Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog #47 - Science and Religion - Incompatible or Two Sides of the Same Coin?

I don't like making either / or arguments nor posing them so I will try to leave some wiggle room in the blog, but as we read through the cautionary tales of the scientists of the Renaissance, it makes one wonder (from a 21st Century perspective), what all the fuss was about.  Just because science discovered new things did NOT mean that religion was less relavant to peoples' lives, but the Catholic Church perceived it that way, and in many ways, evolution today is that old battle in a new disguise. 

Let's see what had happened to some of the Renaissance thinkers and scientists:

A statue stands at Campo de Fiori in Rome where
Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600. 
 1. Giordano Bruno - (1548-1600) - he was an Italian friar and mathematician / astronomer who proposed that our Sun was not only at the center of our solar system (building on the work of Nicolas Copernicus) but that it was a star and that the universe was infinite.  He also developed an amazing memory based upon mnemonics (word games used to remember things - HOMES for the names of the Great Lakes), but his opponents thought he used magical powers to enhance his memory.   During his lifetime, he alienated and offended the clergy and prevailing scientists wherever he went by challenging Aristotelian science and many aspects of the Catholic religion including:
  • Holding opinions contrary to the Catholic Faith and speaking against it and its ministers.
  • Holding erroneous opinions about the Trinity, about Christ's divinity and Incarnation.
  • Holding erroneous opinions about Christ.
  • Holding erroneous opinions about Transubstantiation and Mass.
  • Claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity.
  • Believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes.
  • Dealing in magics and divination.
  • Denying the Virginity of Mary (
The Vatican and other historians debate whether Bruno was killed b/c of his scientific beliefs or his contrary beliefs in the Catholic Church.  Looking at the list above, it's safe to say that he questioned just about everything that was divine within the religion (if these charges are true). 

2. Galileo - In 1610, the famous Italian astronomer published one of his more famous books, The Starry Messenger, in which he described some of his new-found discoveries using an improved telescope.  He found mountains on the Moon, four moons of Jupiter, possibly nebulae, the phases of Venus, and the potential existence of sunspots.  All of this, again like Bruno, contradicted prevailing Church and scientific beliefs (especially the idea of a permanent, unchanging perfect universe made by God).   Galileo's sarcastic and very blunt style of destroying his enemies through his writing did not do him any favors, and in fact probably created more enemies or prevented people from defending him. 
  - By 1615, a whispering campaign had become a shout, and Galileo was summoned before the Roman Inquisition to defend himself and his beliefs.  The cardinal who heard the case, Robert Bellarmine, was willing to settle for accepting Copernicus' heliocentric universe as theory but not as a physical fact, in a compromise to save Galileo.  Early in 1616, the Pope and the Inquisition Board found the Copernican system to be heretical "prohibiting, condemning, or suspending various books which advocated the truth of the Copernican system" (  Galileo agreed to the terms b/c he wanted to live and continue to find evidence to support his beliefs and his own personal works would not be banned. 
 - In 1632, new pope Urban VIII asked Galileo to publish a book discussing the heliocentric and geocentric systems but not to advocate for the heliocentric one.  Galileo structured the book as a dialogue between three scientists, one for the Copernican system, one for the Aristotelian system and one who is impartial.  The geocentric / Aristotelian scientist sounded like a dunce while the Copernican scientist scored points after points on the geocentric system.  Galileo could have eased up in his argument, but he buried the geocentric system it - see animation link here and the problem with Mars' orbit -  Pope Urban banned the sale of Dialogue b/c he felt that he had been portrayed as Simplico, the Aristotelian scientist, though Galileo may not have meant it that way since he and the Pope were supposed to have been friends.  It's a possibility that Urban was also under fire for not going after heretics enough to the Spanish cardinals' liking, and by allowing the publication of Dialogue w/o rebuke, the Pope may have compromised himself. 

In his trial in 1633, Galileo was found guilty of having promoted the Copernican system and was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life.  Also, none of his book, past or future, would be published for the time being.  Three theologians sat in judgement of him, not scientists. 

Your job:  you can use modern day examples, but explain why you think that science and religion either are or are not compatible with each other

Minimum 250 words.  Extended due date to Tuesday, May 10.

Sorry about the delay.  This wikipedia link examines science and its compatibility with several religions. 


  1. To put it simply, in no way is science and religion compatible. The main difference lie in their doctrine. Religion assumes facts through trusting a higher and holier power. Science knows facts through testing and proving hypotheses. In very rare cases, religion has enlightened science, but only because the person actually performing the science was religious. Religion itself had nothing to do with it.

    Perhaps the most prevailing example in our world today is the evolution and creation argument. There has been overwhelming evidence for evolution in everything from fossil records and vestigial structures to simple genetic principle and differing island-dwelling animal species. But still, there are some that insist on believing in creationism. Even though many religious people have taken up belief in evolution, the theory is simply not compatible with any religious dogma.

    In the overwhelming amount of religions, God is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-good. What kind of loving God would use evolution and make extinct 99% of all life forms that ever lived on Earth? We all learned in biology class that evolution is a constant struggle to survive. Evolution is both violent and brutal. Does that really sound like the mark of a good, caring God? If God was portrayed as more of sadist in every religion, then perhaps evolution would work in his favor.

    Whatever science has tried to accomplish, religion has tried to demolish. It’s very sad to think where our intellect would lay if science had forever been silenced.

    I am reminded of lyrics from ‘Future’ by Colony 5.

    “The prophets preach the end of the world, only fools believe their words.
    No truth without evidence, it’s easy to lie.
    Who can seek the answers? Who can see through the sky?
    Such a great temptation; who can carry such a quest and gain that information?
    We don’t need no God.
    We don’t need no God no more.
    We don’t need a tyrant.
    We want to love, we want to breathe, we want to be.
    Rebuild the world with the knowledge we retrieve.”

    Fred Ayres.

  2. Picture the universe as all the grains of sand on a beach, if you were to take one grain of sand, and our little blue planet Earth wouldn’t equal that grain of sand. How is it that the human body is such an amazing machine, the infinite possibilities it can do. Can science prove why earth is the only planet for billions of light-years around to be able to support life? When you are driving on the road and you look up at the beautiful sky and see the beauty, it’s unexplainable. The video we watched about dogs, why do dogs or other animals show us unconditional love? What made them this way? You’re walking on a beach and you see the beautiful aqua blue water, you feel the cool breeze on your skin, and you watch as the sun gently set under the horizon. Can science explain why? The ideas we have are so much greater than what we are.
    I totally disagree with the Catholic Church on how they denied everything that was not in the bible. They denied the existence of people existing in the west because the bible never talked about it, they denied the moon had valleys and mountains similar to earth, because the bible didn’t talk about it.
    Science was still at its infancy at the time and I feel the main purpose of the Catholic Church was to provide the answers temporarily until science was advanced enough to provide the real answers. What about miracles, how do people beat all odds when they are in the worst situations possible? Can science explain why we feel a need for love, why feel loneliness and abandonment? Why humans are meant to work and serve each other? My faith explains it to me.
    Is it all coincidence that we all are here, on this life supporting planet, healthy and functional, being able to see, smell, taste, hear, feel? Is it all coincidence that out of the billions and billions of celestial bodies that exist our little planet has been the only one to support life and not only, possessing intelligent, intellectual, independent beings able to pursue any goal possible, any dream possible. Our ideas are so much greater than we are.
    Can science explain that? Why this all happened and how is happened? I believe we were created by a high power and the reason why we cannot wrap our mind around The Creator is because we are his creations. Why do things happen to us that hurt us, and little do we know there is a greater blessing that comes out of the curse. There is a creator, but if were able to wrap our minds around him and understand why he does the things that he does, he wouldn’t be God anymore.
    For every curse there is a blessing.
    If you were able to label god and analyze him and put a box around God, would he be God anymore?
    Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

    Tony Massad

  3. There is a quote from the Simpsons saying "Religion has no place in schools like facts have no place in a church". This quote expresses the brutal truth, that religion and science don't intertwine. Religion is entirely faith based, if you brought the "facts" of jesus turning water to wine, or him walking on water, a scientist would immediately say that if Jesus had a larger mass per area then the water, he'd of fallen in. At the same time, if you brought into a church the facts (this is all made up, but I believe this is the real reaction) that the Virgin Mary really wasn't a virgin, you'd probably be shot.
    Religion and science are two sides of a coin. One side says you have to believe, the other side says you have to prove it. I'm not saying one side is better, but this is comparing fire and water, they don't mix.
    Lots of things prove this. For example, stem cell research, the perfect argument of god verses religion. Their really are no harmful effects of stem cell research, it really can only do good. However, many people look at it as playing god, and protest it, even though in reality, their is just a scientific argument and a religious one, and they go together like oil and water, they just encourage the religious side to say you have to believe, and the science side to say "look at the cancer we cured"
    Of course not all differences are this extreme, but think about it, when you see protesters at an abortion clinic, some,if not most of the signs always bring god into it, same to gay pride parades, same to medical marijuana clinics (although that one has a scientific argument against it too). My point is when a science opinion and a religious opinion exist, the don't combine, they fight it out, pure and simple, and continue to fight it out. You can't half believe in god, some call that agnostic, but in reality, you either believe in shlim (futurama reference) or you don't. The church hasn't made any remarkable scientific studies, and science hasn't contributed to strengthening the church, like you can either go to brunch with your in laws or sunday mass, it's your call.

    Jeremy Kazdan
    note) I'm really not trying to be offensive

  4. I do not believe that science and religion are compatible. The very basis of religion is to explain both the physical and metaphysical worlds around us, much like science attempts to do. To me religion has always been an almost lazy approach to explaining life. Instead of spending time and energy looking for answers, people are just taught that god did it. The human race is young and has only very recently started answering many of life’s questions. The ancient gods used to explain natural phenomena are now not even thought of when asked why it rains, or why the sun sets at night. Why are humans so reluctant to see and understand that this cycle is still in the process? So what if science can not answer why do we think, or why were we put on earth? In a few thousand years the human race could scoff at us for not realizing the basic scientific knowledge that they discovered explaining these things. Religion derives from man’s need to have answers. In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more”. Humans are uneasy by the thought that they may not know something. Religion was an invention to explain those unknowns, and now that science is beginning to fill in more and more of those holes, people are reluctant to believe that their religion may be wrong. I do not think that you can cross these ideas. Whenever science discovers something new, it will begin to contradict religion, until eventually the questions that are deemed “impossible” to answer using scientific method now, are eventually answered.

    Simon Kaufmann

  5. I have never been able to bridge a connection between science and religion. They're just simply not compatible with each other. Science is factual based, while religion is merely based on faith. You cannot "prove" anything with religion: there's always going to be those never-ending questions and different theories, never any cold hard facts.
    In my mind, I almost think of these as opposites in a way because they are such extremes from one another. One you can prove, and one you can't. Due of this very reason, I feel like there's going to be an equal amount of people who lean towards each of these. Religion always give you a sense of wonder and faith, and you're able to explore the possibilities of many many things, such as why we are here on Earth. With science, there really isn't much room for flexibility. Its pretty much "we are here because of evolution. the end." Some people are more "seeing to believe," therefore needs scientifical facts so religion can be extremely dissatisfying, since it is all based on trusting something that has no ACTUAL proof as mentioned above.
    I can understand peoples points from both sides because sometimes I do find myself somewhere in the middle. It can be quite frustrating at times though, because I will want to believe something i'm told to have faith in and to trust, such as there really is a God who loves each and every one of us, but then I see the hardships that us humans on Earth go through on a daily basis and it brings me right back to where I started. Either way, there is no way that science and religion can intertwine. I just don't see it to be possible.
    Jackie G

  6. I think that science and religion are compatible to an extent. While science can certainly act as a complete counter to scripture, (Darwinism cannot peacefully coexist with Creationism) there are elements to life and the universe that I don’t think science could ever possibly explain. When picking between believing the two, I think science is most accurate on the small details, and religious belief helps paint the bigger picture of life. Maybe religion is not the right word then, as religions are defined by the little details. Maybe religion scripture and science cannot exist but spiritualness and science can.
    That said, my spiritual and academic minds are always in conflict. For example, I can’t accept that the emotions I feel are purely animal instincts and chemical reaction, but I know that scientifically speaking they are.
    I tend to not be a very religious person and for a while I thought believing in god was for the desperate and not intellectually endowed. The scientist and academic in me rejected god as a myth, a foolish concept people used to deal with the inevitability of death. After all, if there is a god why do bad things happen to good people? More recently however a new question has plagued me: If there is no god how did the world come to exist? I know the big bang theory yadda yadda yadda but at some point, even in that theory, something had to have come from nothing. That simple fact makes me believe in a god. Simply put, science has certainly disproved religious doctrine, but it cannot disprove god.

    MIchael Schwartz

  7. If science and religion were consistent with each other I think we would have an answer to whether God exists or not… but science and religion are not compatible so the world is not certain that God and heaven exists. One can only have faith and believe and hope there is a God and heaven. Science proves whether something is true or false, right or wrong, face or fiction; science is not like religion because religious views require one to believe in something they will never see. Science is something that is, in my opinion, straight forward in the sense that you will find a crispy answer when you are done observing. When you are trying in find an answer in a religious manner you can never tell when the answer will come or in what form it will come in. Some people may think that religion is the lazy mans way to answer the questions of the universe but you could look at science being the lazy mans way to answer questions of the universe also. Science will take time but if you conduct your experiment correctly then you will know when you will receive an answer and you will know in what form it will come in. After rereading what I have written so far I think faith is the key word with this discussion. Religion is all about faith unlike science where every thing is solid or definite. That is what makes these two subject so different and that is why they could never be compatible. Plus, look how complicated and elaborate this universe is. There is no way that these things just developed from an atom that exploded one day. This world and this universe is made from the hands of God and that is what keeps this universe running. This place is so complex with in so many aspects that it has only a higher authority can make this and by higher authority I do not mean science.
    Tim Moore

  8. For the most part, I think science and religion are compatible. The main thing that causes conflicted between the two however is how the world and universe was created. But otherwise I do think that science and religion can coexist without conflict. The main aspect of religion is faith and your life after death. The goals of religion are not to tell you how certain things work, and what components exist within an object. The role of science can still exist with religion. There is scientific reasoning for most things, whether it’s on a molecular level or in the ecosystem. It gets really in depth and tells you how things work. But this is why religion and science are compatible. The job of religion isn’t to tell you how those things work. It’s about having faith and teaching you morals. I think how a lot of people live today is a good example of how science and religion are compatible. People all over have their own religions and believe in certain things. But they also know some aspects of science and the facts that come with it. I am an example of that. I believe in the Christian Catholic religion but I also understand knowledge about science that I have picked up in school. Once again the only thing that I see where one could say a conflict exists is the creation of the world. But otherwise the job and purpose of both isn’t to rival one another. The facts of science can still exist with the ideas of religion.

    Bretton "BRG" Graham

  9. Another example of how science proves religion is the immense complexity in our world that science unlocks and allows us to discover. Intricate structures within the cell and DNA have been proven by science to be extremely complex mechanisms. Naturally, something that appears so designed cannot be inadvertent. Science shows the extreme degree of perfection within nature. Everything in the ecosystem works together. Nothing is entirely independent. Life is an interconnected system and every creature; every plant plays a crucial role in this delicate system. If one thing goes array, such as an animal going extinct, it causes turbulence throughout the entire ecological system. Is it a mere coincidence that every organism is dependent on another for its survival in some way or another? Science shows the degree of complexity in our world and religion argues that the world is so divine, that it had to be created and designed. Both parties agree that the world and nature is divine. The break in viewpoints happens when they ask how did it become divine? Was it divinely inspired or did it just get that way?
    But not all of science is compatible with religion. The dating of the earth clearly isn’t. Most mainstream scientists date the world to Billions of years old, but the Judea-Christian religions would date it to less than 7,000 years old. That’s quite a difference!
    Part of the problem with accurately dating the world lies in the techniques we use to date it. In order to date the world scientists must assume that isotopes have been decaying at the same rate since the beginning of time. Research has continually proven that decay rates can change according to the environment of the tested relic. With radioactive decay dating, dates have been off sometimes by a factor of a million or even a billion. Furthermore, twentieth century lava flows register dates in the millions and billions routinely. If we’re going to date the world, we need to have accuracy.
    Krista D 2nd hour

  10. I believe strongly that science and religion (in my case specifically Islam) are compatible. I have strong criticisms for people who often demand scientific explanations for everything – they have made science their religion. They view things only in light of atoms and molecules without integrating beyond that. I find that my own knowledge of both religion and science are lacking, but often both run more deeply than whomsoever I am arguing with who insists on the total supremacy of a materialistic world. If one looks on the wiki link provided and looks to Islam and Science (I’m Muslim, what did you expect?) one will see that until there was western influence on Islamic thought, there was little to no dissention on Islamic science and we know from history that Islamic science left lasting marks on biology, astrology, engineering, chemistry and mathematics. And this wasn’t just Muslims trying to find out about the world, it was people who wanted to understand the world for their God. Religion was inspiration for science, not just a half-@$$ed excuse for what we didn’t understand. The only real conflicting issue on science is evolution and even then, ascribing to a platonic philosophy rids most of these assumptions (the layout of this argument takes some time, but if anyone is interested…). In short I find that we can either follow a religion of arrogance or follow a religion that pushes us to believe in something higher than us.
    -Nasir Sharaf

  11. I believe that Religion and science is like two strands of hair, beautifully intertwined to reveal a bigger picture. When I look at science, I can't see anything that would reject a belief in God. When it comes to certain doctrines I would say yes off course, but when you look at the core of what Christianity really is, there is nothing that contradicts it. Because when you think about it, in what way is science disproving God? The only thing it does is helping us finding out more details about how our universe works - in what way does that disprove God? People have posted arguments that the theory of evolution disproves Him, but there is something very important that people miss when they that: The theory of evolution is an extremely flawed theory. When you look at the hard facts, there are obstacles in the theory that are impossible to ignore. There is for example a law in biology that states that a cell can ONLY come from another cell; it is impossible for it to come out of nothing. There is also a law that states that the number of genes in organisms can never change and that there can never be created new ones; (much like DNA, where there is only four bases possible and always four bases which in different combinations makes up the genetic code of every living thing) but the number of genes in an amphibian which we supposedly evolved from are 500, while there are over 2000 in a human being. How are these pieces of information possible to fit together with the theory of evolution? They aren't.
    Another thing that proves to me that religion and science are compatible is how often the bible refers to scientific facts and make statements about how our world works. (Maaaaaany years before anyone would have figured this out scientifically). It for example makes statements consistent with areas like: astronomy, meteorology, paleontology (yes, the Bible DOES talk about dinosaurs), anthropology, biology, geology, and so on. These are only a few of the areas that the Bible mentions, so what many people don't know is that the Bible is actually the world's first book of science!
    With all this being said, my conclusion is that what science does is that it only further clarifies the nature of God and teaches us more about His creation. As I mentioned before, a common fallacy is that science disproves God in some way, but the Truth is quite the opposite. It's not a coincidence that more and more scientists are stepping away from the theory of evolution as we speak, and it's not a coincidence that as the field of science rapidly moves further and further forward, more and more scientists step away from an atheistic world view. (Recently 600 North American PhD's from various colleges/universities signed a contract where they distanced themselves from the theory of evolution on purely scientific grounds).
    - Nuff' said!

    Rasmus Sundqvist

  12. It's possible for any open minded person to hold religious ideas in their head while at the same time being aware of the scientific contradictions. Everyone has to find their own balance between how strictly the interpret the scriptures and how much thinking they put into the subject. Obviously there are a large group of people that take the bible or other holy texts literally and therefore they can not accept what science has discovered regarding creation vs. evolution or a total lack of evidence for miracles. But there is an even larger group that take scriptures with a grain of salt, knowing that they were written so long ago it would be wrong to expect them to be completely free of scientific contradictions. Atheists and the like use this as fuel to prove that all religion is a mockery, but that is also wrong. Supposing that there is a god, when he created humans, it would have been pretty difficult to sit them down and explain to them that they were made of atoms, which he combined to form molecules, which were recombined billions of times over billions of years until he arrived at a species he was happy with. It would have been much easier for him to just tell adam he was made of dirt. Food for thought..

  13. SCience and religion are highly connected. Scince is showing the proof of anything that is cable of happening and the explinations of happenings. Religion answers questions science cannot answer. Those questions though are usually greater questions like why everything is everything. Religion is over used and over looked at by everybody and some people take it too far. It's different than science in those terms though. When you get something righ in scince, the answer is right. People make up their own religions so there are too many right and wrong answers, each different or similar to the next. Scince is proof and religion is belief. Both can also cause problems or help situations get better too. All we can say for now is we live today and afterlife is unimportant for now. We should take science and religion as far as we can and as far as we would like to though, because it does help people in many ways.
    bobby haag
    second hour

  14. I find it extremely hard to believe that science and religion are compatible. I feel that in essence, the two are complete opposites. Religion is based off of some higher power, while science is determined from concrete facts and experimentation. I dont believe to know any religion that includes science in their practices. Perhaps modern religion has been emphasized by science, but original religion (straight up from the torah, bible, etc) has never been effected or determined by science. On the other hand, science has never brought in religion to it's assumptions. Science gives people stability in that there is always a mathematical answer to practically anything, while religion gives people the opportunity to explore themselves, and believe what they want to believe in their particular religion. Overall, I dont think that science and religion are compatible, and I definitely dont believe they will ever be.

    Becky Yuditsky

  15. We only can wish that science and religion were compatible with each other. There are some people that can possibly intertwine religion and science, but you asked regular people that make up the religious part of the country I think most of the responses would be pretty simple, that salvation comes through religion and no science is going to disapprove. Science has a stable amount of power to challenge many things, like religion. Science also requires a lot of work to prove what you are going after. Science has been known to PROVE things (I am still skeptical if what we know is what we know) that may scare religious folks a lot. Nobody wants to be told that god isn’t real, how would continue living! how would wake up every day and go to star bucks knowing there is no GOD! *gasp* I personally see religion as a way of pretty much the most apathetic source for humans. People are so lazy to read and gain knowledge that they just roll onto religion.
    Science reads between the lines, it breaks things up a challenges them and tries to date back to when everything happened. It might not prove if god exists, but it will always try to create a puzzle that might underlie that statement. But once again, nobody wants to obtain knowledge, especially if it will turn their beliefs into mush. Science itself will always contradict religion, until it can physical prove that whatever the sub-topic is true or not true, exists or does not exist.

    p.s what a waste of time it is in real life to debate science vs. religion

    Nicolas Morgan

  16. To me, science and religion are not compatible in any way. Science is based on theories, which are eventually (not always) proven right or wrong by man. In science there are facts and information that have something to back them up. Religion to me is something people made up to make them feel like they have a purpose in their life. Religion does not have fact, but does have information, which to me is made up by some random people that thought they have a “high power” or ”connection”. Religion and science, I think will never intertwine. Religion is based off of belief but with not actual experiments and facts. Science is started by a belief. BUT have facts, experiments, and information to prove them right. Plus most things to me that deal with religion is not legit or logical, it is all made up stuff that people use to help them feel better about themselves.

    Anais. W

  17. I do not think that science and religion are compatible with each other unless it is a new religion based off of science. I think that there is no way religion and science can coexist because science is based more upon reason and factual information and religion doesn't need to have solid facts to be true and is more based off of beliefs. I feel like people who believe in science sometimes doubt the ideas of religions such as Christianity because there is little to no reliable information left to prove anything. After generations and different versions of the bible many of the stories could have easily been changed just as they are in folk tales. Science tells us that above the clouds there are stars and other planets but with religion we are told that there is heaven so if we have evidence that tells us about space where is heaven? I feel as though people with christian beliefs have to pick just one because theres no way that the heaven that is described to us can coexist with the stars. Another example is that people who are religious feel as though god created everything but science tells us that everything is created through elements, atoms and molecules not just some magical force of God. I also think that people who are religious and experience "their heart being touched by christ" is just a coincidence or they were imagining it. I don't think and I feel as though someone who believes in science would not agree with this feeling because there is know physical evidence. There is just no way they could be compatible because the two are based upon different values.

  18. Science and religion have been at odds since the resurgence of scientific thought during the Renaissance. Ideals formed using ancient Greek and Roman discoveries from antiquity created a vast rift between scientists (who no longer believed the laws of heaven were different from the laws of earth) and the clergy of the Catholic Church. Numerous "heretics" (people who circulated theories which contradicted the teachings of the Church) were executed in an attempt to curtail free thinking. For this exact reason, I strongly believe that religion and science are like oil and water, completely separate and absolutely revolting to look at when placed in the same contained area. Countless scientific fields directly contradict the teachings of the Church, most notably, stem cell research, and various types of rhinoplasty and cosmetic medicine. While the Church's influence has vastly diminished since the Renaissance, these fields of medicinal practice are still a source of controversy between liberals and conservatives, with stem cell research being illegal in many states and nations across the globe (no doubt a result of the religious bias of conservative politicians).
    Let me make this argument a little more personal. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I previously attended a very conservative religious school, only for two years thank God. However, in our "science" classes, teachers were able to build their own curriculum based on what they saw was appropriate to teach a "good Christian child"....which in my case did not include the existence of dinosaurs. I had an extremely difficult time believing that there was no proof of the existence of dinosaurs, having come to this particular school from elementary school at Cranbrook, which had an absolutely beautiful science museum....full of fossils. Even though legitimate science is out there and has proven many a theory, religious fanatics, such as my previous science teachers, chose to ignore it. This complete denial of virtually proven fact can be likened to the Holocaust denier, compelling evidence, sites, etc can be observed all across the globe, but the fundamentalist right will forever continue to reject it ever happened.

    Christopher R.

  19. I believe that science and religion are in no way compatible. The main difference is that science can be proven or disproven through lots of testing and experiments. The way that religion conflicts with science is that it can’t be proven or disproven. People that stick with science hate the fact that religious events can’t be proven, as well as religious people hate why science freaks want every damn little thing proved. Also another reason is that science is ever-changing. Every year there is a new finding or possibly a new invention (like the organ printer). Another thing is that religion isn’t willing to accept new theories besides what is written in the bible, which as we know was written thousands of years ago. If there is was new scientific achievement every year, think about how much they would be missing. Religion is something that happened thousands of years ago when there wasn’t much science at all as a way to explain what is happening. For example Greek mythology. Whenever there was a thunderstorm, the people thought that they got Zeus angry so they did everything they could to appease him. Now in today’s eyes, hearing something like that happen just sounds a little silly. Now we know what causes thunderstorms, and it sure as hell isn’t a pissed off Zeus.

    - Ariel M

  20. I don’t think that science and religion can ever be compatible. I think people have a hard time in believing in both science and religion. Science and religion have a very different view on life and how it started. Like the big bang theory and a higher power, or god. Who or what started the world, and how can anyone prove it? I don’t think that science can have an explanation to everything, and neither can religion. One just has to live life a little blind. In other cases, the religion is not okay with agreeing the new discoveries of the world according to science. For example, when the heliocentric came out, the church didn’t like that they were changing our perception of the world and those believers were kicked out in a sense. In modern days, the Catholic Church has many disagreements with scientific beliefs. For example, the current Pope disagreed with the health benefits of the use of condoms. While there is a great and evident benefit of condoms, the church refuses to believe in the use of condoms. It’s hard to say one is wrong, because the church has its own beliefs it wants to follow and science wants the answer and solution to everything. The religion relies on faith and believing things that you can’t see or explain, versus science relies on facts and information that has to be proven or explained. They have very different views on life and the way people should live it in.

    Riam K.

  21. I don’t see any reason why science and religion can’t be compatible. People have a right to believe whatever they want, therefore someone has a right to believe that God is real while still believing in evolution. There is no wrong way of thinking, no opinion that is correct.
    It is true that a lot of science contradicts religion, and vice versa. The entire idea of evolution verses creation is incredibly controversial. Is it true that God created the Earth, or that science can explain it? Even if science were to find all of the answers about our solar system, people with a strong faith still wouldn’t believe it. The same goes for an atheist. Even if God were proven to be real, a strong believer in science would not believe this new truth. However, these are the extremes. Most people have a slight bit of doubt about the world around us. The ability to question our surroundings is part of what makes us human. The fact that we don’t know all of the details and facts about our world is proof that science and religion are compatible, since neither one is definite. If God were to be proven to be real, then science would be incompatible. If science were to find every answer to our world, and beyond, then religion would be out. By saying that none of these practices are compatible with the other, that is stating that one is true while the other isn’t. Nevertheless, we haven’t reached that point with either.

    -Julia Chesbrough

  22. I don’t know whether science and religion are compatible with each other but I do believe they work off each other. Science has proved many things throughout history even things that have been religious based for many years, like the earth being the center of the universe. Science is very complex and sometimes there is not only one answer much like in religion there is not always one answer. Science has proved things that religion cannot however religion has given answers to people when there are no scientific answers available, for example what happens when you die or someone’s purpose of life. People need answers to why they are here on earth and religion gives the answers they are looking for. It also gives examples to what happens after you die, for instance in the Catholic religion if you were not the best person but not a horrible person there is purgatory and you will not go to hell, and if you were a good person you go to heaven. I think science and religion can work off each other but are not necessarily connected. Evolution is an example of a scientific example of creation that is logical and plausible however the question of the missing link still remains. The big bang theory is another scientific example that cannot be perfectly explained by science. Science in my opinion is what fills in the blanks for the things that religion cannot explain and religion explains the things that science cannot explain.
    Melanie E.

  23. Can religion and faith coexist? That question may be one of the most difficult questions I have ever had to answer and a question that is often on my mind. For me personally I’m not sure if I even have an answer.
    My whole life I have been raised Catholic and I have attended church for many years but lately I have been questioning many aspects of the Catholic Church. At this point in my life I’m just not finding any answers to all the questions I have about the way the world works. I really want to believe in a higher power or an all seeing being but I just haven’t had any proof if there is one.
    Although I question many things about my religion or about the world I still do pray and look to God when I need guidance but I also trust what science tells me. I’m a firm believer that science answers many questions but not all of them. Science will never be able to tell me if there is a heaven or an afterlife but science does tells me about how the world was created or how people evolve overtime. Learning about religion and science in class sometimes leads to me getting frustrated because there are so many people in class with varying opinions.
    At this point in my life I don’t think I have lived long enough or had enough life experiences to really say that there is no god or there is one. I really want to believe that there is a god because I have prayed to him all my life. When it comes down to it you have to have faith, faith is the key to believing.
    -Kevin C. Luyckx

  24. On many subjects science and religion are not compatible with each other. They have different beliefs of how we came to be, what the earth is, and our importance in the scale of things. The difference is that science is based on theories that are usually proven or disproven. Whereas religion is based on beliefs and stories passed down from generation to generation. When I learn about a theory in science, there are experiments, formulas, and data to prove that this theory has truth to it. Theories in religions have no factual content, besides the fact that it is written in the bible. If I were to create a religion and write my own bible on the unknown questions of life, perhaps one day, and years from now, people could look at what I had written and too believe it word for word. I believe that religious writings are meant to be guidelines, to help us have hope, faith, and live a happy life. I do not think that they are meant to be read concretely. However science and religion can work together to try to prove or disprove one another. For example, the story of the Jews exile from Egypt speaks of ten plagues that occurred as the Jews left Egypt. In the movie, The Exodus Decoded, scientists show evidence of how it would be possible that the ten plagues could have occurred. While science can prove that things in the bible could have occurred, this still leaves doubt in my mind that they did occur. None- the-less, both represents mans attempt to make sense of the world around them.


  25. I do not believe that science and religion are capable of being compatible with each other. I feel as if these two topics are on opposite sides of the spectrum. In my personal life, I have come to acknowledge science as a purely factual concept. As I have grown older and have had a chance to explore life more in my own eyes instead of my parents, I have come to see religion as more of a speculation about the ideas in our life. There is no definitive proof that religion explains different parts of our lives.
    Many individuals believe that we were put on this earth by God or for God, and we have to continuously live up to what this God desires or has of standards. There is no way to be 100% sure that this theory is correct. On the other hand, if we take the science approach, scientists have been on there way to confirming that the only actual purpose for humans is to reproduce to maintain the species population. Maybe it’s true that neither of these theories can be proven. I believe, however, that the science approach at least has better basis to be proven because science is a testable concept.
    I just feel that people who rely on religion purely and don’t take in account science, are relying on speculative hope instead of facts.


  26. I do not think that science and religion are in, any way, compatible. In the past, and much within the last century, there have been many cases where new technology and learning have disproven religious teachings. Take the case of evolution. Religious teachings say that the earth and all the life on it was created in 7 (maybe it was 6?) days time. Now, through the fossil record and carbon dating, scientists have been able to prove the earth is around 4.3 billion years old, and that through a small miracle, intelligent life has been created from nearly nothing. Scientific discoveries today have proven some of the bibles stories to be very improbable. Science always does the job of disproving religious stories, since about the time of the renaissance. Giradino Bruno and Galileo both released works that challenged the teachings of religion. Unfortunately, they were both viewed as criminals for their research because they directly “attacked” the church’s teachings via science. They argued that the earth exists within a Helio-centric world, disproving the teaching that everything in the universe orbits the earth.

    The argument for religion and science explaining the origin of the earth and the life on it is like so. If I think the Tampa bay rays are the best baseball team ever, but you think the Detroit tigers are the best, we both think that we are right. Maybe one of us is right, and maybe we are both wrong! The tigers were good a long time ago (how religious teachings were viewed as correct), but as of recently, the rays have been very good. (Science as an explanation of the universe being viewed as correct) But maybe in the future, a whole new team (type of thinking) will become the dominant force. I know that was a quite extended analogy, but I think it’s a good way to explain how science and religion oppose each other.

    ~Kyle A. Gray

  27. Blog #47
    Braxton Allred
    In my opinion, I believe that science and religion are for the most parts compatible. I believe that the methods, theories and all proven things in science are laws and restrictions God created and by trying to understand nature and how its set up and working, we come to a further understanding of God (although I don’t think we’ll ever fully get it). But like I said before, there are parts in religion and science that aren’t compatible. A very good example of this is the creation of mankind (as we have talked about in class and earlier in the blog). Science has for the most part taken the side of evolution and survival of the fittest as the reason species change and use that to reach how mankind began. But in opposition in the Old Testament of the Bible, talks about how God created man out of the Earth and that’s the end of it. Now the answer to the creation and beginning of mankind has been debated since the theory of evolution came to be, and it’s incredibly hard for me or any Christian to deny it logic. But to move on to another topic, I don’t think that science can explain many things in the universe. For example, what caused the “Big Bang” in the theory (what imbalance caused in the universe caused it)? And for that matter how did the particles in the Big Bang theory even come to be and how did they join together into an incredibly dense ball? You could even ask how the mind works, and why do I have a conscience, what makes me tick? And to be honest, I don’t think science can explain that (or if they have I’ve never heard it) and that’s where Religion and specifically for me, God comes in. He fills in the gaps that science I don’t think science can fill in but like I said before, science and everything that pertains to it in my opinion are the tools and methods God used to organize and create our world.

  28. I do not think that science and religion are compatible with each other unless it is a new religion based off of science. I think that there is no way religion and science can coexist because science is based more upon reason and factual information and religion doesn't need to have solid facts to be true and is more based off of beliefs. I feel like people who believe in science sometimes doubt the ideas of religions such as Christianity because there is little to no reliable information left to prove anything. After generations and different versions of the bible many of the stories could have easily been changed just as they are in folk tales. Science tells us that above the clouds there are stars and other planets but with religion we are told that there is heaven so if we have evidence that tells us about space where is heaven? I feel as though people with christian beliefs have to pick just one because theres no way that the heaven that is described to us can coexist with the stars. Another example is that people who are religious feel as though god created everything but science tells us that everything is created through elements, atoms and molecules not just some magical force of God. I also think that people who are religious and experience "their heart being touched by christ" is just a coincidence or they were imagining it. I don't think and I feel as though someone who believes in science would not agree with this feeling because there is know physical evidence. There is just no way they could be compatible because the two are based upon different values.

    Natalie G

  29. It's possible for any open minded person to hold religious ideas in their head while at the same time being aware of the scientific contradictions. Everyone has to find their own balance between how strictly the interpret the scriptures and how much thinking they put into the subject. Obviously there are a large group of people that take the bible or other holy texts literally and therefore they can not accept what science has discovered regarding creation vs. evolution or a total lack of evidence for miracles. But there is an even larger group that take scriptures with a grain of salt, knowing that they were written so long ago it would be wrong to expect them to be completely free of scientific contradictions. Atheists and the like use this as fuel to prove that all religion is a mockery, but that is also wrong. Supposing that there is a god, when he created humans, it would have been pretty difficult to sit them down and explain to them that they were made of atoms, which he combined to form molecules, which were recombined billions of times over billions of years until he arrived at a species he was happy with. It would have been much easier for him to just tell adam he was made of dirt. Food for thought..

    Jake P.

  30. I think Science and religion are correlated only in the way that what science hasn’t proven yet, religion tries to explain. In a kind of turn of the tables it almost seems like eventually religion will become obsolete to science in the same way science was to religion in the past. The more things that are proven whether natural or unnatural, science is expanding and becoming far more plausible where religion is dwindling and becoming more farfetched. To me the highly the religious are just grabbing at straws now more than even to try to prove they’re still right, and they cannot accept when they aren’t. I firmly believe in evolution, yet when you talk to some people they will deny that dinosaurs even existed because it wasn’t in the bible. It just seems kind of foolish to me. The other thing I like much more about science is that there is no discrimination. No one’s going to "hell" because they proved a theory wrong, there’s no gender, race, or sexuality boundary for science. It seems more like a community where everyone is free to express ideas, and that’s why it keeps progressing. Religion still clings to these things making it seem quite exclusive even when promoting the vow that god accepts everyone. If you don’t fit the bible cookie cutter of a sin-less being, you’re either looked down upon, or doomed to spend the rest of eternity in hell once you’ve passed. This has turned out to sound much more offensive than I wanted it to, so sorry about that one. But all in all there’s no way to get everyone on one side or the other, which is why I stand by the point that current, they fill in the gaps that each other cannot.

    -Lauren N.

  31. In my opinion, science and religion are compatible. Religion simply fills in the blanks that science cannot, like the existence of a higher power. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a higher power (God). According to science, everything must come from something, and nothing is created or destroyed. Therefore, someone or something must have created the universe. This could mean (1) The universe has been around for all eternity, or (2) The universe was created by God who has been around for all eternity. The reason why it may seem that science and religion are not compatible is that some people on both sides of the science-religion spectrum are extremely stubborn. On the religious side, some believe that we must take holy books such as the Bible literally, leaving no room for interpretation and science. On the scientific side, some people look at science as a religion, and refuse to even consider the existence of a higher power. That is problematic, as you cannot prove nor disprove the existence of a higher power (as I mentioned earlier). Another reason why it may seem that religion and science are not compatible is that they have a long history of intolerance. During the Middle Ages, many philosophers and scientists were killed for attempting to advance the cause of science, many of whom did so with the belief that it would bring them closer to God. Science is a way for us to better understand the universe which may or may not have been created by a higher power.

    -Brian Mark

  32. Religion always halts the development as it is canonized. This is true for all religions. The main thing here is that one has to live. As I see almost 100% of human existence as we know today is nothing but due to science and 0% due to religion. The important thing is always to live since without living there is no progress. Religion has no place, intention or solution for living, it is dogma. Humans by nature are fascinated by mystery and hence religion. People who shout hoarse about creation, god do that very thing, live in a house, do a job, get vaccination all, due to science, absolutely nothing due to religion. Once not worried about death the lure of religion falls away, what will surely happen if children are kept away from religion, a generation or two. Religion should belong in history not in real life. In real life it is barbaric science, nothing more. It does not take any genius to think about some creator, about also the lack of one, if one is given enough experience/drugs apparently. There are simple but brutal truths about religion valid for all religions. For all the talk about knowing things bigger than life, after death, heaven, creation etc, none of these religious figure could ever think of even coming close to curing leprosy worldwide, forget some one/two healing some cannon mentions. The curing of decease had to wait till 20th century. No religious figure, though apparently they had infinite wisdom, could think of the real cause of any single disease, no bacteria, virus. So people died in millions, religion had no help. They did not know a thing!! If our very existence is 100% due to science then why bother some unknown powers, creations etc in old, unverifiable, religious texts. The simple fact is, they are essentially useless for ones life. The most important thing is to live and not waste your life going after religion. If science has no answer to something surely religion has no clue, if religion cannot make people live, how can it claim to know something better! Also there are some simple contradictions, according to all religions, the followers of any other will go to hell/equivalent, so in essence all of us meet in hell after death, well that simply cannot be true. Also if there is a god, why there is hell-elementary issue there and naturally who created that one. In eastern religions, there is cause and effect, so if one has poor life, it is due to past actions...what a way to justify a hierarchical society, King is the man!, No, as long as there is a reasonable government and with religion in history books-not home, people have nothing to worry. They can continue to develop science have a better society and die peacefully. In the 21st century religion belongs only in museums whereas science is day to day fact and life!!


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