When there is a seeming conflict between science and religion, people tend to make a mental choice that either favors religion or science. Which is it for you?
A recent article in Newsweek talks about this issue. There are some biases inherent in some circles of scientists that are anti-religion. Likewise, there are some biases among religionists that are anti-science. The general arguments are:
- Pro-Science. Science is the process of proving a theory through repeatable processes that always yield the same result. Science leads to an understanding of truth.
- Anti-Religion. Religion doesn’t hold up under the scrutiny of scientific theory. Therefore, religion leads to a misunderstanding of truth.
- Pro-Religion. Religious life is essential to human beings and is what makes life worth living. Religion leads to a knowledge of human truth and the truths about God; truths that save the soul.
- Anti-Science. Religion is a belief or hope in what is often considered “unknowable.” Because God created all, he is not bound by the same sets of rules as humans. Humans can never fully comprehend God. Science is based on theories of men, not of God, and dismisses the more important spiritual truths that are essential to humanity. Science may lead people to misunderstand or wrongly dismiss spiritual truth.
Generally speaking, the church’s stance is both pro-science and pro-religion and many church leaders have also been scientists. So, consider the following example and the possible responses to the scientific proof. The BOM speaks about horses, elephants, and the use of steel weapons and refers obliquely to the BOM people living somewhere in the Americas. Based on current archaeological evidence, these animals and weapons have not been found. Here are some possible responses one might have to this lack of evidence:
- Pro-science/anti-religion. The BOM is clearly in error. Obviously, the BOM was not an accurate historical record and was written by someone who did not know that these things did not exist.
- Pro-science/pro-religion. The data may be in error or more data may be found. Scientists may have been looking in the wrong place.
- Pro-religion/pro-science. The book may be ancient but have inaccuracies in it due to assumptions by either the readers or the translator.
- Pro-religion/anti-science. The BOM is true because I received a spiritual witness it is true, so scientific evidence is a non-issue.
Obviously, there could be other alternate views, but these are just some broad categories to force a choice. So, where do you stand on an issue when science contradicts religion or vice-versa? Take this poll to see.