Ironically, it is only when disaster strikes that the shuttle makes the headlines. Its routine flights attracted less media interest than unmanned probes to the planets or the images from the Hubble Telescope. The fate of Columbia (like that of Challenger in 1986) reminded us that space is still a hazardous environment.
We should all oppose - as Darwin did - views manifestly in conflict with the evidence, such as creationism... But we shouldn't set up this debate as 'religion v science'; instead we should strive for peaceful coexistence with at least the less dogmatic strands of mainstream religions, which number many excellent scientists among their adherents.
Everything, however complicated - breaking waves, migrating birds, and tropical forests - is made of atoms and obeys the equations of quantum physics. But even if those equations could be solved, they wouldn't offer the enlightenment that scientists seek. Each science has its own autonomous concepts and laws.
There are strong reasons for believing that space goes on beyond the limits of our observational horizon. There are strong reasons because if you look in opposite directions, conditions are the same to within one part in 100,000. So if we are part of some finite structure then, if the gradient is so shallow, it is likely to go on much further.
The scientific community should work as hard as possible to address major issues that affect our everyday lives such as climate change, infectious diseases and counterterrorism; in particular, 'clean energy' research deserves far higher priority. And science and technology are the prime routes to tackling these issues.