Science and Religion

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Life

The age old debate

Science is not the only way of knowing and understanding. But science differs from others, in its dependence on empirical evidence and testable explanations. The idea of evolution is now more or less compatible with most religions, who accept that biological evolution is the reason for the diversity of living things, brought about over billions of years. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution.

In defence of the scientists, the ‘god of the gaps’ theory puts forward the idea of a god whose acts are hypothesized as the cause of that which science cannot explain. But as science develops, the mysteries of this world will unravel and the concept of God might just become a myth or it will prevail with deep roots.

Theologians believe in the existence of a supernatural designer who put all his efforts in building this world as it is now. A small chance or probability, (the odds of this happening would be say, one in a billion billion billion billion combinations and permutations) is all that the scientist can claim while saying that everything happened by accident. People advocating the religious side do have their own gut instincts that we have a master who created this world for us to live in it and have a life.

The evolutionary cosmology that emerges from physics and biology tells us that we are indeed made from the dust of earth. But if we delve into the details it might turn out to be grander than anything the scientist might have even dreamed of, let alone contemplate. For human life to have developed on our planet, we needed a universe even vaster than the night time sky. We require a cosmos of inconceivable age, finely tuned fundamental constants to stoke the fires of trillions of suns, and a balance of light and heavy elements forged in the embers of dying stars. And we do indeed have all of them. Which actually makes me wonder how this happened? Did the big bang happen by chance or was the origin of species all a mere coincidence.

And while searching for these answers whom should I listen to? Who is right? In my humble opinion the answer is clearly both - the positive aspects of both, to be precise. We don't need the stupidity of religious people or the egotistical stance of the scientific people. We need the ethics and integrity delivered by religion and the logic and reasoning championed by science. It is all about blending the two, and believe me, it's not easy to blend them. It takes time, patience, understanding and commitment. That is why the two parties love attacking each other, they are having a hard time meshing the two polarities.


written by