Science and Religion
November 5, 2012
Science and Religion
The million dollar question for decades has been “Does God really exists?” This is a topic that has been debated over for centuries. How can one really know if God does exist? What is the proof, if there is any? Could the possibility between science and religion give us that proof? These are all question that have been asked over and over, again and again, and time after time. Definitely, no greater issue is argued for, or argued against than the probability of the existence or non-existence of a supreme being. So where does science and religion fit into this puzzle? Did the ...view middle of the document...
The scientific method relies on reason, observation, and experimenting, and religion accepts revelation, faith and belief.
The term ‘science’ applies to any activity that is (1) a systematic and disciplined endeavor aimed at finding out the truth about the world, and (2) has significant empirical involvement (Brooke, 1991). This is of course vague (How systematic? How disciplined? How much empirical involvement?) (Brooke, 1991). A characteristic of religion is to say that ‘religion’ is a set of beliefs shared by individuals, societies, and cultures.
There are various, diverse examples of religion: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism..., but what exactly are the necessary characteristics for an’ idea’ to be called a religion (John, 2011)? What methods are used to distinguish a religion, from an individual’s way of life? Although not all religions believe in the idea of a Supreme Being, that which individuals call God, they do believe in a form of a higher power. Can science and religion actually co-exist, or is there always going to be contradiction?
The majority of Americans respect science, but they are not always going to accept the scientific findings, especially if these findings contradict their religious beliefs. Furthermore, where scientific evidence and religious belief come into direct conflict, individuals will deny science in favor of their faith teachings. The theory of evolution, a means to explain the origins and development of life, remains the only true concrete example of the conflict between science and religion (Keeter, 2007). Religion is strictly based on faith. Science takes nothing for granted. Religion tends to rely heavily on untamed imagination, and science sticks strictly to the observable facts. Religion involves emotions, passion and subjective behaviors. Science makes every effort to remain disinterested, dispassionate and objective (Williams, 2006).
In the last century, the most persistent and sharpest clash between religion and science in the United States has centered on the issue of evolution. While nearly all scientists agree that life on Earth has evolved over billions of years, public opinion polling over the last few decades has shown that 40% to 50% of Americans consistently reject the very idea of natural evolution, largely on the grounds that it conflicts with biblical accounts of creation (Williams, 2006).
There are some basic distinctions between science and religion. The view of science is more rational. Science performs experiments and observations and accepts the outcome. Science teaches individuals that no argument is true until proven true through experimenting and/or observations. In contrast, religion is just about an individual’s belief in faith. Religion is taught by the teachings of religious superiors (i.e. Priests, Pastor’s…) with the help of religious books, books which carry supreme authority (i.e. The Bible). The existence of god cannot be proven...