David Brooks’ opinion (expressed via: Sidney Awards Highlight Conflicts in Belief and Science; published in the Austin American Statesman’s Viewpoints) attempts to support the right wing ideologues’ insistence that there is conflict twixt belief and science; there is not.
Brooks oversimplifies, as conservatives are wont to do, and imagines a one or the other version of reality. Beliefs can explain all, but can not be checked using an independently verifiable proof. Science (facts) can be checked via said proofs, but can not (as yet) explain everything.
Facts require no belief and beliefs require no facts, but neither functions well alone. Belief, once proven, becomes fact; as Alchemy morphed, through experimentation, to become Chemistry.