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Religion and Science - Conflict of Interests?

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JAK

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:31 PM
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Hey all, I'm new here so please excuse any mistakes reguarding when/where I should post this question. I have been reading various threads relating to The Bible here and it put me in mind of how many times I have noticed on documentaries etc. that I have heard of scientists who although very high in their chosen field have reached a point and then chosen to start practising religon.
I am not religious myself and, as long as no Ill comes of it, I have no problem with anyone who chooses to be. It does strike me as odd though that scientists, and especially those who have achieved high status in their subject, should 1) Become religious in the first place - and 2) Have no problem with any conflicts between their study and faith.
I mean this without any malice at all, it is purely a curiosity of mine. If you take a look at our own species existance for instance, there is immediate conflict between the Evolution suggested by science and the Creation suggested by The Bible. I just don't see how these opposite theories can live side by side.
Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this and would be especially interested to hear from any religious scientists out there.




posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:35 PM
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I fear that much learning has made you mad!!!!!

Maybe they have uncovered some hiden information?


JAK

posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 12:36 PM
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Yea, that's what I was wondering!



posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 01:01 PM
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(I posted this in my blog a little while ago, and seeing how it would be pointless to retype all of my ideas, I'm just gonna copy and paste.)

I've come to a conclusion (well, conclusion for me, pretty much only a theory in the big picture though) regarding creation. The Bible would have me believe that in six days God created the entire world basically as we know it today. He said "let there be light" and there was light. He created man out of clay, and there was man as we know man to be right now. I believe, like some others, that the Biblical story of creation is not meant to be taken literally, but it is more of an allegorical story told to the early Hebrews because that's a concept they could understand and comprehend.

Now my understanding of the creation story merges God and Darwin's theory of evolution, along with the rest of the scientific world. Many people say "If you're a Christian you can't believe in evolution," but I don't think that's true. I think it is neccessary and reasonable to see God's hand in evolution.

My belief is that God created the parts and circumstances that were neccessary for life on this planet to come into being and evolve. Through God's will, the Earth was created (big bang theory doesn't disprove God, it actually could help my understanding because I would say it was God's will for the big bang to occur and start the process of life on Earth) and through God's will and awesome power life began. God's will and power, I believe, is behind all the evolution throughout the history of the Earth. I look outside and see God's hand in everything. In the beauty of the sky, the oceans, the animals, the trees, everything in nature is beautiful in its own way and this is because nature is a creation of God. People say that God can't exist because we have proved how volcanos erupt or how things are made up of atoms and chemicals; I say that God created the means possible for those things to happen. Proving a thunderstorm is not God literally shaking things up in the heavens does not diminish the fact that it is because of God that the things which make up that thunderstorm came to be.

If you take a literal interpretation of the Bible, you couldn't believe this idea. But if you start to think "outside the box" so to speak, and look at the Old Testament for what it is--for the most part, a history lesson in the form of stories, laws, ceremonies, and teachings that applied to a people who lived thousands of years ago--you will begin to understand that you can indeed merge God with the concept of science and evolution. No I do not believe that Adam and Eve are literally my first ancestors (though that story is dear to me and important to further my understanding about my religion), but I do realize that the early Hebrew people would not have been able to grasp the concept that apes somehow turned into men.

So because of my thinking this way, I think that religion and science can definitely live side by side. I think it's neccessary, actually, for a person to grasp the history of the world in its entirety.



posted on Jun, 10 2004 @ 09:55 PM
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Well said Faisca!

Well speaking from the standpoint of a philosophy & comparative religions student, I don't actually see a very large friction between religions and science in some circles, but in the Western Religions (Christianity, Judism and Islam) there is a much more pronounced contrast than in many other types.

The conflicts between Western Religion and science are well doccumented, be they as everyday as evolution or as exotic as Christian Scientist's believing that God is the only needed form of medical care.

I have known many scientists as well, my step-mum is a geneticist, and while she is not religious I have seen what you are speaking about. I think the movement of a scientist to a religion is probaby because they had been seeking something throughout their life, an answer of some sort. It probably became that their field of study did not fully answer their quest or it brought up a totally new set of questions. The scientist probably then started branching out their ideas and eventually found a religion that held the enlightenment they sought. Three of the most common I have seen scientists take up would be the ever ubiquitous Christianity, Zen or Pagan if they are more open minded.

Blessed Be.
~Astral



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 01:43 AM
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Merry Meet Astral and Well said!

I'm a comparative religions major as well and i totally agree with you. In my studies I have found that science proves god and god proves science. Even more recently have I come to the conclusion that science has become a new religion in and of itself. You can certainly observe some of the same phenomena while observing science and religion


Later yo!
Adian



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 02:00 AM
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OK this is the PROBLEM...

So many people claim to believe in the Christian God, yet refuse to believe the Book He inspired to be written for us. The issue here really is not DID God create everything in 6 literal days - the issue is COULD HE? As a Christian my answer to that is an emphatic YES and I see nothing in science that proves that He didn't.

Someone posted here and said (sorry if I'm not getting the quote or context quite right) something like we should not take the Old Testament stories literally but they also said something about it being history etc... Well who are we to pick and choose and design our own religion and God to fit our own theories of what should be...

Again, as a Christian I take the Bible to be 100% God's Word - and God is not the author of confusion. Yes there are many instances in the Bible of parables and stories that are contextually not meant to be taken literally in the sense of 'it happened exactly like it says', but the account of Creation is not one of those. Now I can see how many Christians choose to accept the 'day/age' thing, after all the first use of the word 'day' in the Bible is before 'days' as we know them existed!

Regardless - I believe in a God who can do anything He chooses... and we MUST understand that time is irrelevant. God is not constrained by time.

Humanity rewrites it's science books every generation as new 'evidence' is uncovered that 'updates' previous theories.

The Bible remains the same.



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 05:59 PM
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Hello illimey,

Good read; however, I wanted to bring to your attention two things.

2 Peter 3:8 states, " But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." KJV

Taking this into account it could be interpreted that God created the world in 7000 years. Yet, in my studies, I have come to belive that this comparason is used to infer that God stands outside of time, that God is master of time (much like you beleive.) Is it possible that God created the world in 7 days...sure! Is it probable? Maybe not so much. Why the rush? I beleive that God works thru science toward his ultimate means.

The second point is this. The bible has changed many many times over the centuries. This probably started when Constantine made Christianity the cheif religion of the Roman Empire. However, it could have begun centuries earlier before the scriptures were an taught by word of mouth instead of by being writtend down. (The written scriptures didn't come into being untill the Jewish exile into the Diaspora.)
I urge you to pick up 6 different bibles and read the same scripture. You'll find that many infer different different things and ideas. We did this experiement in my African American Religious Studies class this past semester and the Christans were astonished. I do beleive that there is a pure message in there somewhere but over the centuries, flawed men have taken to intrepreting them. People often make the mistake that the apostles were perfect...incapable of misintrepreting the gospel. However, they struggled with sin just like every other man. They were human after all.
At any rate, I don't think that beleiving in science undermines ones faith in God, actually, I think it could enforce it.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by Adian00
Hello illimey,

Good read; however, I wanted to bring to your attention two things.

2 Peter 3:8 states, " But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." KJV

Taking this into account it could be interpreted that God created the world in 7000 years. Yet, in my studies, I have come to belive that this comparason is used to infer that God stands outside of time, that God is master of time (much like you beleive.) Is it possible that God created the world in 7 days...sure! Is it probable? Maybe not so much. Why the rush? I beleive that God works thru science toward his ultimate means.

The second point is this. The bible has changed many many times over the centuries. This probably started when Constantine made Christianity the cheif religion of the Roman Empire. However, it could have begun centuries earlier before the scriptures were an taught by word of mouth instead of by being writtend down. (The written scriptures didn't come into being untill the Jewish exile into the Diaspora.)
I urge you to pick up 6 different bibles and read the same scripture. You'll find that many infer different different things and ideas. We did this experiement in my African American Religious Studies class this past semester and the Christans were astonished. I do beleive that there is a pure message in there somewhere but over the centuries, flawed men have taken to intrepreting them. People often make the mistake that the apostles were perfect...incapable of misintrepreting the gospel. However, they struggled with sin just like every other man. They were human after all.
At any rate, I don't think that beleiving in science undermines ones faith in God, actually, I think it could enforce it.


Hi!

I agree with everything you say. Thanks for your comments and insight. However my point remains that as a Christian I believe that God COULD have created the Universe in 6 24 hour periods. He COULD have created the Universe in 6 picoseconds! He COULD have set in motion an evolutionary process that would result in what we see around us today. I am reasonably well versed in many sides of this debate (and the debates over Bible version), and my level of knowledge is enough to make it abundantly clear that getting involved in such debates is utterly counter-productive. Instead, I choose to seek agreement between Christians by focusing on God himself rather than on His methods. God is omnipotent. He has the ability to do ANYTHING in ANY WAY He pleases. Once we grasp hold of that truth, the actual step by step processes He uses become less and less important.

Science definitely reinforces faith when the scientific method is adhered to. Unfortunately way too much 'science' over the years has been undertaken by people who set out to build the available pieces into their pet theory, rather than to build a theory round the available pieces...

# 1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
# 2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
# 3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
# 4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
# 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

phyun5.ucr.edu...

Science is far too good at inventing a tentative description and then observing some aspect of the universe that appears consistent with it's invention...




posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 03:46 AM
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Got cha!
Sorry for the confusion.

Adian



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 08:17 AM
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I say, stick to spirituality, that way, it's easier to balance science and religion...I myself loooovvve science and so, religion party anoys me since I am told over and over again, that we popped out of dust and ribs...of course I am not down grading any religion and I respect people for what they believe in, after all, I can't tell them to go away (I would use a ruder word...but I wont, I think you all get me) because of what they believe in, I actually respect people who hold true to their faiths, which is becoming rarer and rarer these days...people who are not religious tend to loose faith in a lot of stuff...hey this is supposedly scientific fact. I don't believe all scientific fact though...some are even made up to keep people 'herded'.

Like for intance they say they wont ever (not sure if they said ever but close enough
) find a cure for AIDS...well, I need to say something that I'm going to burst if I dont. If Aids existed for waaaayyy longer than they knew about it, then how come's the whole of the world isn't infected with it by now? So then, would that mean that THEY made AIDS and that THEY have a cure...after all, they need to counter part, for a just incase the superiors get it...

Science is a very fact on fact subject, it's actually harder to believe the strange but true fact to the easy imagined stories or faith...since a lot of us rely on our right brain (the creative side) more than the left (the logical).

I guess scientists become religious because they may be feeling that they need to deny what they are seeing with their own two eyes, and their instincts may tell them it's true while their logical mind goes bananas over such a thing, like say a thing called "Ampilitonitom" was found out, this was some kind of atom bomb is WAYYYY worse than the atom bomb and aplified itself if triggered before the set time...I mean that is something very scary to think about...you'd rather much imagine that you hadn't discovered this bomb and want to destroy all evidence of it then go and pray that your superiors do not find out what you have done... You would want to believe with utmost beliefe that you had not descovered such a thing, and that it's only God who can destroy the world, not a "Mad" Scientist who only lives with the human species on average 75 years, give or take 'your' health; which in 'our' terms would 'you'.

I say, that would be a scary scenario, since you've just discovered the worlds more terrifying bomb...but that isn't just the one scenario.

I don't know, but the more you think about a scary scientific fact, the more you tell yourself that myth, or that god exists and wouldn't alow such a thing...not true for everyone of course, for me, scientific fact is as believe-able as spirituality and the possibility that E.T.s are right now reserving their seats around Mother Earth for the big show down in 2012...That is more believe-able than a God...after all, I think, that God on a whole was just a being with many other gods and goddesses that came to the earth, as E.T.s and had such an impact on human life that they named them gods and goddesses...

After all who says that we humans didn't used to have a 12 or 13 strand DNA until the 'bad lizzies' came and disbanded it and now the Pleiadians have come to help us to realign ourselves and our DNA? I say I believe that more than Bush or B-liar
wanting freedom for iraq...

I hope I made some sense here
Love and Light
Phoenix



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by PhoenixSGC
I say, stick to spirituality, that way, it's easier to balance science and religion...I myself loooovvve science and so, religion party anoys me since I am told over and over again, that we popped out of dust and ribs...

snip


Love and Light
Phoenix


But doesn't science and tell us over and over again that we popped out of nothing via mutating mud?

My faith tells me that God (eternal, omnipotent and the source of all energy) made everything we see utilising His intrinsic energy.

Which is more plausible from a SCIENTIFIC point of view?

After all, science also correctly tells us that energy can neither be created or destroyed.

Any thoughts?



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:40 AM
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After all, science also correctly tells us that energy can neither be created or destroyed



Then doesn't this prove your theory of God creating us, atoms, aka energy. Wrong.






Which is more plausible from a SCIENTIFIC point of view?


Obviously the one scientists came up with..becuase they are scientists.

[edit on 14-6-2004 by Yngwie]



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:57 AM
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Science & Religion, IMO, are like two sides of the same coin. Although, before I even go into explaining why, let's clear up one thing. When I say Religion I am using it in a very open and collective sense. Meaning that it includes Eastern & Western, Ancient & Modern, Theology & Philosophy, Pagan & Christian & Hindu etc. Science will include all branches of science. OK, now with that being said let's continue...

Both Science and Religion have the same fundamental purpose, which is 'Full knowledge of the Truth'. That is the Goal of both of them, although each of them take different methods, and both of them have had their share of corruption and misuse that has resulted in pursuits other than the original purpose of 'Full Knowledge of the Truth'. The solution is to bring the two of them together with the purpose of Verifying the Truths between the two as well as weeding out the Lies between the two.

So as far as your questions:
1) Why Scientists Become religious in the first place?
2) Have no problem with any conflicts between their study and faith?
The reason is because they probably have realized that Science alone is not enough to see the whole picture. A great quote from Einstein, "Science without Religion is Lame, Religion without Science is Blind." This is true because in a way, they are balance for each other the same way there is a Yin/Yang, Black/White, Positive/Negative, etc. Like I mentioned before Two Sides of One Coin.

If both sides would quit fighting each other, (which is slowly happening), work together without trying to 'One-Up' each other they would find that they might help each other out in reaching that goal of Truth. Take Creationism & Evolution ism. Conflict? Yes or No NO At least not when you see that they both can fit together. Creation is about a Beginning or Starting Point. Evolution is about Change and usually thought of as Change toward some end goal or at least greater change. So as you can see, they work very well together.

Religion and No Science will get you 'Bogey Men', 'Superstitions', 'Bad Medicine' and Theories that don't fit or work.
Science and No Religion will get you 'Pollution', 'Atomic Weapons', 'HAARP', 'Biological/Chemical Weapons' and Things that are Problems waiting to happen, or even just made to be problems in the first place.

Looking for Universal Truth should be something where the methods include any and all areas of thought. If it is Universal Truth then you will find it everywhere you look, although in slightly different languages, but still the same. The only reason to choose only one method or style is for the purpose of Avoiding Finding the Truth by not cross referencing material.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by illimey

But doesn't science and tell us over and over again that we popped out of nothing via mutating mud?

My faith tells me that God (eternal, omnipotent and the source of all energy) made everything we see utilising His intrinsic energy.

Which is more plausible from a SCIENTIFIC point of view?

After all, science also correctly tells us that energy can neither be created or destroyed.

Any thoughts?


WOW I never thought of it that way, energy can't be destroyed it only changes form, (as we no it anyway). And evolutionism is a form of creationism isn't it?
As humans we create many things, and if we are models of God why is it just our human form and not the ability to create that is modeled after Him, albeit from things we have at our disposal.
But back to our story is there a conflict between science and religion?
I don't think there is, science isn't used to summarily dismiss religion nor is religious dogma a tool to discredit science.
Both factions have merit and they need not be mutually exclusive of one another.
Basically they both perform the same function...they try to answer our questions abouth the universe around us.








(By the way if God did create all that surrounds us does the time frame really matter?)



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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I believe Science proves the exsistence of a higher power, They can co exist very well. Unless you you take the bible as the complete word of GOD. But if you know your history you know the bible (old and new testament) has been changed for political reason through out the years? and surly this was not GODs will. In my opinion. The Exact Mathamatics that work in the universe that is a place of total orginaized chaos, is the proof of a thought out plan, much like a good Object Oriented Computer program ( for lack of better explanation - I dont think we are n the Matrix =) ) I think it is human vanity that has made religon and God all about us and Earth. I think thats is an INSULT to GOD, to see science proof that the world is this old and the universe does this, and not think wow God is much greater than the bible says he/She/ it. For us to think we understand what and were the univerese comes from is another form of human vanity.

DO you truly think gods greatness could be put into book form for all of us to read. that doesnt make much sense.

we are a very special species no doubt (some of us can spell others cant =) ) But to think we are choosen or we are the only one, is so vain its not funny. Also am I to beleive that God would do some of the things of the bible. Hey Kill your son.. Nahh Sike Just wanted to see how much you loved me. Thats pretty sadistic, thats not the GOD I believe in.

Theres alot of that in the Bible, which makes me feel even more that the bible is a man written document to explain some things about the times they were living in.

But thats just me =)



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Yngwie


After all, science also correctly tells us that energy can neither be created or destroyed



Then doesn't this prove your theory of God creating us, atoms, aka energy. Wrong.






Which is more plausible from a SCIENTIFIC point of view?


Obviously the one scientists came up with..becuase they are scientists.

[edit on 14-6-2004 by Yngwie]


I am puzzled. My claim is that God is the source of all energy. When He made the universe and everything in it He merely used energy He already possessed. However, I have to continue on and say that I actually totally believe that God has the ability to create energy from nothing. But - just what the heck IS 'nothing' anyway? Does it even exist? Bother - I'm getting sidetracked!!!!



Ummm... also,

"Obviously the one scientists came up with..becuase they are scientists."?






posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by illimey
I am puzzled. My claim is that God is the source of all energy. When He made the universe and everything in it He merely used energy He already possessed. However, I have to continue on and say that I actually totally believe that God has the ability to create energy from nothing. But - just what the heck IS 'nothing' anyway? Does it even exist? Bother - I'm getting sidetracked!!!!


Why, what's the point??? Not to mention where is the logic behind such a statement??? Even you immediately recognize a problem in saying What is Nothing? and Does it even exists? and so on. Saying that God has the power to create energy out of nothing is just complicating things.

God is Infinite, Yes?
God is Source, Yes?
If the Source is Infinite, then perhaps Energy that comes from the Source is therefore infinite too, therefore No Need to Create anything out of nothing or any other strange paradox type concepts like that.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by mOjOm

Originally posted by illimey
I am puzzled. My claim is that God is the source of all energy. When He made the universe and everything in it He merely used energy He already possessed. However, I have to continue on and say that I actually totally believe that God has the ability to create energy from nothing. But - just what the heck IS 'nothing' anyway? Does it even exist? Bother - I'm getting sidetracked!!!!


Why, what's the point??? Not to mention where is the logic behind such a statement??? Even you immediately recognize a problem in saying What is Nothing? and Does it even exists? and so on. Saying that God has the power to create energy out of nothing is just complicating things.

God is Infinite, Yes?
God is Source, Yes?
If the Source is Infinite, then perhaps Energy that comes from the Source is therefore infinite too, therefore No Need to Create anything out of nothing or any other strange paradox type concepts like that.


Absolutely true!

God is indeed infinite in every way - so of course He has no need to create something from nothing.....



but...........



If He wanted to - He could!



And actually, I think that accepting God in those terms simplifies - not complicates - the issue. Once one understands that God can do anything, everything becomes simple!



[edit - to add the following]

And yes - maybe there is no such thing as nothing.

But if God wanted nothing to exist....

It would.

[edit on 6/14/2004 by illimey]



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:37 AM
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The major conflict between science and religion is the human mind. There are people who absolutely refuse to accept that the 2 are intertwined but that doesn't mean that they aren't. I have a mother in law who is a devout Christian that refuses to beleive in dinosaurs because the bible doesn't mention the word dinosaurs in it. Even thoug I can show her pictures of excavatiosn and digs that show remains she simply refuses. Then I can talk to a biology or philosophy or astronomy guru and the exact oppisit is true. They can't look under a micrscope and see "God" or they can't find "God" in the cosmos, but again that doesn't mean again that the 2 can't be intertwined either. More and more scientist are coming to the conclusion, as the universe and the laws of the universe are revealed more and more, that there are things that cannot happen without divine intervention.
I like the idea that the big bang is possible because that may have been God's way of creating the universe at we know it. That theory doesn't conflict with the views of a scientist. Because as it was already stated the componets that were needed to set the 'big bang" in motion need to come from somewhere. I think what Yngwie perhaps meant to say was that man could not create or destroy energy, but energy had to come from somewhere. I haven't heard that energy can create itself. I beleive that God is the energy so therefore the universe is an extension of himself. This theory is a perfect example of science and religion complimenting each other.
I think what's important is that we realize that science can exist by itself in certain areas, and "religion" can exist on certain levels by itself, and at the same time they are intertwined together.

[edit on 14-6-2004 by mpeake]



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