Why Can’t Science And Religion Be In Harmony?

By Rene Forster | Last Updated April 2, 2012

Religion and science have always been looked at the same way we look at oil and water – they cannot mix. In fact, many lives have been sacrificed because of this clash. In this write-up, the author attempts to show you that the two actually co-exist peacefully. However…

Rene Forster

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Rene Forster


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Science and religion are in harmony – to a degree. From the top of my head, the Vatican relies on the latest and state-of-the art scientific technology to keep their vaults safe. Apparently, trusting God alone to keep it secured isn’t enough since He has this knack of saying something like “Help yourself first and I will help you.”

Science produces the light they need to read up and broadcast the Holy Scriptures. Speaking of broadcasting, religion didn’t’ shunt from it by far. It was embraced whole-heartedly instead. Religion took full advantage of radio and TV broadcasting capabilities. There’s so much more evidence of the harmonious mesh between religion and science. There’s the HVAC system, for instance, used in the churches, convents and other religious establishments. Oh and let’s not forget the omnipresent microphone and audio visual system too. Whoever says that religion and science is like trying to mix oil with water, hasn’t stopped to look around yet.

 

A cartoon image of a priest and a scientist talking to each other

Science also comfortably takes care of all the traveling and transportation that our religious brothers all over the world take full advantage of in spreading the word of the Supreme Being.

For starters, religion generally states that our world, or sometimes interpreted as our universe, was created by the Supreme One in 7 days. Science counters with the Big Bang theory. Both views require some degree of faith to have credence.

Next, still in the creation stage, religion describes Eden and the earliest homo sap… er … human beings, Adam and Eve. Everything was pure bliss with peace and harmony reigning. Apparently it was when naïve Adam was tempted by Eve to take a bite out of the fruit from the tree of knowledge, the science of making clothes and erecting a shelter was discovered. There’s also the science of procreation wherein the first children, Cain and Abel, were born. But that’s beside the point here. Science on the other hand got busy and started discovering fossils of dinosaurs and other huge discoveries like the matching rock types and age of the shorelines of two continents separated by the Atlantic Ocean. The biggest earth shaking event in the scriptures was about the Deluge and definitely no mention of gigantic reptiles as well. Science also provided the theory, and the hard evidence, of evolution. Trust me, religion did not kosher to the idea of human beings, which were made in His likeness, actually coming from apes. Charles Darwin definitely had to be protected then but more on that later.

You see, religion has a lot of loopholes in their writings. Just recently, a documentary was made regarding the Holy Scriptures of Christianity. Allegedly, it showed that the scriptures were not presented in its complete form. Somewhere during the early ages of Christianity, the powers-that-be decided to edit the Bible and only selected writings that would help them in their cause. Those rejected were called the Nostic verses. Needless to say, it stirred up a lot of controversy.

Another not-so-talked-about writing is Christianity’s Old Testament. Have you wondered why we only talk about Genesis and after that everything is based on the New Testament? Well, considering that God in the Old Testament is someone we can actually relate to in our daily lives could have something to do with it. For instance, in the Old Testament, He gets angry more than once. He also gets jealous. That part also carried over to the present with the 10 commandments. He is also vengeful and actually exacts His revenge in extreme ways, turning someone into a salt statue just for looking back at a city being destroyed by a rain of fire (which He actually delivered but science deduce this to be a meteor shower of sorts ). This actually makes us better understand the phrase priests like to use often – God is within us all.

The destruction didn’t end there. In the name of Christianity, Crusaders were sent out by the Church to cleanse the undesirables. ‘In the name of God’, they exterminated countless settlements and no one was spared. Children, women and the elderly were given the same treatment that the men who defended already got before them – death. Quite naturally, no Christian church will tell of those stories today. At present, we have nothing to fear from Crusaders anymore. We do, however, have Jihadists to contend with and they are not delivering their cleansing through a broad sword. They have much bigger and more powerful tools to mete out their single-minded purpose in life.

Considering all that, it’s little wonder why the monks had to edit the Holy Bible. However, that doesn’t mean that the New Testament is perfect as well. For instance, what happened in Jesus’ adolescent years? Isn’t this an important stage in everyone’s life? This is where all those strange hormones start coming out, changing our physique, altering our voices and oftentimes leaves us wondering about our sexual orientations. Shouldn’t the life of Jesus at this stage serve as a role model? Or is there an underlying reason why they left this ‘seemingly unimportant’ part out?

Well, there you have it. Faith versus facts. Religion versus science. Maybe that explains why there’s a fire and brimstone delivery in religion while science calmly presents irrefutable facts. In fairness to religion, science isn’t perfect as well. Up to now, they’re still trying to put a finger on the unexplained. A couple of prime examples to this are paranormal events and UFOs. A few million people claiming these to be true cannot be overlooked offhandedly. Yet, in this case, religion seems to calmly handle it – and with apparently positive results.

With all these things considered (and there’s a lot more!), it really all boils down to us, individuals, to deal with it. Both religion and science have proven time and again that they are important and cannot be denied in our existence whether as children of God or as homo sapiens.

The legendary John Lennon may have had a strong point when he composed ‘Imagine’. Well, science actually cheated a bit here since at that time, LSD and Mary Jane were really making a big hit everywhere.




Reactions

  1. Even if framed this way, science and religion, though they operate a different mode of thought, could still share something in common: that is, fostering of human and cosmic life.

    I am not saying this not as an apologist of religion–but as a lover of humanity.

    • There you go! Just what John was Imagining!

      Thanks much for your succinct yet deep reply mate!

  2. i subscribe to your idea…religion pronounce things through and with faith, science explains phenomena based on evidence…both want to arrive at the ultimate truth.

    but God cannot be contained in a finite human mind, this is where science ends…faith is over and above science because it deals with the unseen, the unknown…i believe faith can move mountain.

    it doesn’t matter if the adolescent life of Jesus is never made public…what is important is our faith in Him as the God-Incarnate Who brought us back to God.

    i guess i sound silly but the “Imagine’ song is John’s expression of being an atheist…in my own thinking,an atheist is a person who doubts or doesn’t believe in a Supreme Being, but his own doubt or disbelief only proves his belief of the Summum Bonum…

    religion and science complement each other…

    • Having been schooled under the direction of a Catholic diocese, I understand your point of view very well and I agree with much of what you have said. However, I wouldn’t go as far as saying John was an atheist. He BELIEVED in something too. It’s just not to what our present society, heavily influenced by religion by the way, would accept as ‘the norm’. If we respect other’s beliefs, like Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, etc., why should the belief in universal love be any different?

      The way I see it, John was actually being neutral about it. He saw the conflict (perhaps), which produces all sorts of nasty by-products that all of us do not condone (society’s norm), and decided that ultimately, love shared by everyone for everyone should solve all issues since there isn’t any strong argumentative point existing any more. Well, of course, he was just imagining and not hoping. Even wishing for it would be counter-productive to both religion and science if such a wish came true.

      Thanks for your reaction though. Very insightful.

  3. Rene,

    About a year ago, while sitting at the Hayahay with an avowed atheist, we had a conversation about Genesis. His argument was that Genesis was a fabrication because science has proven that some objects, such as those you mentioned in your article, are millions of years old. It is hard to dispute carbon dating even though it’s accuracy is questionable. He really made me think for a few minutes and then I had an epiphany of sorts..

    What if the editors of the Bible, in an effort to make the story of Genesis comprehensible to people who could not fathom a span of 10,000,000 years, attempted to put the creation of earth and the heavens into perspective.

    What if each “day” as described in Genesis, was actually a period of time? Say Millions of years. That would explain everything the scientist can throw at you.

    What if what is known as “evolution” is actually “intelligent design”? Just maybe this being creationists refer to as God, put a single cell in place that divided and evolved into different species. As species mated, the superior specimens would improve (evolve) through their offspring. The non-superior specimens would mate with each other and stop evolving, and when a mix of superior and non-superior would mate it would result in a fork. It is possible, when the ape evolved enough to become man, we stopped evolving.

    If you look at different stages of man as exemplified by Darwinists, man was evolving to the state of Adam. Maybe this was intelligent design giving us as human beings the instincts we have now such as “fight or flight”. Nothing would create this instinct more than being chased by dinosaurs!

    I swear, that I had never even thought of this explanation before having this conversation with my friend the Atheist. Maybe it was the Kinilaw? At the end of my explanation which I was relaying as the theory came to me, my Atheist friend was at a loss for words. He was deep in thought. After a couple of minutes, he responded to this revelation by telling me that it sounded plausible.

    As a test of my new theory, I called my mom up on the phone and ran it past her. Now this is a woman that will hit you over the head with her Bible to demonstrate the power of God and she actually said that it sounded reasonable and made sense.

    I believe that is how Religion and Science can live in harmony.

    • I wanted to challenge that. I wanted to scoff at the idea that a million years corresponded to a single day. There were lots of points in there that kind of went against the grain and I wanted to do something about it. However, I can’t. The more I think and dwell upon your idea, the more I find myself conceding. You really do have a point there Chris and a mighty good one at that! In the end, I can’t help but agree to the possibility of your idea. I think I should also frequent that bar… God knows I need an epiphany too.

      Really good point there…

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