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The Debate of Religion Versus Science

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Ever since the dawn of civilization, humans have been constantly evolved, both in appearance and perception. Their inquisitiveness has led them to unravel myriad mysteries of the universe, of human milieu and, of course, of their existence. Along with these scientific breakthroughs is the reinterpretation of religion where its dogma is conflicted with the truth. However, this does not mean that science and religion are always at odds, but, in fact, both of which can support and progress with one another. This belief can be articulated through a notion, “Religion without science is blind, science without religion is empty”.

Religion is a system of beliefs, practices, and relations at both communal and personal levels that mostly concerns with moral and aesthetic values. For many people, religion holds the key to unlock the meaning of life, of moral guidance and compass; therefore, it would be precarious if the foundation is not definite. That is when science, which has been proved through confirmatory procedures like observations, experiments, comes across. A prime example would be the conflict between Galileo and the Church in the 17th century. Galileo Galilei, an Italian astronomer, was the first to make observational evidence on Nicolaus Copernicus theory about the heliocentric model of the galaxy. As this viewpoint is in opposition to the contemporary prevailing theory, the Catholic Church forced Galileo to recant his discoveries and sentenced him to house imprisonment for life. Not until 350 years later did the Church admitted their fallacy and Galileo’s perspective (The New York Times). In reality, Galileo and other dissenters’ works have laid the groundwork for numerous subsequent scientific researches, including Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Rather than refute religious ideas, scientific discoveries have, so far, enabled them to demystify and strengthen the theories that have long been established.

Science is a systematic process of discoveries with a view to comprehending nature by developing explanations from direct or indirect observations. Designing to understand the mechanics of the world and of humans themselves, science still has its limitations in which it does not fill the void of meaning. While scientists presented the Big Bang theory with which the universe was created from an extremely dense singularity, they cannot answer to the question why this dot came into existence, in other words, what is the meaning of life. Meanwhile, religion’s principal purpose is to seek for the deep significance of life and to fulfill humans’ emotions and spirituality; thereupon, it can fill up the gap currently existed in science. For instance, from a physics perspective, rainbow is a display of the colors of the spectrum caused by dispersion of light through water droplets; meanwhile, the Bible blows soul into this marvelous constellation by referring it as a symbol of divine anger and patience with a view to praise God for his mercy. Religion teaches various things that science hardly touches: community, family, empathy, justice, and beauty of the natural world.

While science is mostly concerned with the general conditions that are observed to regulate physical phenomena, religion is drawn to the underlying aesthetic values and essence of things. What one side sees the other misses and vice versa. As a result, by working together, these two most powerful intellectual forces can compensate each other’s deficiency to contribute critical and influential perspectives on the current theories about the world and, possibly, advance and renovate them toward perfection.   

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