Last month I had a Facebook friend post a picture of a t-shirt that read something like “Too stupid to understand sceince? Try religion.” Not only did I find this to be a rather narrow view of scientists and perhaps offensive to my scientist friends who accept both religion and science in their lives, I couldn’t help but think how misleading that shirt is about reality. Truth is that this friend’s post is what sparked my writing about false dichotomies all together.
The problem here is that science and religion are NOT on opposite sides of the spectrum. Science is not the opposite of religion. Religion should not be opposed to the findings of science. But it seems that ever since the enlightenment and greater understanding of science there has been a sense of opposition between these two.
It is funny to think that a century ago, it was the religionists who would mock or belittle the scientists. It was religion that believed it was superior to science. However, today we haven’t made any improvements. Instead, we have the scientists mocking the religionists. Perhaps because they are now the majority mindset, but it is still wrong.
The answer to this false dichotomy is found in the purpose of both science and religion. Both Science and religion is simply to find truth. Their methods to determine truth may be different. Their focuses on areas of truth maybe in different categories. But the simple focus of both arenas is the pursuit of truth.
So, if these two schools of thought have the same goal. And if there is an absolute truth, then perhaps the solution to this dichotomy is found in the union of these two schools. Perhaps the complimentary tenants of both science and religion will ultimately lead us to the absolute truth.
Yes, I will admit that maybe religion has some incorrect ideas about humanity and our physical world (such as the age of the earth). Science can help religion to fine tune its understanding of a principle. And in the same vane, there are many things that science cannot explain (such as the improbability of spontaneous creation). Then maybe the answer to their question is found in religion.
We need to stop thinking of learning as being either religion or science. We need to accept the fact that while God is perfect his servants are not. Imperfections happen in faith because man is flawed. We also need to accept that science can’t prove anything. Science is only able to make observations and try to explain. And such explanations can be either wrong entirely or insufficient to achieve a full understanding. When we do that, we can come to a true understanding of this world and the God who created it.