StaceyMontgomeryThe difference, I think is that most debates here are not about faith per se, but about religious doctrine. The (many!) evolution threads, for example, are not really about whether there is a God but about whether the Bible should be taken literally. Despite the fact that science appears to suggest that many of the biblical stories have some basis in historical fact, there are plenty of Christian believers who are as willing as any atheist to accept that science has also effectively disproven many others (e.g. the Creation myth).
This seems odd to me - when we talk about evolution, we get lots of posts from religious people insisting that there must be physical proof of God and his intervention over natural processes. Things can't just evolve, they insist, God must do it all personally!
But when we devote a thread to the idea of such proof, all the religious people say relax, don't worry about it, you don't need that kind of proof, take the Universe as you find it.
This is only logical. The Bible was written by human beings with their own agendas and edited over the centuries through to the Middle Ages by other human beings with their own agendas. Some religious groups will persist in maintaining that, despite this, it is the “Word of God” and therefore accurate in every respect. Others, on the other hand, accept that - in part - it is an attempt to make sense of things which, at the time it was written, were otherwise inexplicable. Science vs religious doctrine allows plenty of scope for debates about what constitutes “proof”.
This thread, on the other hand, is not about religious doctrine, but about whether God exists at all (i.e. faith). And science vs faith does not allow scope for debate about what constitutes proof because, by definition, faith is something you have in the absence of proof.
(Or don't, in my case!)