A friend of mine, a gifted primatologist not yet working in her field, recently posted an image on Facebook purporting to show the difference between "science" and "faith" in a pair of flowcharts. I don't feel like squeezing the image into this page; you can see it here. But the "science" flowchart is your basic picture of inductive experiment-based theory construction and testing, a little dubious around the edges these days but tolerably accurate. The "faith" flowchart is simpler. It reads: "Get an idea. Ignore contradictory evidence. Keep idea forever."
Like a lot of "new atheist" material the poster is annoyingly self-congratulatory. Like most new atheist writing, too, it ignores a couple of facts. Its caricature of religion is at best a travesty of doctrine-based traditions like many forms of Protestantism. It misses the mark entirely when it comes to the deeply pragmatic traditions of India and China. It imagines that religions are all about creating and maintaining theories about the world. They're not. Even Christianity, perhaps the most theory-laden of all traditions, has a founding figure who told his disciples that they could only judge teachings by their fruits. At their hearts religions have no interest in explaining the world. They're about changing the ways in which we experience it. Theories are only way-stations. As the Buddha said of his own words, they're the raft you can use to cross the river, but once you reach the other bank you throw the raft away.
The bigger error which wraps around this smaller one, though, is to think that what we really do as human beings is come up with ever-more-adequate theories about the world. This, in turn, presumes that the only way in which we relate to the world is through observation, analysis, and theorizing. But that's not how we live and there's no reason we should even try.
The world resists theorizing. It's too multifarious for us ever to grasp in our net of logic and words, and the biggest mystery of all--the nature of humanity itself--is beyond theorizing by its very nature. We can never grasp our subjective activity without splitting our attention in two and turning our subjective life into an object, negating the very subjectivity we're trying to figure out. As one early Zen poem puts it: to understand the mind with the mind itself--is that not the greatest of mistakes?
Science is not only a good way of developing useful theories about the world, it's surely the best of ways if that's what you're interested in. But there are other ways of engagement with experience that bring us closer to the always-escaping real. There's art, or example. And then there's the body of practices out of which "art" emerged as a separate enterprise only a few centuries ago, and that's religion.
Both of these bring us to places where theory cannot go. We can't come back from those places and turn them into theories--that's the error that religious people often fall into, which opens them up to the satire of posters like this one. But we can't adequately theorize falling in love, or letting one of Yeats' poems get under our skin, or the tingle we feel at the riff that opens "Satisfaction." They're real, too, and they call us towards the real life that science and theory never reach. So does religion.