Following up on and drawing from recent conversations, I have a series of questions for accomodationists:
1) Do you, personally, believe in a deity of any sort? If so, on what basis? If not, why don't you?
2) Can you clearly define the supernatural entities (including that of the supernatural itself) that you believe to be untestable as to their facticity? Not name in a general way, but define them as entities, such that people can ascertain whether they're amenable to investigation.
3) Do you believe that science is the only reliable means for acquiring knowledge about the world? If not, please describe the others. What knowledge have they produced independently of science? More generally, what is knowledge that isn’t scientific knowledge?
4) If you answered negatively to the first three questions – therefore demonstrating that there is no rationale that you personally can accept for believing in a deity, that the supernatural concepts you’re defending can’t be defined coherently, and that there are no reliable means of acquiring knowledge about the world other than science – on what basis do you promote respect for the beliefs and epistemic “systems” you do?
It seems to me extremely hypocritical to encourage respect for beliefs that are not formed on the basis of science – a reasoned (logical, including parsimonious) and honest systematic engagement with the evidence – while claiming to promote science and personally rejecting those beliefs and approaches. It is dishonest to argue "Well, whatever is true in science, we’re not always scientific in every area of our lives," such that science is presented, in a silly ahistorical manner,* as limited to what professional scientists do in very specific contexts, having no claim on beliefs in general. This is because the questions that immediately follow are: Is this OK? Is an evidentiary basis for our beliefs not a moral requirement? Are we not all required by intellectual honesty and basic morality to base our beliefs, which form an essential foundation for our actions, on the most honest engagement with the best evidence we have?
If you argue that the moral requirement doesn’t hold because some beliefs can be maintained "benignly," without affecting people’s actions or decisions, you need to consider three things. First, even if it might be accurate in some specific cases, this is often not a true claim - people's beliefs are not generally quarantined from their actions in this way. Second, matters on which beliefs that might at one time or one place not be important to people’s actions can become so. Would you recommend agricultural, reproductive, or environmental policies based on beliefs that are not derived scientifically when these are matters of life and death to people? Further, does pondering nonscientific notions interfere with and draw time and resources away from important scientific investigations? Third, and most importantly, in defending nonscientific beliefs and epistemic systems of any sort, aren’t you encouraging nonscientific thinking in general, such that people influenced by you will have fewer intellectual and practical defenses against even those products of nonscientific thinking you find reprehensible?
*(which is, moreover, the contrary of how science education should be encouraging young people to think about science)