The Imaginary War Between Science & Religion

By Troy Fletcher

 

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There is no war between science and religion for the same reason there is no war between fish and rockets.

They're not similar things, they're not in similar places, so they can't war.

Science is an excellent standard for testing and measuring actions, reactions, and interactions within the observable world. It applies mathematics and logic to what used to be guesswork, and the results speak for themselves!

You're probably reading this on a pocket-sized supercomputer connected invisibly to the collected knowledge of mankind. All accomplished chiefly by the dedicated and esoteric study of electrons and the primary component of sand. 

But a teaspoon of sand and some jars of acids forming a simple battery are a far cry from the devices we carry around today. This is due to the other, most important feature of science: constant improvement.

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The purest form of science is a constant upheaval!

A non-stop roller coaster ride of what is true, right, certain, and solid being pounded into dust. A dust which either falls away and is replaced by something similar, or is reformed into something completely different. This all grows from the basic premise that science is always wrong. Because if it were ever right, there would be no reason to question theories or re-run experiments. This iterative improvement has lead to a technological Renaissance that has improved our lives unimaginably. Well... Certain parts of our lives.

It's important that we talk about what science is and what science does, because we're about to start talking about what it is not, and does not. 

Because we, today, at the tip of the spear of technological mastery, with our endless information availability, speed of light communication, with the capacity to share things with almost literally the entire world, are still just as empty as our predecessors who lacked these things. Still battle the same demons that previous generations fought. Still struggle after the same truth that our ancestors sought.

Actually, some argue technology has made us fight these things even more so.

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I believe this, because science doesn't answer those questions, because those questions are not measurable and testable and repeatable in an observable space. Certainly, science attempts to study these things, but a statistically averaged grief curve plotted over time does not give you comfort after you've lost a loved one. A pill which dulls your feelings does not change the fact that those feelings are hurt. The knowledge a miraculous healing is statistically insignificant does not make the miracle insignificant to the person who received it. A drug which temporarily induces a chemical state of happiness does not compare to a genuine feeling of joy. Nor peace.  Nor comfort.

 

This is what is most confusing to me about the concept of "Science VS Religion"; the two are not the same.  There are only a few areas in which they could be said to compete, but they are minor. The origin of the Earth is of no consequence to someone struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, pornography, or any other thing that takes them away from what is important, uses them, and leaves them feeling empty.

In fact, the nearest competition is a "God of the Gaps" theory, which is more of a "We don't know how the volcano works, but it seems mad! Lets sacrifice the thing we value, in the hopes that the volcano values the same things we do" theory. It's imagining an explanation for what we don't yet understand. This kind of "religion" isn't even on the same plane as Christianity. This becomes more and more evident as science discovers explanations for more and more.

So when someone says, "I don't need God, I have Science!" What I hear is "I don't need a cat, I have a car!" They're not even comparing apples to oranges because at least those share some category.

Actually, Cat vs Car is a pretty good comparison!

A car is a very practical machine that can help you cover long distances easily, allow you to shop around for groceries, pick up your kids from school, open new job opportunities to you, and amplify your area of influence. It asks only gasoline, which is comparatively cheap for what it offers.

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A cat, on the other hand, requires money, time, and effort to keep around. It probably gets in your way, leaves hair everywhere, and might even wake you up by sitting on your face. But when you get home after a long day, and it jumps into your lap and rubs its soft fur against your face, you get something back.  Something impractical. Something a cold, but efficient piece of steel does not, and can not.

God gives what nothing else can, and there is nothing else that can compare. There is no war between science and religion, and to believe there is one elevates science to a position it does not deserve.

 

 

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Kari RiosComment