Can Marriage Exist Between Science AndReligion?
By Paul Larson
Some say that science and religion don’t mix. Some say that science is the ultimate search for God. Some say religion supersedes science, some say both have equal stature and others say both are hogwash. Everyone has their own personal assessment of the correlation between science and religion.
The aspiration of religion along with the aspiration of science is to explain the universe and answer questions about life, in addition to satisfying human psychological needs when dealing with the realities of death. Religion is based on faith, science is based on observation, and both are based on human curiosity and the need to find answers. Whether a person is repetitively reading religious scripture, or fascinated by repeatable scientific experimentations, both are searching for methods that answer questions about the universe around us.
It can be debated that early humans turned to religion as a way to alleviate their fears and gain reassurance with the concept of life after death. This helped to give them a sense of order in a confusing world that often seemed mysterious. Eventually scientific realization evolved along side religion and the process of “trial and error” established itself as a way to solve some of these mysteries. Fire…the wheel…farming. The more humans observed the world they lived in, the more they leaned how the natural world worked and how they could manipulate it to their advantage. Over the centuries religious power came at odds with scientific discovery, which led to a period of scientific stagnation: “The Dark Ages”. Later at the dawn of“The Renaissance” science was again embraced leading to great advances in art, architecture, medicine, astronomy and other natural sciences. Over the ages science and religion have been evolving together on a roller coaster ride of acceptance, denial and equilibrium.
We now appear to be at a crossroads where religion is not only viewing science with an evaluative broadmindedness, but is exploring hand in hand with scientific processes. One prime example is the Vatican’s “Pontifical Academy of Sciences”. Quoting John Paul II: “…today eminent scientists are members… a visible sign… of the profound harmony that can exist between the truths of science and the truths of faith…”. Gregor Mendel, the father of Genetics, was an Augustinian Friar. Georges Lemaitre, who developed much of the Big Bang Theory, was a Belgian priest. Recently, Pope Francis, who has a Master’s Degree in Chemistry, insisted that there is no reason to believe that science and God are incompatible.
With all this in mind, every human being is unique as a fingerprint, and every human brain has its own unique consciousness. Whether you analyze with your religious cap or your science cap, matrimony between the two could be found by looking inward. So, close your eyes, examine your deep thoughts, and you may detect a rational enlightenment finely attuned to both.
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