Harmony: Religion and Intelligent Design

Topics: Religion, Science, Scientific method Pages: 16 (5573 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Harmony is tuning of our lives to those around us and the natural world that sustains our wellbeing. We listen and watch so that we can move in time with that Great Dance in which we all have a small part.

To live in harmony requires that we be conscious of the hopes and needs that surround us and flexible in our own course of action. In a harmonious relationship each party at times sets aside his or her own desires to nurture the relationship itself. We can be in harmony with others only when we are in harmony with ourselves--living true to our deepest sense of what is real and what matters.

A broad understanding of modern science is indispensable in today's society, not only to be competitive in today's high-tech job market, but also to be well informed on scientific matters, in light of the many challenges that the world now faces. The methodology of modern science has been remarkably successful in uncovering the workings of the Earth and universe about us. Just in the past half-century science has unlocked the code of life and read the DNA of many organisms, traced the history of the known universe and discovered a set of mathematical laws that explain, at a fundamental level, virtually all physical phenomena with remarkable precision. It is increasingly clear that any movement that opposes the progress of modern science is simply digging a pit for itself. On the other hand, religion plays a similarly important foundation in the lives of the vast majority of people worldwide. According to a recent study, over 92% of Americans (including, amusingly enough, 21% of self-described atheists and 55% of self-described agnostics) affirm some belief in God. What's more, 39% of Americans (including 37% of atheists and 48% of agnostics -- more than the population at large) say that they experience a "deep sense of wonder about the universe" on at least a weekly basis [Pew2008]. One scientific colleague of the present author, which colleague personally hasn't practiced conventional religion for many years, nonetheless acknowledged that with regards to the magnificence of the universe and the elegance of natural laws, he is a "devoted worshipper."

Religion has indisputably inspired some of the world's greatest art and literature, as is evident from even a casual stroll through any of Europe's great art museums. The Book of Job's remarkable search for meaning in suffering has few peers in world literature [Norwegian2011]. Religious motifs pervade the works of Shakespeare, especially marquee plays such as Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello. Johann Sebastian Bach, who composed over 1000 pieces of sacred music, even today is widely regarded as the greatest composer of history, and his Mass in B-Minor is thought by many to be one of the greatest single works of music in the classical repertoire [Tommasini2011]. Similarly, Victor Hugo's intensely religious Les Miserables is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, and, in our own time, is the basis for London's longest-running musical theater production [LesMiserables2011b].

Even more importantly, religion has played an enormous role worldwide as a governor of moral conduct through the ages. As historians Will and Ariel Durant explained, "Even the skeptical historian develops a humble respect for religion, since he sees it functioning, and seemingly indispensable, in every land and age. ... There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion." [Durant1968, pg. 43, 51]. Thus any movement that opposes modern religion is simply digging a pit for itself.

The "war" between science and religion

Unfortunately, beginning several decades ago, but with greater intensity in the past few years, a battle is being waged between certain groups loosely representing "science" (actually certain atheistic scholars and scientists) and "religion" (actually certain creationists and religious...
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