The following is an excerpt from the end of Chapter 4 in Alvin Plantinga's Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism:
John Worrall claims that there is a deep difference between religion and science - one that does not redound to the credit of religion. According to Worrall, there is a profound contrast between what we might call the epistemic styles of religion and science. The scientist, says Worrall, holds her beliefs tentatively, dispassionately, only on the basis of evidence, and is always looking for a better hypothesis, one that is better supported by the evidence. The religious believer, on the other hand, typically holds his beliefs dogmatically: he is unwilling to consider the evidence and often holds his beliefs with a degree of firmness out of proportion to their support by the evidence; he is unwilling to look for a better hypothesis.
Of course it is well known that the way scientists hold their beliefs is often anything but tentative and dispassionate. For example, here is Werner Heisenberg on a discussion between Niels Bohr and Erwin Schrodinger:
Bohr, who was otherwise most considerate and amiable in his dealings with people, now appeared to me almost as an unrelenting fanatic, who was not prepared to make a single concession to his discussion partner.... It will hardly be possible to convey the intensity of passion with which the discussions were concluded on both sides, of the deep-rooted convictions which one could perceive equally with Bohr and with Schrodinger in every spoken sentence.
[I will interject here my own example in this vein, briefly, Newton's infamous hypothesi non fingo, or rather, his metaphysical rejection of hypotheses as contrary to his own philosophy which he was using his Principia to promote:
"I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction."]
Not exactly tentative and dispassionate. As is also well-known, scientists sometimes hang on to their scientific hypotheses in the teeth of the evidence. As a matter of fact, that may be a good thing, since it improves the chances of the theory's getting a good run for its money; and indeed sometimes the initial evidence is against a good theory.
For the moment, however, suppose there is the difference Worrall says there is. That difference indicates a science/religion conflict only if science tells us that beliefs in all the areas of our epistemic life ought to be formed and held in the same way as scientific beliefs typically are [footnote: Just for the sake of completeness: I'm taking it for granted that science doesn't tell us that all beliefs should be held the way religious beliefs are, and that religion doesn't tell us either that all beliefs should be held the way scientific beliefs are held, or that all beliefs should be held the way religious beliefs are held.]. But of course that isn't a scientific claim at all; it is rather a normative epistemological claim, and a quixotic one at that. There are all sorts of beliefs we don't accept on the basis of evidence and don't accept tentatively; and in all sorts of cases we do not constantly look for better alternatives. We don't accept elementary mathematical and logical beliefs in that way, or beliefs of the sort it seems to me I see something red, or I am not the only thing that exists, or my cognitive faculties are reliable, or such beliefs as there has been a past, there are other persons, and there is an external world; and all this is, epistemically speaking, perfectly proper. It is scientific hypotheses which (for the most part) ought to be accepted in the way Worrall celebrates; but of course not nearly all of our beliefs are scientific hypotheses. In particular, religious beliefs are not. Maybe a few people accept religious beliefs strictly on the basis of what they take the evidence to be; perhaps, for example, this was true of Anthony Flew. But for most of us, our religious beliefs are not like scientific hypotheses; and we are none the worse, epistemically speaking, for that. According to Paul Feyerabend, "Scientists are not content with running their own playpens in accordance with what they regard as the rules of the scientific method; they want to universalize those rules, they want them to become part of society at large." As applied to scientists generally, this is certainly overblown; but it does seem to apply to some science enthusiasts.