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Thread: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

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    Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Here is a link, on Discover Magazine's site, to one of the best discussions I have ever seen on the question of whether or not religion and science are compatible. I believe a discussion here of the same thing may be beneficial.

    Religion and science, of course, are very different from each other. While science is based on suggesting a hypothesis, then examining the data and rejecting those hypotheses that fail the test, religion makes statements of fact that are not based on any measurable data. But should we just throw out religion? There are many things that science just doesn't know. Could something supernatural happen without science being able to detect it? For example, when you die you don't come back. You are dead. But the Bible says that Jesus came back to life after 3 days. According to science, this cannot be, based on hypotheses that have been tested again and again over time. But could there be another hypothesis that science has missed? Of course not. But faith is a funny thing. the word "supernatural" suggests something not natural, and as such, not in the realm of science.

    So what about it? Is science the end all of knowledge, or can some things be explained through faith? In attempting to answer this question, you should realize that you are not going to be able to explain God in terms of science, and just as equally, you are not going to be able to explain science in terms of religion. Both areas are mutually exclusive from each other.

    Discussion?
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    "I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details."

    Albert Einstein
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Religion and science are 2 different realms. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. Like comparing a lion to a duckbill platypus. They answer 2 different questions.
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by incompatible. A fairly good number of scientists are religious, from what I've seen.

    If you mean that faith cannot be tested by the scientific method, and vice-versa, then I agree that the two approaches are too different to be fused in this manner.

    If you mean that a person cannot have a reverence for their religious beliefs and at the same time have a scientific mind, I think that is obviously false.

    Probably a good many people would call me religiously devout; at the same time I'm facinated by science and know more about it than 90% of the people I associate with.
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkWizard12 View Post
    Religion and science are 2 different realms. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges. Like comparing a lion to a duckbill platypus. They answer 2 different questions.
    Since both of them can exist in one man “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” - Einstein, if somebody wants to wear the poor guy down to holes."

    "Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion."

    The full text for those who are interested:

    "With reference to Professor Henslow's mention of ether-granules, I ask permission to say three words of personal explanation. I had recently, at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, occasion to make use of the expressions ether, atoms, electricity; and I was horrified to read in the Press that I had put forward a hypothesis of ether-atoms. Ether is absolutely non-atomic; it is structureless, and utterly homogeneous where not disturbed by the atoms of ponderable matter.
    I am in thorough sympathy with Professor Henslow in the fundamentals of his lecture; but I cannot admit that, with regard to the origin of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science positively affirms Creative Power. It is not in dead matter that we live and move and have our being, but in the creating and directing power which science compels us to accept as an article of belief. We cannot escape from that conclusion, when we study the physics and dynamics of living and dead matter all around. …We have an unknown object put before us in science. In thinking of that object we are all agnostics. We only know God in His works, but we are absolutely forced by science to believe with perfect confidence in a Directive Power—in an influence other than physical, or dynamical, or electrical forces. Cicero, by some supposed to have been editor of Lucretius, denied that men and plants and animals could come into existence by a fortuitous concourse of atoms. There is nothing between absolute scientific belief in a Creative Power and the acceptance of the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms. Just think of a number of atoms falling together of their own accord, and making a crystal, a sprig of moss, a microbe, a living animal. Cicero's expression, "fortuitous concourse of atoms," is not wholly inappropriate for the growth of a crystal. But modern scientific men are wholly in agreement with him in condemning it as utterly absurd in respect to the coming into existence, or the growth, or the continuation of molecular combinations presented in the bodies of living things. Here scientific thought is compelled to accept the idea of Creative Power. Forty years ago I asked Liebig, [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justus_von_Liebig]Justus von Liebig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] walking somewhere in the country, if he believed that the grass and flowers that we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, "No; no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces." Every action of human free will is a miracle to physical and chemical and mathematical science.
    I admire the healthy, breezy atmosphere of free thought throughout Professor Henslow's lecture. Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion.
    In conclusion, I have the pleasure to move a hearty vote of thanks to Professor Henslow for the interesting and instructive lecture which we have heard." - Kelvin Is Lord!

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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Take it from a future scientist. We think we know things, but we don't, we know nothing. God could exist, and for all we know he could be this thing. Even if we did know stuff, God is entirely beyond the realm of knowledge.

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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Science and religion are in fact compatible. Gods are defined outside the realm of science and science will never seek to use gods as answers to problems. That's up to the individual to choose. Nothing in science proves or disproves gods, not even evolution.

    But if for some reason science and religion were not compatible; I'm taking science all the way.
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    That are compatible but they are uni-directional:

    Science can explain the ways of God(s).

    But God(s) cannot explain Science.

    We have seen time and time again that there are scientific fallacies within the Christian Text.
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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    religion say god did it and that settles it

    science explain how stuff work both are not compatible

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    Re: Science and Religion are Not Compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    Here is a link, on Discover Magazine's site, to one of the best discussions I have ever seen on the question of whether or not religion and science are compatible. I believe a discussion here of the same thing may be beneficial.

    Religion and science, of course, are very different from each other. While science is based on suggesting a hypothesis, then examining the data and rejecting those hypotheses that fail the test, religion makes statements of fact that are not based on any measurable data. But should we just throw out religion? There are many things that science just doesn't know. Could something supernatural happen without science being able to detect it? For example, when you die you don't come back. You are dead. But the Bible says that Jesus came back to life after 3 days. According to science, this cannot be, based on hypotheses that have been tested again and again over time. But could there be another hypothesis that science has missed? Of course not. But faith is a funny thing. the word "supernatural" suggests something not natural, and as such, not in the realm of science.

    So what about it? Is science the end all of knowledge, or can some things be explained through faith? In attempting to answer this question, you should realize that you are not going to be able to explain God in terms of science, and just as equally, you are not going to be able to explain science in terms of religion. Both areas are mutually exclusive from each other.

    Discussion?
    The core of the author's argument gets science wrong in a very fundamental way

    The reason why science and religion are actually incompatible is that, in the real world, they reach incompatible conclusions. It’s worth noting that this incompatibility is perfectly evident to any fair-minded person who cares to look. Different religions make very different claims, but they typically end up saying things like “God made the universe in six days” or “Jesus died and was resurrected” or “Moses parted the red sea” or “dead souls are reincarnated in accordance with their karmic burden.” And science says: none of that is true. So there you go, incompatibility.
    Science says nothing of the sort. Scientific models provide explanations for a set of experimentally observed phenomena. That's all. Science doesn't say "Moses didn't part the Red Sea" any more than it says that Bigfoot doesn't exist. There is no physical model explaining how Moses parted the Red Sea, but the lack of such a model does not mean that science takes the position that such an event never happened. Similarly, the biological record contains no information on bigfoot, but neither would any kind of scientific body declare that bigfoot does not and never did exist. If somebody found a bigfoot tomorrow, the world of biology would explain a little more about the world. It wouldn't be declaring that one less thing doesn't exist, though. And if god spoke to Steven Hawking tomorrow and told him to get in a lab so he could take some measurements of god parting a beaker of water, various parts of the physics world would develop models of how god parts water and start to explain that. They wouldn't stop saying that god never parted the red sea.

    There are only a few times that science takes a negative position and declares that something didn't happen or that something doesn't exist, and most of that are things like declaring species extinct, or declaring older scientific models incorrect. Science explains a few things, and it explains more all the time. That's it though - there isn't a Scientific Position on everything under the sun

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