challenge the status quo?
Who are you even talking about? Where in the article did it state or even imply that their scientific explorations were due to them being religious? The entire point of his article is that it is possible for a religious person to also be scientific in some regards. Not that religion causes people to be scientific.
Yeah, that's really depressing to know that someone can have a doctorate from Yale and Harvard and cling to this idea that science owes its existence to religion
He didn't say give credit of the existence of science to religion. He was obviously talking about giving credit to religious people for the scientific contributions they made. Seriously, stop reading into things and assuming so much. You don't have to agree with what he said but if you are going to disagree at least disagree with what he said.
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin