Science and religion are commonly perceived to be mutually exclusive contradictions in terms, as it were. Both the method and the aims of science and religion seem to be different. While science is linked to the material, religion is concerned with the spiritual. On the face of it the scope, sphere and method of science and religion are different and exclude each other. Science is objective while religion is subjective; Science relies on experiment, religion on experience; science deals with the material world, religion with the Supra mundane.
Over the ages a conflict has developed between science and religion. But science does not have the answer to everything. Science without religion gives rise to materialism and other ills of life. There is no real conflict between science and religion. The approach is different but the goal is the same. The conflict between science and religion is superficial. There is no real antagonism between the two.
Science and religion have apparently different aims and objects, yet in fact they are closely related and act and react on each other. Science and Religion, the two terms have come to signify a contradiction in terms. On the face of it, it seems difficult to find a compromise between science and religion.
Tar their scope is different and excludes each other. Science deals with the world that we know, the material world that is comprehended by the senses; religion is concerned with a supra-mundane world- world that we cannot be said to know. Science believes in things that can be proved; religion is preoccupied with ideas that have to be accepted without ''roof Science depends on reasons; religion on intuition.
The scientist works in the laboratory of the material world; the religious teacher works within the recesses of his personal experiences. Religion begins where science ends. Science says that the First Cause is unknowable. Religion says that it can be known through the discipline of religion, for it is God who is not only self-existent but self- revealed.
Hence, there is bound to be hostility between the man of science and the man of religion. Science ends when matter ends. But religions oppose to this finite world of matter, the God who is endless. Science relies on experiment, whereas religion on experience. Any religious experience, be that of Christ or Ramakrishna, is personal and subjective and it cannot be tested by any experiment.
One has to believe in it. On the other hand, the experiment of science is an impersonal venture. Also, objectivity as a temperament of the mind is needed in this pursuit. So rationality is one of the tools that science employs. Proof is provided in the form of tangible results which can be perceived with the eye and at times can be sensed. As the words 'experience' and 'experiment' connote, the worlds of religion and science are poles apart.
Science is concerned with 'how' of reality whereas religion is concerned with the 'why' of reality. Science takes up the tangible entities and analyses them into their minutest parts, and then comes to conclusions regarding the way in which tangible realities are organized.
In brief, science is analytical. On the other hand, religion takes for granted the reality. The path of religion is metaphysical. Indeed, the rationalists of religion pursuing the path of metaphysics postulate the concept of God: And this faith enables the religious man to attribute a design or meaning to the reality. Thus, science is analytical in approach whereas religion is synthetically.
Religion is subjective, as religious enlightenment has to be felt by one's own experience. Unless and until religious experience is felt by an individual himself, he cannot reap any pleasure out of it. The moral and religious rules are allied and have to be followed by individuals in appropriate ethical situations. Science, on the other hand, deals with the objective side of life. Scientific discoveries are common property. They are experience felt by all and sundry. They are open to common men and not shrouded in mystery or haziness.
They are truths, universally true and subject to scientific calculations. A systematic scholarship and concentration is needed to get at scientific truths which are subsequently tested and approved by hypotheses and experiment. But so long as scientific knowledge is imperfect, the place of religion and god will continue to be highly relevant. So long as scientific theories do not reach perfection, humans have to fall back upon their own reasoning and secondary powers of their own soul and spirit.
In this sense, science and religion actually converge. Both scientists and saints have to undertake solitary travels into the regions unknown and to depend on themselves only and nobody else.
But once a line is drawn between them, their ways bifurcate and take separate routes. Religious truths remain essentiality the property of the individuals who experience and realise them through their own inward soul and mind and not through the external manifestation of things which have a physical behaviour.
Scientific truths, on the other hand, become the property of the whole world and go to inflate the store-house of human knowledge. Religion is perhaps as old as mankind. Even in the earliest times man had some idea of the higher power, a superior unknowable force pervading and controlling the universe. The earliest form of man's worship of serpents, science and statues is clear proof of his belief in an All-powerful Creator. Science is of more recent growth.
The earliest phases of science may not be more than four or five thousand years old, while modern science began only in the 15th century. But Religion is very much older and before science made its appearance the former was the chief force guiding and governing human thoughts and conduct.
The supremacy of religion, however, gave rise to many evils. Religion encouraged superstition and other evil practices. The heads of various religions assumed almost the powers of a dictator over their followers. The true spirit of religion was ignored on account of these developments. But with the beginning of science, many of these evil growths were badly shaken.
The conflict between science and religion was for some time very bitter. The conflict between science and religion shows how truth has to suffer in order to establish its claims.
Pioneers of science had to face numerous difficulties. Galileo, for instance, was thrown into prison for his new theories about heavenly bodies. No better was the fate of Copernicus who pointed out that it is the earth which moves round the sun. In the 19th century also Darwin's Theory of Evolution gave rise to angry opposition from the Christian Church, since his theory cut across the Biblical version of the creation of mankind from Adam and Eve.
The Churchmen raised the cry "Religion in Danger" and pressed for the persecution of such scientist. Guy uses evidence that the first medieval Church universities started the modern study of astronomy.
Despite the differences between religion and science, Guy believes that we can comingle ideas from both sides to progress our studies of the universe even further. Consolmagno One of the topics in The Constant Fire introduces James Clerk Maxwell, one of the great physicists in his time, and his view of religion and science co-existing with each other. Maxwell formulated equations that explained electric and magnetic fields and the unification of these concepts into electromagnetism. It showed that his religious belief was unyielding, despite his scientific advances in society.
At the same time I think that each individual man should do all he can to impress his own mind with the extent, the order, and unity of the universe, and should carry these ideas with him as he reads [the Bible].
Maxwell set an example showing how his experience in science was an aspiring journey to glorify his God. Even coming from one of the greatest scientists in the orld, like James Maxell, Newton concluded that there ironically was no warfare between science and religion.
Frank Science comes from the creativity of an individual making up a new hypothesis. Religion comes from varied interpretations of how they view the spiritual being they worship. I believe there is such thing as a middle ground: I still keep to the constitution of scientific theory composing our world, but I also keep multiple hypotheses in mind.
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