Goodness. It’s like some Bizarro Planet end of days phenomenon. Gerson has written another column that isn’t simply partisan propaganda. Still, he can’t help but throw in a straw man in paragraph one. Habit? Personality flaw? Who knows.
Religion has often unintentionally enabled scientific skepticism. The faithful will issue a challenge to science: Ha, you can’t explain the development of life, or the moral sense, or the nearly universal persistence of religion. To which the materialist responds: Can too. It is all biology and chemistry, thus disproving your God hypothesis.
A bit later, he flirts with a more honest assessment of that straw man, but it’s a flirtation only. Good christians don’t go all the way.
And he does not contend, as philosophically lazy scientists sometimes do, that a biological propensity toward belief automatically disproves the existence of an object of such belief.
He’s right in that this would be an unjustifiable (and lazy) claim but serious discussion of these issues (by scientists or philosophers) doesn’t include it.