ON THE ISSUE OF “SCIENCE AND RELIGION”

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Articles
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

by Okoye Chukwudi Charles

“Science does not conflict with God,
For it seeks Harmony in all.
Science does not conflict with God,
But with Religion and Its Law.”

–The Journey of the Soul

In as much as I believe that there is a reason for everything, in as much as I believe that there is a reason for our existence, for life and death, and that there is no mistake or chance in the Universe. I think that shallow explanations or reasoning (or lack of them) for things are not good bases for mankind to operate on, even if such explanations/reasoning give us all a peace of mind.

I read a post on “Ndigbo” group page on Facebook some time last year. In that post the writer tried using many fallacious statements to disprove Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. He argued that if Evolution is possible that there should have been evidence of evolution in recorded History. And since no one has witnessed it first hand, and since no animal or plant has evolved in human history, then the Theory must be bullocks. He also used the premise to dismiss Science as the work of deranged if not devil-possessed men, whose aim it was and still is to misled the Children of (his) God. He concluded with a vague and highly hilarious statement using coldness and darkness, where he stated that Coldness is not the lack of heat for coldness has degrees of heat and darkness has degree of light. According to him, one can not make darkness more darker, even though one can make something brighter, in other words, Science has no control of anything.
I do not know the writer but from all the fallacies I read, I did conclude that he is not a scientist, and he does not in anyway understand the workings of Science.

According to Wikkipedia; Science (from Latin word scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, “Science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.
From this definition one can see that science has a clearly laid down procedure that must involve series of proven and coherent tests. And once a hypothesis does not stand the test of time or space it is either abandoned or reviewed.

Science is very very different from Religion, for it is built on logic, reason and experiment and not on faith. The teachings of Science can be abandoned or reviewed in the face of superior arguments/theories, but not so with Religion; which continuously demand unconditional surrender be it in the lion’s den or in the burning furnace (If you know Daniel, then you will understand).

But in all of these, Science does not challenge the existence of God. I am yet to read any book where it is clearly stated “Science Confirms the Non-Existence of God,” rather all that science is doing is to make us to be more realistic, more rational, to be users of our mind, to be better at our faith. Science has tried to rationalise everything, to make all terrestrial…to make all simple…so that a skeptic will see and believe. It is some scientists and philosophers that make their own personal beliefs regarding the nonexistence of God (which is also based on logic, reason and experiment) but these are not Scientific Laws, they are mere theories, if not hypotheses.

Science only disagrees with Religion on its modus operandi. Science goes for what was, what is and from these tries to determine what will be. It also tries to answer why the universe was, is and will be. But Religion goes for what should be, and often times substitute it for what is and what will be. Science is purely logically and experimental, it is pragmatic and appeals to our human reasoning and common sense, but Religion is loftier and exotic and appeals to our emotions which at best is dynamic and influenced by our human fallibility.

To say that something is True, it is true if and only if it is universally true at all times. You can not be fair today and tomorrow dark and expect to be judged as universally stable. You can’t keep people “blessed” by continuous confusing them and making it difficult for them to find out the truth. You can not always use the tactics of Faith, -blind faith… “Believe it all in Faith”

EVOLUTION is only one of the THEORIES that explain the existence of life-forms on earth as we know it…but not the only Theory. A theory is a statement that correctly explains some of the happenings on the Universe, it can still be reviewed or abandoned for a better theory, it is very very different from a Law.
A law in science is A and Amen, it is like a dogma in Christendom and is unchangeable…like the Law of gravity, law of thermodynamics, Hooke’s law etc but there is no Law yet for the formation of life. Still the Evolution theory has tried in its own way to explain life with some physical evidence though imperfect-as they may be, but an evidence still. Its religious counterpart quick to denounce it forgot to give us any evidence to support its points except to state that “God made the animals and then made Man, and you should never doubt God, you should not concern yourself with his ways but in all thing, Believe!” They have even in a mocking way asked ignorantly why no evolution had been witnessed so far. This question is for the stupidly ignorant..as a geologist I know how long it took for mountains to be form, for oil in the Niger Delta to accumulate, for a river to run its course and so on and so forth…so the answer will always be TIME. Give it enough time, a million years, even hundreds of millions of years maybe, and you may see it or you may not.

The Idea of God is a very delicate one which has caused more death and suffering than the Atomic bomb. There is nothing that divides the world today more than the belief (or lack of belief) in God. Wars have been fought (and still being fought), innocents have been slaughtered (and are still being slaughtered), properties had been lost, lives had been ruined in the name of a being who is all merciful and loving yet have remained indifferent through it all. This has led me to conclude that

Maybe all things were made by God
But it created more problems than it solved
Maybe there is life after Death
But Religion could be the cancer of Earth

—Lines Written at Midnight Hour

Nevertheless, I do strongly believe that there is still a place for Religion in our present society. As I stated above, I do not believe that the Universe is by chance or that Life is a mistake. I do not believe that we are born just to run around and die leaving descendants that will run around too and die…I do not believe that life is a run around unto Death. No! I feel that there is a purpose, a goal for all these coming and going. Religion gave us a theory to explain our existence, Science is yet to give a workable theory on that, and till it does, I feel that Religion as ambiguous as it is, as open to speculations and manipulations as it is, still holds relevance to those of us that are on the precipice of running mad in this coming and going that goes on forever.

In conclusion, God gave us a brain, the working of the brain produces the mind, in the mind lies Thoughts, Ideas, Dreams and co….without the brain, a material entity there will be no mind, an immaterial entity.
God gave us the tongue, the working of the tongue, a material entity produces words, an immaterial entity.
I have raised this point before and I will raise it again…

“From the Physical Universe,/ Comes the Spiritual Universe”
—from “The Journey of the Soul”

And

Water flowing under the bridge
Is much more older than the bridge
And much older is human soul
To spiritual teachings and goal.

—“The Journey of the Soul”

Who knows, we might even discover at the end, that God himself is part and parcel of the Natural Universe, a product of this Natural universe….if I were to call The Natural Universe the Brain, then I will Call God, the Mind.

Matter begets the Mind, but its the Mind that subdues, purifies, perfects and recreates Matter. It is the mind that rules over Matter and visa versa….this is what I call a SYMBIOSIS.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Kendzi says:

    Ever heard of the Antropic principle? You should read it, I think it’d help you with your argument.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Thanks Mr Kendzi for the suggestion…I have looked at it and have read some of it. But it did not really answer the questions here nor did it contribute much to the topic…even it even raised more questions. I would loved your oppinion if you do not mind.

  2. LegendaryCJN says:

    “Water flowing under the bridge
    Is much more older than the bridge
    And much older is human soul
    To spiritual teachings and goal.”

    I’ve countered the above and would continue to counter it!
    I believe that one does not step into a river twice. The bridge is always older since it is not moving. As for the body water, it migrates and cannot come back the same forever.

    Meanwhile, I must say that you have done well in this write-up, and I applaud your courage in attempting to elucidate this age-long issue. However, I still find it one-sided and not objective enough. Religious and scientific jingoists have over the years, over-flogged this issue. And it is not my intention to venture into the matter here. I have reached that stage where I now accommodate people’s viewpoints without qualms. The idea is that histories and or stories of hunting would always elevate the hunter above animals until animals hire a historian or get one.

    Notwithstanding, I have to counter this one though,
    “Science is very very different from Religion, for it
    is built on logic, reason and experiment and not
    on faith”.
    I must say that the above is faulty. It lacks empirical prove. And on the contrary, religion thrives in both logic and faith. It thrives even more in logic than it does in faith. Is it not logic that just because Mary is a virgin, she can give birth to a perfect child? Contrary to popular opinion, virgin girls are as rampant as disvirgined girls, then and even today.

    I have issues with many of your assertions, but I don’t have the will power to delve into them all now. But one thing is sure, religion thrives in anomalies, but as the first-born child, it’ll always have the upper hand than science..

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Mr Cjn…always the controversialist…its a pity that these days I try to avoid arguements as much as possible…but I will chip in few words…Water flowing under the bridge is like a River flowing under the bridge…there must be a river first before you can build a bridge over it…its like the principle of “Cross-cutting Relationship” in Geology where a body of rock must have to first exist before magma from the ground can cut through it….this is used in determining the relative age of a rock.
      Religion does rely squarely on Faith and barely on logic. Whenever logic becomes impossible to apply in Religious Matters, Faith becomes the sole prove. You of all persons should know that My good man. I am first and foremost a scientist before I even imagined to pick up a pen to write. As of Religion being the first Child to Science, I can not really say…Science has always existed though not in the rigid form we know it today…but it has always been there. The Ancient Egyptians did not build their civilization by praying and fasting…there were lost of calculations and experimentations that went into that…they are forerunner of geometry and astronomy, medicines and engineering…these are pure science…It is just that these were used more to give credibility to their religion.

      • LegendaryCJN says:

        Even if there is a river before building the bridge, it does not make the water the same. It has always been same river, different water. If you had said that the river is much older than the bridge, I’d agree with you. Also, that the rock existed before the magma, does not make the rock to become magma. That one is derived from the other does not make them same.

        Science and ancient civilisations are basically second-born children, or had sold their birthrights to religion.

        • Ezeamalukwuo says:

          I now see your reservation with WATER, you are a FireMan (lol).

          As for Science and Religion, I will have to leave you to your views…which I must say is Science-deficient…no offence.

  3. olisaeloka says:

    I don’t believe in Science because the evolution theory and others like it sounds too unrealistic. But science helps us in its own way, I must admit that. On the part of Religion, well, I don’t know what to say. Because Instead of a blessing, religion has been a plague in a great part of the world. Instead of saving souls, it now slaughters. Its becoming disgusting to me. The issue is complicated. My brother,Very complicated.

  4. Great article. I simply love the break down of this critical analysis. It simply digs deep into the many factors emanating from the constant exertion of condemnations thrown against the walls of Science by religion.
    Kudos!

  5. @Sensei_Muna says:

    Deep thoughts well structured and perfectly delivered,
    However, one sharp question, why did evolution stop?, no, has evolution stopped?
    Realistic Religion is my take, not fanatical, as the later clouds reasoning power.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Now this is a non scientist talking…you should read my good man..The Geologic Time Scale…yes. It will help a lot to illuminate the Evolution Theory for you.
      Evolution has not stopped according to the theory…it takes time, millions of years…Mann Homo Sapiens have only existed for less than 10 thousand years…while the evolution of life from single cellular organism to our mutlti cellular systemic organism took about 4 billion years and had accelerated in the last 560 million years after the PreCambrian era…too much geology I suppose..He smiles.

      I am not a fan of Evolution Theory, I believe that there are some truth to it but I believe that there are too many ambiguity to it all…I am a religious person, but I am also a scientist as well…I am open to all and I will only judge one as evil or wrong…only when it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt to be such…I believe that as time goes, Religion will diminish while Science will grow…I believe that it is inevitable…or perhaps they will fuse together to become one…something quiet strange…but possible.

      I just wish that God will pity us and help the goods guys win more often…it will help us the religious scientists.

  6. Anene Francis says:

    I must salute you for the bold step you took in raising this topic and the hardwork and solid reasoning required to piece this together. Well done bro.

    Another delicate matter of discuss. Let me begin with this famous quote I agree with:
    “Religion without science is lame.
    Science without religion is blind”
    God created us with with a blank mind but with intellect to discover things for ourselves and with that we practice our religion better. Science seek to explain things beyond reasonable doubt within human capability. With the ever modifying of theories, we see that many things cannot be known with 100% certainty. That does not mean we should embrace ignorance. This leads to the philosophical question with conflicting answers : ” what is truth?”.
    It obvious that many people misunderstand what science is and also what religion is. You did well to clarify that ( but you did not give us Wikipedia defination of religion as you gave for science. Not fair o lol). There are many scientists that are religious and many that are not. Personally, I believe we need them both for a meaningful life. The difference lies in which of them an individual holds unto above the other in cases of ‘seemingly’ conflicting laws. As a religious scientist, I hold unto my religious teachings while seeking to understand it better with the aid of science not contradict it. I think that is why catholic priests undergo rigorous studies in philosophy before doing theology. I refute the generalization you made that those who accept religion regect the evolution theory. Many, most, not all. I read elsewhere you said that evidence of evolution are too evident to be pushed aside and that is true but not conclusive. Let me attempt to show a possibility of religious teaching agreeing on the evolution theory. There is a faint possiblity that the 6 days of creation written in the scriptures, was not meant to be taken literally. (Similar to writings in the book of Revelation about things to come). Moses was not present then but wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Same thing that caused the slight differences in the gospel accounts with different authors, the Holy spirit inspires someone but he writes within the limit of his knowledge. Add that to the inconclusive findings of evolution theory and you’ll see a possible intersection. Science is still on course.

    * Science is an important tool in religion. E.g st. Paul achieved more than the other apostles in the work of Evangelicalism not because he was more blessed with the gifts of the Holy spirit but because he was far more learned. His studies aided his ministry to the glory of God. Reject science, and you will be limited in that regard (lame).
    * The problem with ‘many’ scientists is pomposity arising from the vastness knowledge acquired. Everything must be explained (even metaphysical things) else they would not believe. Like it or not such are blind. (Knowledge that does not lead me to God is not worth having. Me sha)

    I don’t know where you got the idea that religious laws are dynamic, influenced by emotions and human infallibility. What religious followers alter by acts of disobedience relates to morals only. Science do not have much to do with morals so their comparison in that line is faulty.
    I said this before. Judging religion solely based on the attitude of its followers (most of us ignorant or disobedient), I have found to be very misleading.
    Suggestion:
    so that a skeptics…” > “…so that skeptics…”
    Keep it up mr Solar. I envy your courage.

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Dr Anene…thanks for the educative comment…I am glad you finally read this…but I believe that you and I are actually on the same grounds.

      I have some problems with the Evolution Theory, especially when it postulated that extinction is neccessary for evolution to occur…that is bullocks and I feel that helps Nazism to grow…survival of the fittest…some have to be wiped out so that the better purer and stronger race will thrive…but as a scientist I know the tremedrous value that such theory have on the field of Biology…It can’t be thrown aside till a better theory or arguement is postulated.

      I see myself as a religious scientist…but I am not into science just to explain and compliment my religious believe…no, I am here cos I feel that it is vital for the advancement of knowledge and human race…if some sciencific theories clash with their religious counterpact, I will pick the one most honest and real, most profitable for mankind….I am no fanatic…I am open to change, but I believe that there is an Unchangeble changer…my method of reaching him may differ from urs…my good man.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s