Home > Uncategorized > The Nature of Science vs. or and Religion

The Nature of Science vs. or and Religion

On Monday we discussed an article that had to deal with the nature of science. This boggled my mind because I’ve always thought of science in categories such as biology, chemistry, anatomy etc. so to define the nature of science, basically its essence/meaning overall, is difficult for me to do. My idea on the nature of science may be a bit unorthodox because I come from a very religious/spiritual background and they say that science and religion don’t/shouldn’t mix. However, I’m not sure if I believe that…not completely anyway. I was raised to believe that anything I wanted to know about science could be explained in the Bible, and that subjects such as the big bang and evolution theories were against God because we are to believe that He made everything the way it was supposed to be and that we, humans, who were put on earth to fulfill His plan, shouldn’t question anything.

The article defines the nature of science as “a body of knowledge…and a set of practices…used to obtain…that knowledge” (Pg 6). I interpret this as “Man’s thirst to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of anything and everything.” However, did you ever wonder where this thirst came from? Theorists have suggested that it is something that is programmed in to us. They say it is programed in us to seek knowledge. I agree completely. So where does religion come in to this theory? The Bible suggests that were not meant to know all that we as a human race do now. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden God told them not to eat from the fruit from the tree of good and evil, but they did anyway. Once they ate the fruit, the Bible says that “their eyes were open”, meaning that something clicked in their mind that their was more going on than just frolicking in a garden all day long. I believe that is the moment the “programming” that theorists are talking about actually happened. Once Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, they had to learn how to make a living on their own and with no manual that spelled everything out for them, they had to go through a trial and error (exploration, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion) process until they got it right. While some religious people may see the idea of science as a sin before God, I see how it all started with a sin (eating the fruit) but not how the outcome (the nature of science) is a sin within its self. It’s like what I’ve been taught about pre-martial sex and out of wedlock children. My mom always said, “The sin is in the sex, not what comes from the inside of the sinner.”

My thought process in the nature of science may be very raw, but its what I believe. I can necessarily try to ignore the religious part of my being while in this class but it’s hard because that’s who I am. Also, as I stated before I do believe that religion and science can function together in some aspects. For example, I don’t believe in the theory of evolution but I do believe in the big bang theory to an extent. Yes, I believe that God created everything perfectly but I like to think that the way the creation of the world is described in the big bang theory is exactly how He caused it happen, but instead of the process taking hundreds of years like we think it did, it only took a day. I believe that the continents do fit together like pieces of a puzzle but I don’t believe in the Pangaea earthquake. I believe the God made them look like pieces of a puzzle for the same reason He made butterflies beautiful, its another something life for us to look at.

I don’t want to turn this into a religious debate. I’m not in to that. I just want to know if I’m the only who thinks this way and if not, why?

What do you think “the nature of science” is? Explain.

Can religion and science be mixed at all? Why or why not?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 15, 2011 at 12:31 am

    We are extreme opposites in this case, but I am happy you brought it up because until now I hadn’t thought about the religion part about what is science. I was brought up in a home where religion was literally nonexistence (except for the celebration of Christmas and Easter, which were not celebrated in a religious way). I don’t know about the details of the story of Adam or Eve or really any religious reference and at this point in my life have no interest in learning them. Therefore for me, science and religion are not connected in any way except for knowing the history of the controversy (e.g. the Scopes Trial). To me the nature of science is more what the essay talked about: the idea of trying to discover how certain things came to be and a certain set of guidelines to find the answers, no religion involved. But through the essay and now your post, it is clear to see that there are many different views of what the nature of science is. I believe that there is no defined right or wrong answer to what is the nature of science because everyone has different views and beliefs that they will stand by. Basically, I don’t think religion or God is involved in the knowledge of science, but that is just my opinion. There are hundreds of opinions and for me hearing other points of view is fascinating and necessary to learn more about the world.

  2. September 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

    I think you make a very interesting point. There are a lot of people today who either diss science or diss religion; there are very few people like you, who seek to find some sort of middle ground. However, in a way, I agree with you. I think the only way for either train of thought to function completely is if they work hand in hand. I mean, yes, most scientists agree that we have substantial evidence that the Big Bang actually occurred. But who is to say that some sort of God, or higher being, did not set that process into action? Charles Darwin and others were scientifically right when they noticed that, over time, organisms slowly change and evolve to increase their chances of survival in their environments. We have ample proof that supports this idea. Darwin observed finches on the Galapagos Islands, and how their beaks looked different depending on the type of food that they ate. Why did different finches have different anatomies? So that they could get the food that they need to survive. This idea of natural selection is really an undeniable fact of life. After spending years and years studying apes and other monkeys, it has become apparent that we do, in fact, have a lot in common with them, genetically speaking. To suggest that humans have been living, in our current state, on this planet since it was created is, I think, failing to recognize the scientific advances our society has made.

    Regardless, though, I am not among the people who completely dismiss religion as being irrelevant. I am a believer in the hypothesis that God has set all science into motion. He (or she) has created this enigmatic world for us to discover and learn about. It’s not just completely random. The splendor and complexity of planet Earth and all its inhabitants isn’t here. It got here for a reason. Yes, there are scientific explanations for everything. But the question I keep returning to in my mind is…how? How does science exist? What lies beyond science? And to me, at least, the answer is something even more complex, more celestial, more divine, perhaps…

    As far as humans knowing more than we’re “supposed to know,” the Bible explains that God granted humans free will. I think science and how fast humans attain information in the modern era is a little bit stunning to many people. At least in my personal opinion, I’m not so sure that God has a “plan,” so to speak, as to what we are allowed to know, and what is destined to remain a secret.

    Branching off to another different, but related topic, I find the debate between those who call themselves Creationists and those who believe in Evolution interesting. I am not so familiar with what exactly Creationists say, but from what I know, it seems as though people who follow the Bible literally as far as chronology, the world was created in seven days, etc. might be reading into things too much…? I want to stress that I think everyone is COMPLETELY entitled to his or her own beliefs. Nonetheless, I am curious what everyone thinks about if or how Creationists fit into this discussion, and whether or not there is room for their theories and scientific theories to coexist.

  3. September 16, 2011 at 3:53 am

    By the way…I hate to be annoying or irrelevant. But jadaasmith, could you shine some light on how exactly I create a blog post? I have established how to leave a reply, obviously…but I am having difficulty creating my own post. Thanks!

  4. September 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I like your approach to the whole science-religious conflict (I’m not sure if that is the right word to use, however). I have a friend who is a very religious Muslim and he shares a somewhat similar view. He believes that Allah instigated the Big Bang and put things in a specific order so that evolution could proceed unhindered. I’m a moderate atheist, but I respect views that don’t contradict science to a ridiculous degree.

    It is highly plausible that humans are naturally gifted with a thirst for knowledge. While this has had negative results, it is, without a doubt, one of the biggest factors in humans’ rapid evolution. Concurrently, a recent study showed that elephants follow very specific burial rituals and that they could potentially be following a polytheistic religion (http://northernplanets.blogspot.com/2006/11/breakdown-of-elephant-culture.html).
    Does this mean that humans, a considerably more advanced sentient race, were also at one point “programmed” to be polytheistic? Did this lead to our current monotheistic beliefs? is the nature of science an idea procured by our religious beliefs or are our religious beliefs elements of the nature of science?

    Put short, was it science (specifically, evolution) that lead to religion or was it religion that lead to our scientifically advanced state?

  5. September 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I could not agree more with the view that science and religion can coexist and even complement each other. I was raised Roman Catholic, but it was never anything that was truly forced on me. As I got older I went to church less and less up to the point where I only went for occasions such as Christmas and Easter. However, I never lost my belief in God. When it comes to things such as the Bible, however, I don’t take it as factual evidence in many cases. Especially not the Old Testament. However, when I look at the Bible I see great insight into past cultures and beliefs. Even when one considers other sacred texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Qur’an, whole cultures are laid out for us to study.

    This is where I think science can come in. We can use our scientific knowledge today to closely examine these texts and to give us context for many of their stories. We don’t have to use science to disprove religion, or use religion to nullify scientific theories. No matter how hard scientists try, for example, they cannot disprove the existence of a greater being such as God.

    Both science and religion, in my opinion, rely heavily on faith. Religion is the most obvious example because we cannot see a higher being or have proof of reincarnation for example, but I think science works much in the same way. We cannot know everything about the natural world or how it was created. Yes, we have theories such as the big bang theory (which I completely believe in) but we cannot prove that it truly happened. We might have great evidence in favor of it, but we can never have that 100% certainty. That is why we have to have faith.

    I believe in the theory of evolution, I believe in the big bang theory and I don’t believe many of the stories in the Bible. But I do believe in things such as a “historical Jesus”. There is science behind Jesus’ existence, but there’s no science that can prove or disprove whether or not he was the son of God. In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter either way. All that matters is what YOU believe in, not what science or religion tells you. I’ve considered the science and I’ve considered religion and I’ve decided I believe in God and I believe in Jesus Christ. All you really need to have is faith in one direction or the other.

  6. September 18, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I really find it interesting how you said when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they realized that the Garden of Eden was only a fantasy; and the way you related the nature of science to the original sin.

    Though I’m not a believer in religion, I still find them very intriguing. Perhaps science is not a sin against God. Perhaps, it is the punishment that God administered among people for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. As you said, there was a time when people did not have to know much. However, God forced people to use science to figure out more about the world. Maybe science is the result of eating from the tree?

  7. September 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    As a person who is not religious, but a person who enjoys learing about religion and science, i found this a very interesting blog. Personally I feel that no one will ever know the truth to how this universe and all of these creatures that reside are created. Thats just me. I feel like science is used as an attempt to find out, or even come close but honestly i don’t think anyone will ever know. Personally I don’t even want to know. I like how you related back to the bible, I grew up in a hindu house hold and was never exposed to other religions outside of hinduism. Essentially hindus believe in the fact that the universe was created due to a higher being, but also hindus believe in reincarnation. Now thats a whole different story which i don’t know if I would like to get into. I enjoy science, and i enjoy what science has to say about the world. I enjoy religion and i enjoy what religion has to say about the world. I don”t know if i prefer one over the other, since I am not religious nor extreamly scientific, but over all i like this post alot and hearing your views on it. In regards to your question about can religion and science be mixed, i would say yes depending on the people who are mixing it. I believe that if two people who enjoy both science and religion can talk about science and religion and say that they live in harmony. I believe that science and religion are both perspectives of the people. In a way they could be invented, in a way they could be concrete. But like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsi pop, I truly believe that The World May Never Know.

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