The debate over religion's place in science fiction still rages on the Internet, and two new blog posts take very different stances on the matter. Over at Tor.com, Teresa Jusino posts that good science fiction acknowledges the place of religion in our lives, and even accepts that people of faith could have valid opinions about unexplained phenomena:

I tend to be drawn to science fiction that acknowledges that spirituality and belief in a higher power not only has a right to exist, as most sci-fi is about tolerance to some extent, but that it might even * gasp * compete with, or be worthy of standing alongside, science. I appreciate science fiction where characters that have spiritual beliefs aren't looked down upon as if they don't know any better, as if they need only see the light of scientific truth to be truly enlightened (which in itself seems dogmatic).

(And click through for her great discussion of how different media science-fiction stories handle godlike entities and apparently supernatural phenomena, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to Star Wars.)

For a more fire-breathing viewpoint, however, click over to WayOfLife.org for a discussion entitled "Beware Of Science Fiction," which paints SF as inherently anti-religious.

Science fiction takes the reader into a strange world without God. Oh, there might be "a god," a "force," but it is definitely not the God of the Bible, and the prominent names in this field are atheists... Science fiction is intimately associated with Darwinian evolution. Sagan and Asimov, for example, were prominent evolutionary scientists. Sci-fi arose in the late 19th and early 20th century as a product of an evolutionary worldview that denies the Almighty Creator. In fact, evolution IS the pre-eminent science fiction. Beware!

Not surprisingly, this post has been seized on by atheists at RichardDawkins.net and elsewhere, who mock it but also seem to concede the author's essential point — that science fiction embraces a materialistic, empiricist view of the universe that's incompatible with traditional religion. All in all, it leaves you wishing more people were reading the Tor.com post and fewer were looking at the WayOfLife post.