For really where they contradict is in the thinking of evidence and faith and how it applies to daily worldviews. That you can live in a world where faith and religion don’t contradict, but you have to separate the domain of thinking for both of them. That when you have your faith and go into church on Sundays, you must take off your hat of science and reason. And vice and versa, when you go into the lab and into the office or courtroom, you must put back on your critical thinking hat and use logic, facts, and evidence, and disregard personal beliefs.
I would say its about more than being right or wrong. It’s about the idea of living in a religious world where faith reigns supreme and religious over facts and evidence. That something is true based on evidence not religious faith.
The most essential conflict between science and religion is not in their conclusions — such as evolution, the heliocentric solar system, or the origin of disease — but in their ways of arriving at their conclusions. The fundamental disagreement is in how, rather than in what.
Religion relies on authority — from a person, book, or tradition — and its Truth is supposed to be universal and eternal. But in science, the authority is in the evidence and reasoning, which are always open to challenge; so science’s truth is relative and tentative.
A scientific investigation starts with a question, and tries to reach a conclusion by finding evidence and applying reason. A theological investigation, though, starts with a conclusion, and tries to wiggle around any impediments of evidence and logic in order to justify that conclusion.
To superstitious people, things not understood might be assigned to the realm of supernatural whims, which to a scientist represents a very pessimistic outlook. But as things that were once not understood become understood, this realm gets smaller and smaller. For example, most of us no longer attribute bad weather and disease to curses, mental disease to possession by devils, or earthquakes, storms, and eclipses to angry gods.
An interesting item along this line is that Isaac Newton had a small deficiency between his calculations of the motions of planets and the actual observations, so he invoked the hand of God. But a century later the great mathematician Laplace made better calculations with Newton’s own equations and showed that there was no such deficiency.
Strangely, although religious people nowadays don’t usually blame the god for illnesses and other catastrophes, they tend to credit the god for any relief from these!
It’s true that many intelligent people embrace both science and religion. They seem to compartmentalize their thinking; it’s as if they use different parts of the mind for science and religion, with hardly any interconnection between those parts. They adopt the comfortable myth that there isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a conflict between science and religion. -(Edgar Pearlstein, Professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska)
For this is what is implied when people say that science and religion don’t contradict, cause what they really mean is that you have to separate the two worldviews in order for them to coexist.
“Science and religion are fundamentally incompatible because of their unequivocally opposed epistemologies.” -Victor Stenger
In the presentation of ideas, science starts with evidence; but religion starts with (unproven statements of) faith. If you were to ask any Christian/Muslim did God create the heavens and earth? Almost all would say Yes; But follow that question up with, Can you prove it? Can you provide empirical evidence for this? And has this evidence been peer reviewed with similar conclusion by others with a high level of scientific expertise?
For this is where the difference is…In how things are evaluated and concluded. For in a scientific world. Things are concluded after a careful process of testing, and evaluation. Yet, in a religious mindset, things are concluded on faith…tell me which method of conclusion would you prefer to have?
- Facts vs. Faith
- Science and Religion
- Can Science and Spirituality Be Friends?
- Facts vs. Faith: How do believers separate Facts from Faith?
- What is more important: A Well Thought Out Conclusion or Faith?
- Faith vs. Facts by Jerry Coyne
- Does Science Contradict Religion?
- Fact vs Faith: A Christian Perspective of the Christian Faith Scientific Method
- Faith, Religion, Prejudice, and Contradiction
- Does Science Disprove the Bible?
- The Perimeter of Ignorance By Neil Tyson deGrasse