Gecheng Zhang/ Gressin
Assignment #1 Final Draft
September 19th 2013
Reconciliation of conflicting ideas
In the essay “In the Forests of Gombe” by Jane Goodall, Goodall thinks that she can use the religion as another way to explore the nature in the basis of science. This essay tells people that they can separate two conflicting ideas by avoiding some conflicting details and fully understanding both of them. As for the religion and science, people don’t have to stick to the difference between God and no God; instead they can look into the useful parts of religion to improve science. The avoidance of unessential parts and combination of each other’s advantage is the ...view middle of the document...
She “captured some of [her] long-ago feelings--the excitement of discovering, of seeing things unknown to Western eyes, and the serenity that had come from living…as a part of the natural world” (Goodall 147). She felt the nature made “a most sacred place” to embrace her (Goodall 148). These feelings could not be explained by the science. The word “sacred” shows she had looked into religion for the answer. It was the nature’s power, an unknown power that inspired her demand for some explanation to the world without science. From these experiences, Goodall totally understood and recollected the religion. Religion could not bring her husband back to life, but was able to cure her broken heart. In order to separate two conflicting ideas, the thorough understanding is essential. The tolerance and coexistence begins with comprehensive understanding.
Second step is admitting the coexistence of both of them instead of putting them in opposite poles. One idea may contain thoughts that directly oppose to the other one. In the essay, Goodall used to think science and religion are “mutually exclusive” which is identified by many people (148). In Goodall’s period, the religion is greatly instituted by science. Most people regarded science as the only way to truth and despised religion. Fortunately, Goodall’s belief in religion was firm enough that was not influenced by the society. However, it’s not their fault to think that science is the truth. It is reasonable to think that because of the enormous accomplishments achieved by science but not by religion. People have no reasons to deny the science or to trust the religion because science is so powerful and omnipotent that it seems to be able to explain the whole universe. However, this popular belief got challenged after Goodall totally understood what the science and religion were. In the essay, Goodall raised the notion of “windows”. Goodall realized “there are many windows through which we humans, searching for meaning, can look out into the world around us” (148). Goodall admitted the power of science to explore the world. As a scientist, she was using the scientific “window” to research the chimpanzees. Most importantly, she recognized the power of the nature, of the religion:
Yet there are other windows through which we humans can look out into the world around us, windows through which the mystics and the holy men of the East, and the founders of the great world religions, have gazed as they searched for the meaning and purpose of our life on earth, not only in the wondrous beauty of the world, but also in its darkness and ugliness. (148)
As Goodall explains, the “windows” are not unique; there are many ways to explore the world besides science. We should respect all the religions because they are the wisdoms of ancient thinkers. Goodall described her feeling, “That afternoon it had been as though an unseen hand had drawn back a curtain and, for the briefest moment, I had seen through...