On Science and Religion

On Science and Religion

The scientific evidence for evolution is very strong; in the same line of thought, the scientific evidence against the evolutionary theory is quite robust.
Yet, I do not believe that the Darwinian evolutionary theory that seeks to explain human origin (s), the birth of the cosmos, and the emergence of earthly species is quite compelling to reject the idea of a “religious universe”– as John Hick calls it–nor do I hold firmly to the notion that the creationist theory offers a better explanation for these phenomena and the realm of metaphysics.Science and religion could be used concurrently to help us get a better  understanding of the world.

For example, there are major flaws in the evolutionary theory. For example, there are prominent scientists who have challenged and even rejected Darwinianism and his evolutionary theory, including Michael J. Behe (“Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” and “The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism”); Stephen C. Meyer (“Signature in Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design,” and “Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design”); Francis C. Collins (“The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief”); Jonathan Wells (“Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong”); Guilermo Gonzales (“The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery”); John C. Lennox (“God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?”, and ” God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?”); Lee Strobel (“The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God”); Arthur E. Wilder-Smith (“Fulfilled Journey”); and Richard Milton (“Shattering the Myths of Darwinism”); and Tim Wolfe (“The Kingdom of Speech”.

Comparatively, the scientific evidence for the evolutionary theory is overwhelming such as those offered by Richard Dawkins (“The Selfish Gene,””The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True,” and “The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution,”); Stephen Jay Gould (“Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History,” “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory”); Ernst Mayr (“What Evolution Is”); Jerry A Coyne (“Why Evolution Is True,” and “ Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible”); Carl Zimmer (“Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea”); Donald R. Prothero (“Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters”); Michael Shermer (“Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design”) ; Neil deGrasse Tyson (“Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries,” and “The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet”); Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith (“Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution”); and Stephen W. Hawking (“A Brief History of Time,” “The Theory Of Everything,” and “The Universe in a Nutshell); Stephen W. Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (“The Grand Design”).

There exists a group of smart individuals in the scientific community and religious community corresspondingly who are trying to understand both sides of the debate; they even published seminal texts on the relationship between religion and science. A selected references include the following:  John Hedley Brooke (“Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives”); Ian G. Barbour (“Religion and Science”); Richard G. Olson (“Science and Religion, 1450-1900: From Copernicus to Darwin”); Mary Midgley (“Evolution as a Religion: Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears”); Daniel C. Bennett and Alvin Plantinga (“Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?”); Alvin Plantiga (” Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism,” and “Warranted Christian Belief”);  Harold W. Attridge and Keith Stewart Thomson (“The Religion and Science Debate: Why Does It Continue?”);  J. P. Moreland (“Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation”); William Lane Craig (“Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics”);  J. P. Moreland and William Lane Criag (“Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview”); and Kathryn Applegate and J.B. Stump (eds.) (“How I Changed My Mind About Evolution”)

Science could be used and in fact, has been used to advance ideological and destructive agendas. We have to differentiate what can be scientifically proven and the use of science as ideology. Science or religion does not provide absolute certainties or absolute truths; both disciplines attempt to interpret the universe and the human experience in the cosmos and the sphere of metaphysics. One does not need to have a PhD in a scientific discipline to analyze or even discredit certain scientific theories, beliefs, or theories. Evidently, even those with PhD in science have strong disagreement on the matter of the human origin and the beginning of the universe. In addition, one can be a devoted Christian, Muslim, Jew, or what have you? and produce reputable scientific works. From my perspective, science, religion, and the arts are various means to gain knowledge and understanding about what the human mind can and cannot conceive. No academic discipline holds the final truth!

We should also bear in mind that like the academic discipline of science, religion or the arts–conceptual arts, performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, etc.–as a field of study is a human creation. Even the non-academic aspect of the arts, that is the popular practice and performance of arts, is merely a human construct. Finally, it seems to me we have to distinguish between different forms of epistemology: religious knowledge, scientific knowledge, and knowledge acquired through the arts and creative works– whose aim is to enhance human understanding of themselves and their environment and beyond, their relationship with God, and their interactions with their neighbor.

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