The Difference Between Science and Religion

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Science has had a short life when compared to religion. Yet we've seen civilizations better themselves a thousandfold since hands unclasped, grabbed scientific instruments and started measuring the world. Is science some form of new religion? Or is science different from religion? Debates of this matter have been common since the dawn of science. Articles on their differences, similarities and clashings have crept up on society and affected everyone in the western civilization. Most recently, religious fanatics have resorted to new methods to reach out to potential followers, using scientific arguments in a seemingly desperate attempt to reestablish the stranglehold religion had in the pre-scientific era.

For the past few years there has been a growing fad in religious circles, dubbed "The Intelligent Design Theory" (I.D.), that uses a scientific style to claim that the universe was designed (by god), rather than having evolved. Statements such as these are not uncommon: I.D. provides evidence that life was created rather than evolved. That Darwin's Theory of Evolution must be religiously tainted simply because it concerns the origins of life – and that followers of I.D. seek neutrality that is currently amiss in modern scientific research.

Neutrality amiss in scientific research? God being a counterweight to the theory of Evolution? These statements are not only wrong, misleading and hypocritical – they are false scientific claims to recruit vulnerable young scientists, and by doing so undermine real science. It's fair and just to claim that science holds no evidence against there being a god – but to use that as an argument for there actually being one, and to claim scientific evidence for it is absurd and idiotic. It's beyond idiotic, it's completely religious.

Logically, any argument related to a supreme being as the designer of the universe is not a scientific one. To prove this, one merely has to explore the fundemental difference between science and religion and abolish the notion that scientific beliefs are in some way the same as religious ones. The following explains the difference between science and religion – and hopefully rescues some indecisive individuals before the religion-monster renders them logically and scientifically impotent.

But first, let me emphasize what I have already implied: I do not exclude the possibility of the existence of a supreme being. It would be scientifically wrong to exclude something without proof (and sometimes even with proof). However, I do believe that there is no such being – yes, I said "believe" – which brings us closer to the heart of this article. It is painstakingly clear that all humans must follow one or more "beliefs" as we do not hold scientific proof for everything. In fact, we have scientific proof of very few things. But make no mistake: Many of these beliefs do absolutely not equal religious beliefs, as some people tend to think and use as arguments. There is no gray zone between science and religion, there never was, and there never will be. Science is in fact a completely different phenomenon alltogether. To explain the difference I will start by hypothesizing the following:

It could be that I am imagining the world, you, everything – and tomorrow I'll wake up to realize that I myself am in fact a lonely supreme being that blissfully decided to live in ignorance.

In this small sentence one can find the essential difference between science and religion. Can you spot it? The key is that there is no direct way to scientifically investigate or prove that this hypothesis is in fact true. There are, however, other possibilities that can readily be explored scientifically. Such as the possibility that I am not a supreme being – but an evolved biological animal wishing there was more to life than just kinship with monkeys. Therefore, this second option is a scientifically justifiable belief as it's antithesis (me being god) has no scientific...
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