This is the last post in my Religion vs Science Series.
Different Worldviews of Faith and Science
I would definitely say that a christian/religious worldview contradicts that of a scientific world view. For in a religious worldview morality, faith, God, and the bible are king. The christian worldview starts with the assumption of God, and all things are proved and derived from God. For in a scientific worldview (If there is such a thing as a scientific worldview.) relies heavily on evidence, inductive reasoning, falsifiability and peer review evaluations. For they both view the world differently. For science looks for the natural explanation of things and religion searches for the supernatural as proof as validation for belief.
Epistemology of Searching for Truth
History has shown us that the church only accepts a new truth if it already agrees with their belief or as a last resort, because denying certain scientific or social truths, would make them endanger of being irrelevant, nonintellectual, or out of date.
“The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.” –Robert Ingersoll
For they both view the world and the search for truth differently. For in the scientific community there is a overwhelming emphasis put on evidence. For if a scientist were to believe something is true, they just can’t go out an publish an article and start proclaiming their own truth. They must follow the scientific method, test it, validate it through years of data and evidence, then critique it with peer reviewed support were others evaluate their data and evidence. And only after the evidence has withstood the critiquing of others can a new truth be declared. There is no process like this in religion, for if a pastor feels that have a new revealed truth, all that pastor must do is stand in front of his pulpit and say whatever they want to say. They don’t even need to provide evidence for the truth they feel they have. Sure a few might request it, but they don’t need evidence for their message. For they have faith.
Even the whole notion of faith and religion goes against the scientific method. For faith is the substance of thing hoped for the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) It is the non-evidence to believe in whatever a person chooses to believe, –evidence is not the guiding factor of religion; faith is.
The Character of Science Vs The Character of Faith & Religion
In the world of Science, Religion, and Faith there are several key differences that make the functionality of the two different. In Science there is no one scientific authority, there no infallible scientific voice like in other religious denominations. The only authority in science is the evidence to prove something true. There is no democracy in religion, it does not matter if everybody or the congregation agrees with you. All that matters is evidence and the scientific argument. Science is progressive in thinking while religion is traditionalist in thinking. It is only in religious communities, not scientific ones can you find dogmatic statements of faith. Science is always fine tuning the scientific model to improve what we know about the physical and natural. Were as religion is not fine tuning, it only accepts new truth as a last resort when it is in danger of becoming out of date or obsolete.
Philosophy of Certainty vs. Probability
In areas of certain cognitive truth both science and religion approach it differently. For in the christian environment there is a level of certainty that their bible, and faith gives them a belief that the God they worship certainly exist. And that they have a certain truth that everyone needs to hear -the good news; gospel. In John 16:4, Jesus says with confidence and authority, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This a favorite scripture by many Christians, for they feel with certainty that they hold absolute truth, and that all other religions don’t. For this is not the feeling of all Christians, but I do know some personally who feels this way. For in this type of certainty it can breed overconfidence, and in some cases arrogance of the christian who does feel this way. According to David Kinnaman’s study in You Lost Me 35% of young Christians described the church is too overconfident in what they feel is certain, that they know all the answers.
“This should come as no surprise to those committed to science and rational thinking because there is a profound conflict between our human desire for certainty and the uncertainty of scientific knowledge. The reason is that the conclusions of science are always provisional. They are always subject to change based on new evidence. Although by no means the only reason, clearly this craving for certainty the human mind appears to demand is likely to be a major force that drives people into the arms of religion, even radical religions that have clearly irrational views, such as the idea that flying planes into large buildings and killing thousands of people is a one-way ticket to heaven.” -(ScienceBlogs.org, Knowledge versus certainty in skepticism, medicine, and science)
In the scientific mindset, it’s the other way around there is no absolute certainty, but the assuredness that your results and belief will be critiqued with a fine comb to ensure your results serve as true. This serves as a constant reminder to the scientist, that they are not the sole champions of truth. Which is not something that seen in a evangelical christian viewpoint, for the more zealous the christian the more they feel that they are the sole proprietor of truth.
In religious thinking, often this is unacceptable. What is unacceptable is not a scientist that says I know, but it’s a scientist that says I don’t know, and how could you know? Based, at least in many religions, in some religions, or in some ways of being religious, an idea that there should be truth that one can hold and not be questioned….So summarizing, I think science is not about data; it’s not about the empirical content, about our vision of the world….For Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking, at the present level of knowledge. Science is extremely reliable; it is not [absolute] certainty.” –(Science is not about Certainty, Edge.org)
- Science is Irreconcilable with Religion
- Dealing with Probability vs Possibility
- The Lack of Conflict between Science & Religion by College Students
- Conflicts between Science and Religion
- Is Science a Religion?
- Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?
- The Shame of non-evidence
- Science and Religion Can’t be Reconciled
- Science is not a Religion
- God Contradicts Science; Therefore, God doesn’t exist
- Scientist Speak up on Mix of God and Science