David Brooks is strange

I tend to think that David Brooks, the peculiar prognosticator from the New York Times, tries too hard. His latest column serves as an example. He points to the current conversation between science and religion as evidence that the number of Orthodox believers is going to decline in the future - basically, that we will be more "spiritual" and less "religious".
In their arguments with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, the faithful have been defending the existence of God. That was the easy debate. The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism.

In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day. I’m not qualified to take sides, believe me. I’m just trying to anticipate which way the debate is headed. We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects.
Does Brooks' not realize that this phenomenon has been going on for a long time? The scientific revolution is roughly a quarter millennium old. He's hedging his bets by betting on the past.

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