Are Science and Religion in Conflict?

Topics: Scientific method, Religion, Science Pages: 6 (2432 words) Published: March 28, 2013
Are Science and Religion in Conflict?
Indeed,a conflict does exist between science and religion however the conflict is based on the lack of acceptance and vast misconceptions which members of either side are unwilling to let go of. The conflict between science and religion exists because there is a lack of congruence between the results achieved through scientific discovery and the beliefs required by a religion to follow. This has led to the formation of two extremes i.e. either accept faith and the doctrines required by faith to be observed or accept the rational methodologies of science. In an article published by “The Atlantic”, the author is of the opinion that solving the riddle that creates the conflict between science and religion is of utmost importance for the current generation. This is because of the reason that these two schools of thought are the most influential forces and guide the way we live our lives (Alfred). Science and religion since their inception have been in a state of continuous development. However this development has been in the opposite direction i.e. initially science studied the literature provided by religion however with the development of scientific research, certain religious concepts remained unproven because they were considered “Abstract” by science. This has led to people accepting one side to be true and the other false (Alfred). There is a conflict between science and religion however this is because of the fact that people are hesitant to study both and stick to one side. This has led to the permanent housing of misconceptions in the minds of people and is adding fuel to the fire i.e. increasing the conflict between the two ways of life.

The major reason behind the conflict between science and religion is the lack of acceptance of conclusions reached by either science or religion regarding a particular matter. If science put more light on the topic under discussion, religious scholars would deny those facts based on the grounds that the research is “blasphemous” and contradicts basic religious principles. An article by the “Times” magazine states the Christian Church and other religions including Islam focus on key aspects of human creation such as the possession of a soul by every human being or the miracles performed by saints and “Men of God”. Science however focuses on new ways of quantifying and measuring human evolution; both the concepts create a conflict (Dan, 2006). Science has been able to prove the physical existence of emotions such as passion, anger by locating it in different parts of the brain. This contradicts with the principle followed by most religions regarding the presence of a soul in every human and how that soul is free from bodily functions etc. However acceptance of this is denied by religious scholars based on the grounds that the concept of the Afterlife is fundamental to most religions and the concept of the soul is greatly in congruence with the Afterlife (Dan, 2006). Scientific research should not be viewed as a threat to the fundamentals of a religion rather the studies should be perceived as being insightful i.e. the research further clarifies religious concepts rather than denouncing them. There are certain driving factors that govern the existence and acceptance of the conflict between science and religion. Upbringing, Education and Social behavior are some of the factors that lead to people in both the scientific and religious communities to accept that there indeed is a rift between science and religion. In an article by Elaine Howard of Rice University and Jerry Z. Park of Baylor University, they provided the results of a study they carried out which involved the selection of 21 American scientists who were considered to be among the elite of the time. They studied their attitude towards religion and deduced that all scientists i.e. whether a naturalist or social scientist, have different levels of acceptance towards the conflict...

References: Alfred, N. (n.d.). Religion and Science. Retrieved on October 4th, 2011 from
Dan, C. (2006). God vs. Science.Retrieved on October 4th, 2011 from
Elaine, H. (2010). "Science vs. Religion" discovers what scientists really think about religion. Retrieved on October 4th, 2011 from
Ecklund, E., & Park, J. Z. (2009). Conflict Between Religion and Science Among Academic Scientists?.Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 48(2), 276-292. doi:10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01447.x
Honner, J. (1994). Science vs. religion (II).Commonweal, 121(16), 14.Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Martin-Hansen, L. (2008). First-Year College Students’ Conflict with Religion and Science.Science & Education, 17(4), 317-357. doi:10.1007/s11191-006-9039-5
Tom, C. (2009). God, creation, science, religion: the conflicts.October 4th, 2011from
Yong, A. (2011). Science and Religion: Introducing the Issues, Entering the Debates -- A Review Essay. Christian Scholar 's Review, 40(2), 189-203. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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