I've finally obtained a copy of Ed Feser's The Last Superstition, his long-winded defense of superstition and bigotry. I had really hoped it wouldn't be quite this horrible. In particular, I hoped to get some insight into how Feser sees Thomism as relevant to modern science and thought. However, he has so little helpful to say on the subject I almost wonder if he's ever thought about it, and while he does have a lot to say about the naturalistic or scientific worldview, he makes it very clear that he doesn't understand it.
I still have some plans to post more detailed criticisms of such arguments as he does provide, but I will start by giving a brief description of the big picture which is very different from Feser's. It seems to be one with which he is in fact entirely unfamiliar in any form, as he does not bother to mention this account or anything like it, much less explain why he doesn't see things in this way.
The extraordinary success of science in the modern era is largely a result of the widespread recognition, to varying degrees and to be sure usually not consciously, of the fact that unsatisfying explanations are usually better than satisfying ones. They have two primary advantages. First, satisfying explanations tend to be accepted even if they are useless, or outright misleading and harmful. Unsatisfying explanations, on the other hand, are never taken seriously unless they are demonstrably useful. Second, unsatisfying explanations stimulate the further search for knowledge, as due to their unsatisfying nature they leave us always feeling that there is more work to be done.*
Feser argues against the scientific worldview that it is unsatisfying, and defends satisfying explanation. He seems to find Thomistic explanations especially satisfying; of course an additional disadvantage of satisfying explanation is that different people are satisfied by quite different explanations, and there is no apparent way to judge who's right. Feser is mistaken in thinking that the unsatisfying features of the scientific worldview can be separated from its success, as well as in thinking that the scientific worldview has any need of satisfying explanations. Of course he uses other terminology; he generally uses "incoherent" to mean "unsatisfying" and "rational" to mean "satisfying," but this attempt at persuasive definition is consistently unpersuasive.
* It is this second feature of the scientific enthusiasm for unsatisfying explanations that leads Heidegger to identify the scientific worldview with the eternal striving of the Nietzschean will to power. Like Feser, Heidegger was a critic of the scientific worldview and a right wing nut, but unlike Feser, Heidegger seems to have understood what the debate was actually about.