Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Relationship Between Science and Religion

According to my Facebook stream, there's a big debate about creationism VS science today.

Personally, I'm not very interested. All the Internet debates I've seen about the existence of God have been...lacking, to say the least.  It usually ends up with a bunch of ignorant people, shouting at a bunch of ignorant people.  The only difference is that one group automatically believes whatever scientists say, and the other group automatically believes whatever priests say.

In general, I've seen four basic ideas people have about the relationship between science and religion.

1. Conflict: Science and religion are fundamental opposites, so they must avoid each other at all costs.  Sometimes, this is hostile, and one side wants to destroy the other completely.
2. Equality: Both science and religion are 100% correct, in their respective spheres of inquiry.
3. Mixing: Science and religion are mixed together, to become one field instead of two. That involves making religion more scientific and making science more religious.
4. Contact: Science and religion are balanced and freely dialogue with each other, while maintaining their respective differences.

Catholicism aims for the contact approach to science and religion.  The Catholic Church believes that Truth is ultimately one, because Jesus Christ is the source of all truth, and he is unified. If there is a situation where a scientific truth seems to conflict with a religious truth, then you either have bad science or bad religion.


Anonymous said...

The debate was yesterday. It was between Kevin Ham and Bill Nye.

Flashman85 said...

Important clarification: the debate was creationism vs. evolution. I only tuned in for a small part of it, but what I saw had nothing to do with putting God on trial and everything to do with comparing the debaters' explanations of how the world as we know it came to be. It was a respectful battle of evidence and support, not a shouting match.

Anonymous said...

Cool! I see both religion and science in the "contact" fashion, too.:) In recent years, I noticed that both religion and science work together to support each other, rather than disagree with each other. Someone said on EWTN that the myth 'that science and religion are at odds' was spread by some scientists, who had a more atheistic view on things. Also the Bible mentioned the other humans (a.k.a. the neanderthals) at least once or more. I know Father Mitch explained it better. It is impressive.:) God Bless, Michael.:)