Is science and religion compatible

If there was ever such a debate, science won before religion could lift its ass from the seat. In my forays at WEIT [a site I highly recommend], I get the feeling that there are those, especially some physicists in the US of A, who think there is some room that should be allowed religion. They argue for accommodation saying there are aspects of human experience science can’t explain or examine which in itself is not based on fact and even if this were the case, theology or religion can’t provide us with answers. For the duration when the church had power, there was no development in human knowledge. All we had was inquisition and stifling of science, free thought and they invented blasphemy. I read also about scientists and theologians who say they occupy different magestria and so it can’t be said they are in conflict. I hold no such views and to the extent that theology occupies itself with the study of the absurd where no conclusions or predictions can be made, they will forever be in conflict.

The theist is wont to say that great men have been christians or religious does not make religion true. It only goes so far to show that a good scientist can make a bad theologian. We don’t remember Newton for his discourses on the nature of god but for his mathematics. No theologian quotes the works of Newton in church except when they want to appeal to his intellect. They can call on these great men to support their cause, but this will not make religion any true nor will it prove that a god exists.

I don’t remember much of what was taught in my biology class a few years back but am positive, my teacher[a good teacher he was even though I didn’t like biology much] did not say it was directed by god. I think the reason it didn’t make much impact in my life at that time had to do with the time allocated for the biology class which was less than an hour in most cases and this I think ought to be addressed. Now that his, among other things interest me, I will look at our science books to see what is taught in our schools and if I should find it substandard to write to the relevant bodies to have something done about it.

I have featured Col. Robert Green Ingersoll on this blog and today I also include one of his responses to the question of compatibility between science and religion.

Evolution and christianity may be compatible, provided you take the ground that christianity is only one of the links in the chain, one of the phases of civilization  But if you mean by christianity what is generally understood, of course that and evolution are completely incompatible. Christianity pretends to be not only the truth, but, so far as religion is concerned, the whole truth. Christianity pretends to give a history of religion and a prophecy of destiny. As a philosophy. it is an absolute failure. As a history, it is false. There is no possible way by which Darwin and Moses can be harmonized  There is an inexpressible conflict between christianity and science, and both cannot long inhabit the same brain. You cannot harmonize evolution and the atonement. The survival of the fittest does away with original sin.

I think the physicists in America who ask for the accommodation of religion are being dishonest. If they do they this to safeguard their jobs, then they are still not free and we have to fight for freedom of the mind so each person can say what he truly believes without fear of losing his job and the capacity to take care of those he/ she loves.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

9 thoughts on “Is science and religion compatible

  1. john zande says:

    Brilliant post, one of your best. It’s hard not to get fiery when “religion” and “science” are put in the same sentence.


  2. emmylgant says:

    …You cannot harmonize evolution and the atonement. The survival of the fittest does away with original sin. That’s it. Enough said.


  3. ryan59479 says:

    My general answer to this question is usually, “no, of course they aren’t compatible.” I think there’s this misconception out there that science and religion are really two sides of the same coin, that they’re both just trying to explain the universe. I think that’s a really shallow interpretation, though, and ultimately not true whatsoever. At the end of the day, religion isn’t about answers, it’s about morality. Religion is really nothing more than the codification of values. It’s a system of ethics and morals that tell people how they should lead their lives. Science doesn’t make any moral or ethical statements, and it certainly doesn’t tell people what the ethical way to live their lives is.

    But, more to the point, religion and science burn at opposite ends of the candle when it comes to answering life’s big questions. Religion starts with the conclusion: “Yes, we have all the answers, here they are.” Science, on the other hand, starts with the question: “What is the answer? How do I discover it?” In other words, there can never be anything objectively scientific about religion. The religious way of thinking can never fit into the scientific method.


    • makagutu says:

      If we can have these values without religion then it is a moot point to say religion has got anything to do with morality. If we took our morals from the religious books, there would likely be no one left since the books don’t agree among themselves on what is moral or immoral and besides if whatever god commands is good, then we kill all morality. Even without religion man would still have come to the conclusion you should not steal.

      What do you say?


      • ryan59479 says:

        My argument wasn’t that religion is necessary for morality. I guess what I should have emphasized is that everything that religion deals with is tinged with morality. Science is not.


  4. archaeopteryx1 says:

    “The Church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow, than in the church.”
    — Ferdinand Magellan —
    (1480 – 1521)


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