Do you believe that science and religion are in opposition of each other?

I believe faith and evidence based reasoning are in opposition to each other. Science is the self-cleaning machine that tries to know as many true things as possible, where religion is the machine that cannot clean itself and is no different to how it was at conception. There is a religious response which asks why religion cannot evolve in the way the body of knowledge we have from science evolves. I thought that might be interesting to look at.

“Falsification” is the cleaning system of science. We can believe a thing to be true with increasing levels of confidence, but not with absolute certainty. The word “certain” is used colloquially to mean “as sure as I need to be”. However, you can be certain a thing is wrong if it is falsified. At the time science falsifies an idea, science cleans the idea from the body of scientific knowledge and we move on.

There is no way religion can do this. A religious book is a series of snapshots of ideas fixed in time. Any progress made on them is the blind stabbing of (often power-grabbing) humans. You cannot falsify a religious idea in a religious context. It is the inerrant word or message of God (translated many times). Science can falsify religious claims, sure. But religion cannot. Most religions do not even tell you how to pick between two contradictory ideas. You accept the claims as they are on faith.

20 thoughts on “Do you believe that science and religion are in opposition of each other?”

  1. The development of modern science is but one of the hallmarks of Christian Western Civilization.

    Nevertheless, no matter the location, culture or time period, the ruling class used religion to establish, build and maintain its stranglehold on power.

    During the Christian Middle Ages the religious establishment, the Catholic Church, was almost always at odds with the secular ruling class.

    Liberty breaks out whenever the power to rule over men is divided between ruling establishments.

    That is a basic natural law of political science.

  2. Why can’t you use the falsification strategy to move through the claims of different religions? The leaders of a certain religion might have a dogmatic approach, but that doesn’t mean the member of the laity cannot move on when he/she thinks there is a problem.

      1. Yes, I think that would be sensible and what a lot of people do. Another example: someone rejects the idea that Jesus was merely a moral teacher because someone who falsely claimed to be the son of God (which would be the case if he was only a moral teacher) could only be a lunatic.

  3. Very very nicely formulated and articulated Allallt! You have cast another wonderful angle of light onto the circus that was 4th century CE canonization — which ironically took (as if scientific) nearly 300-years to say (almost) finally, “ENOUGH is ENOUGH!” cried Emperor Constantine and his closest bishops to the various early-fragmented dissenting Christian leaders & “theologians” prior to, during, and henceforth shall ever be (Amen) at the Council of Nicaea. Well done Sir.

    I think Nature, human nature, and all our wildest divine constructs was “certainly” a perpetual fluid spectrum just as it is still today. And don’t forget to throw in the fascinating power of peer assimilation — we are and have been for thousands upon thousands of years gregarious creatures. Our evolved genetic nature wires us so, for not only “survival,” but meaning & purpose; from groups, to tribes, provinces, nations, and to one day simply Earthlings… if not Martians as well. 😉

    Life plays and swims in paradox while the kill-joys go mad.

    Do I believe that science and religion are in opposition of each other? Yes and no.

    Since there are CLEARLY a large variety of religious followers around the globe, who each subscribe to a plethora of divine constructs none of which is more supreme to another, that answer depends paradoxically on who you ask.

    1. Professor T’Bo’,

      The history of the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of this post which is whether we believe that religion and science are in opposition to each other.

      Before you can enter the discussion rationally, you must stop hallucinating alternative universes in which the discussion at hand never took place.

      1. Professor T’Bo,

        I don’t need to be welcomed to my own opinion by you.

        What I expressed is pure fact.

        You need to reduce pure fact to personal opinion in order to have to learn anything useful.

        You cannot continue to credibly bloviate your personal opinion in the face of facts.

      2. Professor T’Bo’,

        Repeating yourself like a parrot is unbecoming.

        Why can’t you ever write anything useful to the discussion at hand?

        Bloviating nonsense the way you do simply destroys any rational discussion of the topic at hand.

    2. P. S. Professor T’Bo’,

      And yes, not yes and no, religion MUST be in opposition to science.


      Very simple:

      Religion MUST be in opposition to science because religion is about faith and science is about reason.

      If you were ever to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you have learned that the modern Church does embrace science…

      …to a point.

      But there exist irreconcilable chasms with regard to evolution and the creation of man, the source of morality and ethics, and creation itself (whether it was caused by God, or happened all by itself).

      The Virgin Birth of Jesus, the Resurrection and the Ascension are Christian articles of faith that science simply cannot touch and maintain any credibility.

      Also, a scientific outlook on the literary content of the Bible yields confused gibberish.

      That is because the Bible is an anthology of ancient Hebrew and Greek literature written for the specific purpose of defining and promoting the Christian religion.

      The Bible can yield a coherent message only to those who have faith in what it says.

      Science, therefore, must be in opposition to biblical teachings.

  4. In some ways I look at religious Cosmology the same way I look at the other ancient “sciences” like Alchemy. Our earliest understanding of how materials interacted with each other come from this junk science but we were able to build from that the actual science of chemistry, the same with Astrology to Astronomy. Religion used to provide an explanation of the world that was the best at the time. However now, clinging to it is just a matter of wanting to believe rather than looking at proof. Now, as far as understanding the physical universe they do have to be at odds.

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