I am active on the social media site Quora and several months ago I asked this question; “Which side are you on in the religion versus science debate”?
To further explain what I was getting at I added this; “I believe that religion and science can coexist. In fact I believe that religion, especially Christianity, answers the questions that science can't answer. I also believe that it was the early church that championed science.
Christianity and Religion are not the Same Thing
I first need to define religion and differentiate it from Christianity. What I am getting at is that religion is a method of worship or belief and Christianity is a relationship with the God of Creation and with that in mind, while you can be good and moral you can't have a relationship with the God of Creation on your terms it must be on His terms and since He is the creator, He has the right to set the terms, just like an artist can decide how he wants the model in his picture or his sculpture to look.” I asked the same question on Facebook and Google+. Since my Facebook and Google+ post go to friends or acquaintances that you would think have views similar to mine I thought that I would at least get some comments agreeing with me but to my surprise I only got one comment from a friend who agrees with me that religion and science can coexist. What that means I don’t know yet but I hope it isn’t because of apathy which is something that we Christians are guilty of. I hope it was just because they were busy and didn't see the post.
It may surprise you but most of those responding to my question agree with me that religion and science can coexist. There were those who choose science only but none that choose religion only. I was surprised because many if not most of the people who interact on the site I chose to ask the question, consider themselves intellectuals (I’m not one of those) and much like the Gnostics believe that they have special knowledge.
"I would say religion "tries" to answer the questions that science cannot. Since there is no way to prove their answers correct, we have no idea of they actually do answer them."
"I do not necessarily believe that religion and science have to be at odds, but these days, they are. Given that, I am firmly planted on the science side of that. Science brings you cell phones, computers, space flight, etc. What does religion bring that cannot be had through another route? You do not need religion to be a good, caring person. You do not need it for morals or to help others. It served its purpose. Now it just holds humanity back, IMO. It's time humanity grows up, puts aside its stories of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and confidently strides into its future. A future where reason rules over myth, and not vice versa."
"I'm firmly on the side of science. Science has a framework for discovering the unknown, while religion simply asserts its answers. Science makes highly accurate, testable predictions about the future--and when those predictions are wrong, we re-examine what beliefs led us to those incorrect predictions and we change them and re-test them. Religion doesn't do this. Religion, however, has the advantages of inertia (the Abrahamic religions have a few thousand years of Appeal to Tradition to back them up, while modern science has a relatively short history, and regularly changes due to improvements to our understanding of the world), a veneer of simplicity (your religious leader presents material to you and then explains the way they want you to interpret it; science is HARD and requires years of study just to get to a level where you can understand the basics of a field--it takes decades of blood, sweat and tears to reach the bleeding edge of your field), and lots and lots of money (NASA doesn't even get a penny on the dollar for every tax dollar Americans pay, yet religions often demand 10% of your income for tithes--and they GET IT)."
"Science and Secular humanism work for me. Religion answers none of my questions."
"Both. Being able to fully understand two separate concepts isn't a problem if you don't have an axe to grind in favor of, or opposition to, either side."
"Religion fills the gaps in which science currently has no answer for. People want a sense of thinking that they know everything about the world. Religion is a way to make sense of the unknown"
"My belief in scientific matters do not preclude me from believing in my God What I like about science is that I have the mental freedom to consider theories of all types...and I can have a certain amount of physical proof from scientific investigations which are devised to test and retest these theories. Having said that, I have a personal belief in my own God although I don't subscribe to Biblical accounts of creation, etc. I'm not sitting on a fence because I don't believe there is actually a fence that divides science and religion."
"Donald Jacobs completely agree with you. As an engineer who is a devout Christian I believe that God created the universe with the Big Bang."
Here is a similar question asked on the same social media site
"Why do so many scientists summarily preclude the existence of God when by their own admission, they are unable to explain what created the initial conditions that led to the singularity that caused the Big Bang and the eventual creation of the universe?"
These answers are over whelming for science over God. I have not added all the responses which are many but this will give you an idea. While not all of the answers are for science the one answer included here that does not preclude the existence of God versus the number that do is representative of all the answers to the question.
"Those who believe "god did it" assume they now have all of the answers. Scientists don't claim to have all of the answers. The fact they question everything is an effect of their lack of arrogance and apathy toward knowledge. Because they know they don't know everything and because they continually ask questions, your life expectancy is more than double that of human beings who lived a thousand years ago - you know, when "god" was the most popular answer to everything."
"Scientists do not "preclude" the existence of god, they simply say (over and over and over and over and over) that they have seen no evidence of god and therefore see no reason to behave as if god exists. And besides, scientists deal with the unknown/unexplained all the time. Their job is to find provable answers to previously unexplained questions. That's what they do. Resorting to "god" to explain the big bang would be a totally unscientific response to an as-yet unsolved scientific problem. If scientists behaved in such un-scientific ways, they wouldn't be scientists."
"Because scientists don't generally reach for a convenient, highly improbable, non-falsifiable, supernatural cause for natural phenomena they are having a tough time understanding. They are scientists after all, so they do research and test and refine theories which can be experimentally validated."
"Because supernatural beings are not scientific explanations."
"Personally they may believe or not, but as a scientist, they will require sufficient proof for any hypothesis. Many truths can be better explained philosophically rather than scientifically and a correlation is being sought. Even before the Big Bang Theory, the origin of space was tried to be explained by Kanad and other Hindu sages. The physical existence of God is not likely to be proved, but other things will soon be revealed."
This question was originally asked many months ago and today more than 80 answers have been posted and nearly 70 people are following it so that the get notification when there is a new answer or comment.
What does this tell us? It tells us that we who know that God is the creator of all things and that it is because of Him that we live and move and have our very being, need to do a better job giving the evidence of His existence than we have in the past. We need to stop just pointing at the bible and saying that because the bible says it so it is. We need to point to the bible and then show the archaeological evidence, the evidence of events and blessings in our lives that can be documented. We need to not be intimidated by those with advance degrees and scientific theories and present the evidence. I interaction with some of those who say there is no God that if you present evidence that can be documented, they will stop interacting or their responses will become increasingly irrational and viscous. Where do we find that evidence? We find it in the bible of course but there are other resources that support biblical evidence. I am going to provide in this blog and website as many of those resources that I can find and document. To use a sports analogy we need to stop just playing defense and start playing offense.
My goal, and yours should be as well, is to do what Jesus told his disciples, as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB) Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.