…even between atheists and believers
Perhaps all it comes down to is an answer to the question, “Whose metaphor is more meaningful?” You will not find many atheists who deny science. They do not deny the constants and universals that are always in the back of the science textbooks.
There are three constants within the sciences that remain clear, in spite of quantum mechanics. The first is that there is order and continuity in the world. It is the basis of knowing. In every discipline there are multiple parameter sets where this is true. Beginning in mathematics, a rather pure form of thought, abstraction and representation, we then move into physics. It has multiple parameter sets as well. There is one for Newtonian mechanics, another for General Relativity and Special Relativity and yet another for quantum mechanics. Then chemistry and biology have their own parameter sets. All these parameters simply establish the boundary conditions of what is being measured within them.
Each has a formalized language. And, each has a metaphorical language that pushes into the edges of the unknown.
The sciences all embrace varying definitions of relations yet all of these definitions are understood by a symmetry function.
Specialized disciplines with each of the sciences hypothesize about the nature of the unknown, just beyond their limits of knowledge, and all these hypotheses are a study of the deepest dynamics of their discipline. The experience of insight, the “ah-ha” of the creative surge, is experienced as a concrescence of symmetries or harmony.
The atheists mostly object to the use of specialized language. They understand rules, mores, and societal law and order even though many are nihilistic, others narcissistic, and many both.
Yet, change will come. Some of these folks will begin to realize that time is not a fundamental frame of reference and that there are qualities of life that permeate everything in every way, and that these qualities empower order, relations, and dynamics, and that these three scientific functions with the faces of continuity, symmetry and harmony just might also be understood with very personal language. When and if they do, they are on their way to create a personal bridge to religion and some of the brave among them just may cross it.