Science V Religion

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Since the dawn of man, humans have striven to explain the many mysteries of the universe, and to justify our existence in it. Throughout this journey of self-understanding, numerous standpoints on human existence have evolved and merged into a complex, abstract manifestation called religion. However, as the human race has grown and advanced itself, many ideas expressed by religion seem less and less plausible. Advances in science and technology have yielded a new breed of human thought that has disturbed and shaken the foundations of religious ideology. Our new, scientifically grounded understanding of the universe has unfolded a plethora of answers to age-old questions, which are antithetical to the explanations offered by religion. As strong scientific evidence has surfaced which is contrary to the prevailing religious view, open-minded believers have adapted their beliefs accordingly, but many fundamentalists refuse to accept scientific evidence. This is the root of the dilemma between science and religion. Many philosophers and theists have offered their views concerning the ongoing battle between science and religion.

Reconciliation between science and religion is impossible, because the claims made by religion and the evidence provided by science are so extraordinarily different. The advance of science has caused many theists to compromise traditional religious beliefs in order to facilitate scientific evidence, thus proving that scientific explanations of the universe are more plausible than the rationales offered by religion. An excellent example of this can be seen in the question of the age of the planet Earth. According to religious theology, the Earth is less than ten thousand years old. However, there is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that proves the Earth to be many billions of years old. Many religious thinkers have responded to this evidence, by claiming that the methods used to ascertain the Earth's age are inaccurate. They argue that radioactive dating; a widely accepted method of determining the age of rocks, is inaccurate because there is no available rock sample of a known age, which the method can be calibrated to. However, this argument is obsolete, because the only calibration required to find the age of a rock is the measurement of decay rates, which can be found in the laboratory in a controlled experiment (Badash 90). Because of the evidence provided by scientific research, many religious thinkers have been forced to compromise their position, and have attempted to blend scientific fact with biblical accounts of the age of the earth. Many theists contend that the words of the bible are metaphorical, and can be interpreted in a way that reconciles the biblical account of the Earth's age with scientific fact. According to Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, the earth was created in six days: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day" [Genesis 1:31] (Catholic Information Network Online). They argue that other passages in the book of Genesis can be interpreted to mean that a day to God can be thousands of years, and because of this, the Earth could have been created over a much longer timeframe than six days, and can thus be as old as science proves it to be. However, this seems to be a weak point in the argument on behalf of the biblical age of Earth. In questioning the validity of the Bible as a literal work, it opens up the possibility that Christianity may be wrong. When religious thinkers accept scientific fact and try to harmonize it with the bible, the validity of the entire faith has been undermined, and this puts any biblical based argument on shaky ground. Another quandary sought to be resolved by both religion and science, is the question of mankind's origin.

Modern science has provided many explanations concerning the origin of man, which contradict the...
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