Why Science And Religion Can And Must Coexist

1651 words - 7 pages

Throughout history, religion and science have been in constant conflict with each other. The arrest and excommunication of astronomer Galileo for teaching that the earth is flat and revolves around the sun is just one example of this conflict. Many religious leaders and scientists today believe that science and religion are fundamentally different and will always contradict each other. But with what reason? Religion has always tried to answer our questions in an instinctual way, based on emotions, morality and scripture. Meanwhile, science removes all emotion and focuses on facts and evidence. On the surface they seem to be polar opposites. Although science and religion often seem to conflict, they are mutually dependent ways of thinking that ultimately seek the answer to the same fundamental questions; how and why we exist - our creation and commission.
Many people believe that religion has already determined how we were created. But every religion has its own unique and contradictory creation story. Some stories say the earth is really the back of a giant turtle, others say that a goddess danced in the ocean to separate water from air, and still others believe the entire world was created simply by one’s voice. While there are thousands of these stories, even looking at a few of them demonstrates just how different they are. If religion really could tell us how we were created, should not these stories be the same? It becomes obvious that these stories are parables rather than factual accounts. These stories were told to try to explain what man simply cannot understand. In the novel Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, Max Koehler illustrates how religion has answered what we do not understand. “Since the beginning of time, spirituality and religion have been called on to fill in the gaps that science did not understand. The rising and setting of the sun was once attributed to Helios and a flaming chariot. Earthquakes and tidal waves were the wrath of Poseidon” (Brown 25). The fact that we attempt to explain what we cannot comprehend is absolute evidence that we yearn for knowledge of our creation. But the inherent problem is that these creation stories are thousands of years old. We will never know who wrote them, or if they have any legitimacy. Despite these issues, religion has and always will seek the answer to how man was created.
The second question that religion looks to answer is why we exist. This question actually has an answer, and it is found in scripture. In Mark 16:15, Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Many other religions share the same general commission. We are to love others and convert them to our religion, have faith in our deity, and in exchange we receive some sort of afterlife. This is religion’s strength. There are clear guidelines and rules for how we should live our lives and what our ultimate purpose is. What religion lacks in explaining creation, it makes up for in explaining our...

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