Relationship between Religion and Science: An Overview
AbstractThis paper presents an overview of the relationship between religion and science. It points out that historically religion preceded science, as the limitations of human intelligence in a bizarre world led man very early to postulate a being considered ultimate, supreme and worthy of human obeisance and worship. Like religion and philosophy, science began in wonder: to explore the wonders of nature - of the physical world. Religion and science are related in that both of them have perspectives on cosmic reality, even though there are several differences in their interpretations of reality. It is the different interpretations as well as their methods at arriving at their truths and conclusions that eventuated in conflicts, conflicts that actually came to the fore with the emergence of experimental science in and after the seventeenth century of our era and led to the condemnation by the Catholic Church of Galileo, the acknowledged founder of modem science. Scientific theories such as the evolution theory, quantum physics, and some theories of neuroscience presented challenges to religious doctrines of creation, cosmic order and intelligibility, divine sovereignty, and human nature. However, there are areas of integration, such as natural theology and design, order and regularity of nature, that provide evidence of the existence of God- evidence that is supported by most scientists. The paper concludes that religion and science are different languages that ultimately express the same reality or at least present complementary accounts of reality, and that, given the wonders and mysteries of the created universe and the limitations of human intelligence, religion and science will continue to be bedfellows in the twenty first century and beyond.
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