You probably handled it the best you could. I'll admit, while I love astronomy, I usually look at the astronomical community as a whole as atheistic. However, when looking at the stars with others I'm not prompted to tell them all about my beliefs by default. If they inquire I will.
The western world is totally polarized at the moment. Its important to remember, stupid people exist. They inhabit all political spectrums, all religions, all non-religions(for those who insist that science isn't a religion for the devout atheist), all countries. World view politics, world view science, and world view art permeate everything in our society. It dumbs down most people's brains. In some cases it effects all of us.
Its hard to write about this without stating personal beliefs. To me, the universe is beautiful, but largely void of life (Fermi paradox). It would be great to explore it, unfortunately interstellar travel is one of the most accepted soon to be future possibilities that will probably never happen. Alcubierre drive is the only theoretical faster than light travel method that doesn't violate relativity that I know of, and in order to make that work most figures require more energy than the mass of the observable universe or many magnitudes greater. Does that lessen my interest in the stars? Nope.
People like Sagan have a religious belief that there must be "billions" of earthlike planets. I do not. Yet I'm fascinated with the stars. Maybe if people like his parents and the scientific community just let him and every other kid be fascinated with stars without ostracizing their religious beliefs, we might have more great scientists.
Atheism like Christianity is a philosophical belief. Those beliefs make life interesting.
For example, edit out all the mystic mumbojumbo in Star Trek and then try watching it.
Edited by PondJumper, 06 August 2014 - 11:51 AM.