In philosophy and theology, there has always been the issue of the relationship between science and religion. The common belief today is that these two could never go hand in hand as they are mutually exclusive. After all, some of their principles and theories are completely opposite from one another. Is this a good way of thinking or is it just a wide-spread misconception that is putting limits on both of these fields?
Are science and religion that different?
Before we try to understand what place religion has in science today, it is important that we know exactly what science and religion deal with and what are their differences. Even though people find them on opposite sides of the spectrum, both science and religion had the same purpose in the past. Their origin is connected to the explanation of the world, the purpose of life, and how the world around us was created. So how can two fields that have the same purpose be so different from one another? One big difference between the two is that science deals with the natural world and religion with both the natural and supernatural worlds. That is why you won’t hear many scientists try to explain the natural world in terms of miracles, karma, or god, while these are common terms in religion.
How did science and religion change over the years?
Although they had the same purpose in the past, science has grown so much in the last couple of decades and it now stretches across all areas of our lives. The fact that it is growing and that scientists are exploring the depths of our natural world more and more each day makes our lives easier and more comfortable as time goes by. Because it has helped mankind survive lethal diseases and that most of the scientific theories are based on evidence, science continues to be very reliable and powerful in people’s eyes. On the other hand, religion hasn’t changed much since it originated and it held to its principles. However, this is what actually installs faith into people – the fact that religion has survived centuries and still continues to teach the same concepts to each new generation tells them that they are a part of something much bigger than themselves.
Can you be a scientist and still be religious?
If we look at our past – the answer is yes.
There is a common misconception today that scientists or people who believe and support science cannot be religious. However, there has been a number of famous scientists in the past who were still religious despite trying to find evidence for all of their theories. One of the biggest conflicts religion and science have in their teachings is the creation of the world and the issue of evolution vs. a divine being. You cannot believe in both, right?
Well, Charles Darwin, best known for his evolutionary studies, was religious.
Does religion have a place in science?
One of the sciences we can be proud of today is physics. Scientists have developed and explored physics so much that there might not be a lot more we can discover in that field. Which is great, both for science and religion. How so? Well, we can use science to explain the world around us and all its natural aspects, but we will never be able to explain why we are here and where we go after. That is something only religion has an answer to. So instead of thinking that science and religion could never possibly coexist, try to see all the ways in which they complement and complete one another and how well they actually work together in explaining all the questions we have.