The great religious ass David Brin, who is an Author (TM) and Science Aficionado (R), begs us worship a different idol than the crucifix or mitre: the amorphous concept of "science," as defined by those people that David Brin and influential westerners define as "real scientists."
Similar to another High Priest of Science, Dawkins, Brin seeks the restructuring of society away from a God-based worship model, and toward a Science-based one. The religious concept of science advocated by these papists is very like other religions:
1) Absolute reverence for the faith. Anything which is "scientific" is good; anything which is "not scientific" is bad. Not just "bad," but so bad that it does not merit serious consideration in any way. Once a theory has been proven or disproven, whammo--debate over. Science hath spoken.
2) Worship of a priestly caste. Following the German-derived authority-based university model, high priests are granted PhDs or other advanced degrees, indicating their command of secret knowledge. Some glimpses of this knowledge may be shared with members of the congregation, who will cede to the superior understanding of those with the degrees. Any "serious" scientist will have a degree, grants, university backing, and institutional support for hypotheses, experiments or claims, and will be published by major journals if they have anything worthwhile to say. Any serious scientist will also not be permitted even rudimentary access to the upper levels of the caste without years (and a lot of money) spent painstakingly researching the writings of those who came before. Once you've bought in that much, you ruin your career and social standing to challenge the dogma, ergo why self-sustaining racketeering models always require a high investment of character and resources to become a member.
3) All-encompassing adherence to the faith. You can walk around chanting "Jesus! Jesus!" and find ways to twist any number of centuries of biblical references and interpretations to justify what you want. Or, you can walk around chanting "Science! Science!" and find ways to twist any number of centuries of scientific references and interpretations to justify what you want. Not convinced? What's dark matter? How many dimensions does a superstring-based universe possess? What happened before the (single, absolute, masculine) Big Bang? Why can't HIV satisfy all of Koch's postulates in a reliable fashion?
4) Unquestioning reliance on other assumptions. Science relies upon foregone conclusions to justify itself: all science "experiments" derive value based upon having faith that human perception of "time" allows "cause" and "effect" to exist, providing valuable insights into all science experiments, conclusions, and later hypotheses. Having failed to philosophically solve the ancient problem, later expressed in The Matrix, of "what if a demon is manipulating our thoughts and nothing we think is real actually is?" science skips ahead, begs the question, assumes that our perceptions are accurate, and makes those perceptions the basis for, well, everything it says.
This isn't to say that having ideas (theories) and testing them (experiment) are "bad." Where science goes wrong is in the creation of a dogma: where people, like That Ass Brin or his buddy Dawkins and their millions of wealthy neoliberal adherents in the Great American Empire, begin demeaning everything that is "not scientific," heralding everything that is "scientific," and drawing caste distinctions between "Brights" and "those crazy heretics who just haven't received enough education at western universities."
Because, goodness knows, a lot of people educated under the modern scientific model at western universities couldn't be responsible for committing horrible acts that trump the Crusades in terms of both numbers and hypocritical terror.
The new religion replaces the old, always with different terminology; always nothing but a different skull's mask on the same old dogmatic butchery. And this time, they've got a lot more than fucking swords, people. Because their God is a big God, and a powerful God, and He can fuck up the entire world with a button. And if you don't get it, you're just not "scientific enough."
So put down that Bible, you backward-thinking ape! We need you to get some serious schooling! Time to get back to the university, get your MS in propulsion engineering, and fix up that latest hybrid fighter-bomber. There are some unscientific religious zealots out there who need re-engineering.