Science & Religion

How are science and religion related? I have never really thought of science and religion to have much in common or really connect at all. But, they are connected in many ways. Growing up I attended church with my family every Sunday. My siblings and I attended a Catholic elementary school and have attended Catholic schools all our lives. We have always prayed before dinner together. But, as I got older I began to question the Catholic church’s beliefs and teachings. Everything they were saying seemed so illogical and not physically possible. Because of science, it is hard to believe certain religions because some of the things they teach do not happen in the scientific world.
Learning about science has made me question whether or not I believe in God. It does not seem logical to me that some guy was crucified for the rest of us. Or that Mother Mary had an “immaculate conception.” These things do not happen and are proven to be scientifically impossible.
Other things that I grew up believing that became harder as I learned more about science were the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and many more. Knowing how things work in the world and learning the scientific ways of the world, these things were impossible to believe. It is hard to have faith in God or faith in religion when you know so much about science and that most of the things people are telling you about religion could not really happen. Sometimes it is easier to forgot about science so you can believe in something greater that science could never explain. Another way science has affected the way I perceive religion is with the idea that God created all humans and made them himself. How could this scientifically happen? We do not know and most likely will never know.

An Opinion: Science is and should be Godless…

This should not and does not negate the possibility of a personal entertainment in the idea of God. A responsibly developed curriculum of scientific education should not attempt to include God or the option to disregard legitimate evidence in the preference for belief in the Bible or other religious texts whose content may undermine contemporary scientific knowledge. The two theories should be kept separate in the class room as to not give the false impression of being interchangeable or proportionally valid depending on which side of the divide a student falls. I say this is a false impression because a student who has been minimally informed of scientific theory because of this absurd regulation (as was my experience in schooling) cannot make any informed judgement.

My memory of my first and only briefing of evolution and big bang theory in elementary school was perfunctory and given to us in haste, the two sides of the debate being summarized and my (very uncomfortable) teacher informing us to go to seek out our parents instruction of what was the truth of the matter. While this freed her of the pressures of having an honest conversation that may have later led to some very angry phone calls, this effectively divided my peers among not just two but many lines of varying social opinion on the matter. This is not how an educational system that claims to develop rational minds should conduct pedagogy.

Some children were then informed by their parents to distrust what their teachers would later teach them throughout their education. On more than one occasion in middle school and high school did I hear about or witness an irate student challenging a science teacher or accusing them of attempting to invalidate God by teaching basic and established scientific findings. These students were often so zealous in their belief that the material in question was some sort of anti-christian propaganda that they diligently protested against it until they were either removed from the classroom or “respectfully” allowed to zap an entire class period so that no one could learn about it. I know that some students were led to believe that both theories were equally true and so consequently thought that for many other issues there may be multiple truths. Some were even so convinced in the banality and senselessness of the  “science debate” that they stopped taking schooling seriously altogether. This method of teaching has created many more complications and barriers to education and has no place in our school systems.

I believe this longstanding conflict comes from the fear that the agenda of scientific investigation is in some way motivated by disproving and eliminating religious belief. While it is true that some atheists hold this opinion of religion, young students especially should not be suspiciously biased against science in this way. The scientific method is objective and empirical. It’s goals are impersonal and –when done properly and in the true spirit of science– do not reflect individual agendas but, rather, fact and truth. It is not conducted in effort to disprove God’s existence, and children should not be confused further on this fact.

There is an additional confusion to the matter, that many people mistakenly believe that this debate that has afflicted education for far too long has seen its long lifespan our of the sheer conviction from both sides. They fail to recognize that this “debate” is a highly political one that is essentially using the school system and school children as pawns, unfortunately. The presentation of a “choice” may seem democratic but it is not. The political agendas that have been behind this crusade must be brought to a head and neutralized before we as a society can have a responsible and fair education system.

-Laura Collins

The Future of Science in America

I wanted to use this blog entry to express my opinion on and relay some of the information that was given to us in chapter 10 of the book Unscientific America.  The chapter opens with a warning from scientists to the people of America and I definitely think that people should know what the warning is.  It warns that the United States is not producing enough scientists and engineers to keep us competitive for the long haul.  “The scientific and technological building blocks critical to our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength.”  I think this is very important because although we may all think America is the best at everything, in reality were are actually behind on a lot of things compared to other countries.  If we don’t inspire younger generations to be interested in math and science then we could easily keep dropping in the rankings compared to some other countries of the world.  I don’t think we should strive to excel in math and science just for competitions sake against other countries, but to do it for the betterment of our own country, and then the bragging rights can follow.  The chapter also mentions how K-12 science programs is America aren’t that great and that we need to stress the importance of science to younger kids, which I totally agree with.  The next Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking could already have been born, but what if educators, or our country, don’t care enough about teaching math and sciences to inspire some kid to do great things.  The book sums up what I said in the previous sentence by saying, “Young scientists already have the minds — and can easily develop the skills — that will allow them to succeed at bridging the science-society gap.  The problem is that they rarely get the training.”

Alex Adamshick

Science, Religion, and Thought Process

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”-Einstein

I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t believe in organized religion, but I do respect anyone’s belief system and would never expect someone to follow how I think. However, the topic of science vs religion is a tricky subject because at the root of this premise is the flawed idea that science and religion have to writhe against each other.

I feel the real problem is that people are afraid to open their minds to the idea that they are wrong or that something they thought was real and tangible turns out to be false. Academics in the scientific community have this problem when they get stuck in old paradigms of thinking just as much as the person who still believes the earth is only a few thousand years old. I’m not speaking about God either because I truthfully have no idea what’s beyond this dimension, but I do know that science is furthering our understanding of how we view the universe. That shouldn’t detract from your belief system or make you feel smaller, but rather, make you curious about what else you assumed that may also be wrong.

I think faith is one of the most powerful tools a person can possess, but when that faith turns into rigid ideologies and strict modes of thinking then I feel problems start to arise. Radicals and fundamentalists on either side of this debate can turn the whole conversation sour very quickly, but that’s simply a loud minority of people. I truly do believe that if people simply asked questions about the world around them and didn’t take things at face value then we wouldn’t even see the cropping up of this whole “science vs religion” argument. Instead we would see a merging of the two. You would see examples of priests who are also scientists and are pushing the innovation of the human race through logic and a reverence for what they believe in.  But again, this comes down to how people think and less to do with what someone knows is above them.

Why are we so gullible?

Just by looking at the news I wonder what it has become. You can go on twitter and what Rihanna is wearing is a Twitter trending topic but actual issues are not. I feel like it is so easy to blame these celebrities for the attention they get the end of the day they are doing their jobs. I am interested in what that makes us a consumer. In class we talked about how the media shapes our perception of things. In this case specifically in science. With that said, as a society, is it not our own responsibility to understand what is right and what is wrong. As a young child, you watch shows about talking Aardvarks and made up creatures, but eventually we learn that there is no such thing. Why can’t we put that into context when we see a movie like gravity. Obviously it is because we are ignorant to the actual facts of the matter.

With that said I do not believe that it is technically the media’s responsibility to educate us on the fact. The movie was never understood to be a documentary it was for pure entertainment. The information to answer these questions are at our fingertips. There are many blogs and reference sites out there, but it is our job to look into them. I feel that we feel like there is a time where we feel like we need don’t need to educate ourselves anymore. What I feel like we don’t understand that ignorance trickles down. I am not saying that we all need to become a scientist, but maybe educate ourselves enough not just to be as gullible. I feel if that was the case people would take this Ebola situation for what it really is not what it is being portrayed to be.

Christina Daniyan

What would Spaghetti do?

There is a popular saying “what would Jesus do”, coming from a point asking if what you are about to do or debating on doing would be morally right with what your christian background would say. I am a christian, but to be completely honest i do not do anything near what the people i hear of that call themselves Christians. it is not that i do not believe in heaven, i want to, and i believe it is a possibility. the only thing is it is hard to believe something based off solely what you have read from a book or what the person in front of the church is telling you based off the same book. The way that i have seen religion throughout my life has been a way to live. do not kill, steal, commit adultery etc.. and it has been a great way to live my life because i feel that religion has brought me to become a person with great moral’s. With this unknown reality of what does lie ahead in terms of a god or an afterlife, my question would be which religion, if any, is right?

The extremist i see walking around campus holding the big signs are so devout and 100% sure that what they believe is the only true way. what i want to know is how are they so sure? the topic about the flying spaghetti monster church was my favorite we have had in class, the class was more involved than ever because there are so many viewpoints on religion. i cannot be completely sure that these people do actually believe there is a god and he is a flying spaghetti monster, but i believe that they are fighting for different viewpoints. and they see religion in the way that i do, which is more like, i do not know who is correct so why are these people trying to force religion on me?

I visited OU (Ohio University) and while on the tour of the campus, these extremist were outside trying to force people into believing religion the way that they do. i was so appalled because i believe that everybody has a right to believe what they want to believe. I noticed it may have done more negative than positive for these people because so many people were more afraid then empowered. They were avoiding these people at all costs. There was a girl that i had been partners with for activities, and she had actually broke down into tears because she didn’t know what to believe in and these people were scaring her basically telling her she needed to know now that they were right. all in all if i had any effect today i would want it to be so that you can see what people are doing when they are trying to “spread” their religion to these people who may not know just yet what or who they believe. If you are one of these people all i can do is to ask you to stop, realize what you are putting conflicting people through and realize you might even be pushing these people away if anything.

– James Allen

Religion vs. Science

The debate of religion vs. science is a huge topic. When someone’s mind is extremely science based then it makes it hard to have faith in something. To have faith in something that cant scientifically be proven.

As someone that is very science based it is sometimes hard for me to keep faith and to keep on the path of my faith. It doesn’t matter what my faith is but it matters that we all have the right to believe what we want to believe. That no matter what people cannot tell us what to think or what to believe.

The scientific community tells us one thing about the world works and how things happen and how the universe was created while religion tells us different things. This is one of the biggest problems between religion and the scientific community.

bigbang The big bang  vs. all-7-days

Sarah Fretwell