Much of what is labelled as "science" or "scientific" today is actually simply materialism. In many minds materialism and science are believed to be the same thing, but of course they are not. Materialism is a philosophical belief system that all of reality can be reduced to the physically measurable while science is a methodology for unearthing correlations and relationships between observables. My own definition of the "spirit of science" is that it is to systematically place observations above beliefs, while materialists attempt to make all observations fit onto the procrustean bed of their pre-existing beliefs, discarding those facts which refuse to be cut down to size.
One of the most relevant and historically obvious observations about materialism (and have no doubt, materialism is the unofficial doctrine of most official institutions of science) is that its prevalence today owes a great deal to the historical relationship of conflict between scientists and the religious institution of the Catholic church at the dawn of the Enlightenment. It is not difficult to see that today, the identity of a great many of the most influential materialists is caught up in a conflict with religion and religious beliefs.
This blog barely discusses religion, but if you read prominent and high-traffic science blogs written by materialists, religion is very often front and center on the agenda. On the one hand, you have blogs like GNXP, where Razib continually pokes and prods at religious beliefs as an odd curiosity of the human mind (although of course never subjecting his own materialism to the same kind of analysis). But even more common (and much more popular according to site traffic) is a "demonology" approach to religion, as displayed by P.Z. Myers antipathic Pharyngula blog (by far the highest traffic blog for Seed's scienceblogs). This is also the kind of analysis of religion we see in books like Sam Harris' The End of Faith, Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, and Stengers's God: the failed hypothesis. Religious belief as a toxic mental delusion and pathology.
This same kind of combatative attitude is very easily seen in many articles on science written in mainstream publications. For example, there is an incessant parade of articles meant to bash religious beliefs like the soul, free will and God.
All of this attention on religion by materialists serves a very obvious purpose of maintaining group identity by praising the in-group beliefs (these things don't exist, only atoms in motion and the void) and poking fun at the out-group beliefs (religion). After all, materialists already disbelieve in these things, so why the constant harping on them? It is a way to construct a sociological identity of the praiseworthy against the intellectually condemned. A very clear and obvious reaction to religious beliefs.
Here is an invitation from AMNAP to all the religion-obsessed. Move on. Get over it. Start constructing your beliefs based on the observations, instead of constantly reacting to mythologies from hundreds or thousands of years ago. . .