Can science and religion co-exist?

This is a good question.  What is interesting to me is, some people will read this and in their mind weigh science against God, instead of what the question actually states.  The word in question is religion, not God.

Science does not go against God.  Quite the opposite, as the more we learn about the basic fabric of reality, the more we understand how our universe is made up of information.  This in itself raises all kinds of possibilities and is the main reason I believe in God.

Science led me to God.

All science really is, is a philosophy of testing reality.  In this philosophy there are limits to knowledge, and once you pass that limit, that’s where metaphysics steps in.  A rigorous scientists will be sketpical of anything which cannot be proven, and as a scientist, that is how it should be.  But when that scientist takes off the propeller-topped beanie at the end of the day, and is not testing reality, s/he can sit back, look at the big picture, and allow belief to take over.

Belief that this vast Universe of information may in fact be a giant mind.  The Mind of God.

The main conflict between science and religion is not whether or not there is a God, but whether or not the various Holy Books are literal accounts of history.  Science and God co-exist quite well, but science and the Bible do not.

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13 thoughts on “Can science and religion co-exist?

  1. Nicely defined. Religions aren’t concerned with exploring truth, but with insisting on the validity of of their particular “truth.” Each one believes they somehow own God, and milder people – often people with reasoned, non-denominational beliefs – are treated as being heathens, damned to hell. The result is that people are driven away from declaring faith in God, not attracted towards it.

  2. Good stuff, Jerry!  I consider myself agnostic, not atheist.  I don’t know if there is a God or not, but so far I haven’t seen anything to make me believe there is.  I do like to think that I’m open minded enough to believe in the possibility of God, but I honestly don’t think it/he/she will turn out to be some all powerful being that has an interest in our daily lives, answers prayers and keeps a list of who is good and bad, like Santa.

  3. Well put.  But let’s not just single out the Bible.  Koran, Buddhist Teachings, and anything else put to text in the name of a higher power.  At best these Holy texts should challenge us even on re-readings to question our own relationship with “God”, our world and our fellow man/woman.  At worst is the insistance upon strict literal interpretations and the notion that what applies to me should apply to everyone else, that I’m right and if you don’t agree, you’re wrong.

  4. You may be right. I personally feel that the main conflict between science and religion (if there truly needs to be one, which I might also question) is rigidity of perspective, be it someone entirely focused on their faith or someone entirely focused on scientific method. I am reminded of something B.F. Skinner once said on the topic of cognitive processes, or ‘the black box’ (as the inner workings of the human mind were, and possibly still are, sometimes termed by behavioral psychologists). In his book “About Behaviorism”, Skinner stated that behaviorist weren’t saying thought processes unmeasurable via pure, scientific method didn’t exist, merely that they didn’t fall within the realm of behaviorism. I think the same way about science and religion. I am both a reasoning person (and therefore a behaviorist, from a psychological perspective) and a person of faith. I can never know everything there is to know, but I can have faith in others more knowledgeable than I, just as I can have faith in my creator. That perspective extends to the Bible as well, as knowledge in and of itself is neither good or bad, right or wrong… It is in the application of knowledge wherein cause and effect is experienced.Just my ‘two cents’.

  5. Currently I think our society’s biggest problem is whether or not religion will let science exist. I have seen few examples of scientists, on a large scale, attempting to restrict religious beliefs. They do not demand legislature that demands that churches be torn down or try and tell people what they need to worship. I do see religion invading science classrooms however, or trying to tell scientists what they can and cannot say. 

  6. Love your answer here – and what’s crazy is that the dumb science class I’m taking from my uber-Christian university concentrates only on trying to make sure that science doesn’t contradict thier biblical text – missing the whole point of how science can show the amazingness and glory and intricacy of the world and let that speak for itself about the existence of God.  But oh no, you know the evangelicals can’t let anything speak for itself – they have to be loud and obnoxious about everything.

  7. I considered fielding this question myself, but didn’t because I realized it would be a repeat of a blog I posted just a couple of days before.  You had some of the same things I had.

  8. Can I recommend a couple of books?  ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins and ‘God is not great’ by Christopher Hitchens.  Dawkins nails the case for the non-existence of God.

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