Science and the study of religion have existed in society for hundreds of years and have agreed and disagreed on many of the same topics. When it comes to solving problems and figuring out complex phenomena we can use both science and the study religion to get answers. While religious studies are not intended to solve problems it can be used and is used just like science to solve problems we have in society. Science is based more on reason and evidence while religion is based more on philosophical ideas and faith. Science is meant to answer problems that require reason and evidence while religion is not.
Even as of today with all the modern technologies and the development of sciences, we still do not have a definitive answer to the question "does God exist?" Among many philosophers and scholars who have tried to answer this question, we shall look upon Rene Descartes' theory on the existence of God. In terms of believers and non-believers, Descartes would be one of the believers. Before we go any further, we must ponder upon several questions. What is God?
Transitions of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment Periods The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were times of great emphasis on reason and questioning of faith. The scientists and philosophes of these eras discovered and taught new ideas that often contradicted what the church and former thinkers had taught and believed before them. Most of the intellectual, political, economic, and social characteristics associated with the modern world came into being during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.1 During the Scientific Revolution, people began to question beliefs that they had always taken for granted. Scientists changed people's views of the world they lived in through discoveries such as the theory of the heliocentric universe. During the Enlightenment, philosophes challenged beliefs formerly held by the church and government by insisting that human reason would lead to the solution of all problems.
During this course of modern European history science has signified knowledge, power, and a challenge of religion; challenging religion also typically involved challenging authority. Science has developed by various intellectuals, scientists, and philosophers reworking and expanding on each other’s previous ideas over the course of modern European history. The origins of scientific thought are deeply rooted in the Scientific Revolution. Intellectuals were looking for a systematic and accurate way to figure out the truth behind how the universe works. This intense focus on science weakened the longstanding belief in religion.
Science vs. Religion Since the dawn of man, humans have striven to explain the many mysteries of the universe, and to justify our existence in it. Throughout this journey of self-understanding, numerous standpoints on human existence have evolved and merged into a complex, abstract manifestation called religion. However, as the human race has grown and advanced itself, many ideas expressed by religion seem less and less plausible. Advances in science and technology have yielded a new breed of human thought that has disturbed and shaken the foundations of religious ideology.
As Europe began to move out of the Renaissance, it brought with it many of the beliefs of that era. The continent now carried a questioning spirit and was eager for more to study and learn. Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many discoveries were made in subjects all across the realm of science, but it was the doubting and testing of old traditions and authorities that truly made this time into a revolution. The Scientific Revolution challenged the authority of the past by changing the view of nature from a mysterious entity to a study of mathematics, looking to scientific research instead of the Church, and teaching that there was much knowledge of science left to be discovered. The Scientific Revolution in Europe moved from
For many centuries, there has been a major dispute based on the beliefs of humans. Discrepancies between religious belief and empirical knowledge have been a rough topic since the beginning of documented history. This is where Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction comes in. Science and Religion discusses the history of significant science and religion disputes, ranging from Galileo Galilei in 1633 to the ethical consequences of homosexuality today. In Chapter 1, Dixon begins by questioning what Science and Religion debates are really about.
This caused an incredible crisis between the pious religious and the scientific world, especially in the Western world where Christianity dominated society, and where these scientific discoveries were being made. It was difficult for people at first to believe in God and at the same time except these new scientific findings that negated many things that religion had told them. Astonomer Kepler During the scientific revolution many religious issues were taken up. One was the issue of the earth being the center of the Universe, which the Christian doctrine held up as the truth. Through the work of astronomers like Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, much was learned about our universe.
Religion and science have always been in direct competition with one another. The ultimate goal of science is to prove the inexistence of God with facts, while the existence in God is simply based on belief and faith. While 95% of the people living on Earth believe in a superior being of some sort, some might say that religion clouds the minds of otherwise logical individuals and makes it impossible for them to pursue the truth of the Universe. Thus, the debate on which view is the right one continues on, while somewhere in the middle stand religious followers who are also scientists. Many people claim that the belief in religion comes simply from the "need of something to believe in".
Duane Gish, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Berkeley, says, “…neither creation nor evolution may be referred to as scientific theory since neither can offer eyewitness evidence of what happened in the past.” Gish further states, “Both are ultimately based upon inferences derived from circumstantial evidence. As such, they remain on an equal footing and should receive equal time in public classrooms in the United States” Creationism assumes there is a Creator who designed the universe with purpose and gave the universe direction. This theory can be put into our classrooms without being abrasive to the U.S. Constitution, so long as it is treated as science. Gish says, “Science can tell us nothing of who the Creator is, why the universe was created, or anything about the relationship of the things created to the Creator.” Without creationism in the public school system, students are left only to learn about evolution, which can be considered as religion. Gish explains, “…evolution is a non-theistic theory of origins which by definition excludes the intervention of an outside agency of any kind.