A Basic Understanding of Science and Religion Essay Sample
- Word count: 875
- Category: science
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A Basic Understanding of Science and Religion Essay Sample
One of the most fundamental, yet mostly deeply misunderstood concepts in America is that of science. Let me be clear as to what specifically defines science. The systematic knowledge of the physical world, gained through observation and experimentation. This definition encompasses many scientific topics and studies such as the following: physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, zoology, astronomy, and so forth. One of the topics that is specifically left out of the realm of science is religion, as religion is based on metaphysical beliefs, not on observations of the readily physical. Scientists seek to understand the physical parts of reality, while theologians and religious leaders seek to understand the metaphysical parts of reality.
Much to my everlasting annoyance, people tend to “mesh” the two differing aspects of physical and metaphysical concepts. I’ve witnessed people mix the two concepts to either define science as a “religion” while dismissing the general concept of religion, or to dismiss science because it doesn’t offer metaphysical explanations. When people do either, they clearly demonstrate how deeply misinformed they are about what science is designed to do. People must also view physical and metaphysical understandings of reality as parallel, but never intersecting. Both unique parts are required to create a “whole” view of reality.
First off, science does not function to prove or destroy anything regarding the metaphysical. If science did function to do so, it would not be valid science. Religious groups often cite Charles Darwin’s creation of the Theory of Evolution as a complete lie and direct threat to Christian ideals, attacking it as if the theory was formulated with the sole purpose of destroying the concept of a “divine creator.” When in fact, Darwin never claimed that a “divine creator” did not exist, he merely implied that the concept of a “divine creator” added no further insight to understanding and explaining his theory.
Furthermore, it was his obligation as a respectable scientist to remove metaphysical connotations from his studies. Religious leaders and followers often fail to grasp this basic scientific obligation. If Darwin had included anything concerning the metaphysical to his studies, the scientific community would now consider his theory preposterous. It would be similar to blaming the observable outcome of a chemical reaction on “spirits” as opposed to the differing elements chemical properties, or that rain falls from “heaven” as opposed to from the atmosphere. It simply does not make sense to intersect or “mesh” the metaphysical and physical.
I do not hear nearly as many intense opinions regarding other scientific principles and practices, to the same degree that I hear about Evolution. For such a monumental issue to be made out of one scientific ideal contradicting religious beliefs is baffling to me. Most of science does.
On the other side of the spectrum of things that baffle me, when people use science to justify that there is no “divine creator” and that metaphysical beliefs are illogical based on “scientific evidence.” Just as religious followers reject science because it lacks a metaphysical explanation, people who are usually self-proclaimed atheists reject religion because it lacks a physical explanation. Some even go as far to say science by itself is a religion, which is a shameless contradiction. This is another example of how people will “mesh” the differing parts of metaphysical and physical understandings to create misconceptions about science. There is not one reputable scientific explanation to prove there is or is not a “divine creator.” It’s unfathomable to me, that people who claim to be so scientifically inclined, don’t realize they manipulate the very principles of science by drawing conclusions about abstract concepts. Again, this is not the function of science.
People’s varying erroneous notions about science creates an unnecessary tension between both types of believers. I find it humorous because they both make the mistake of narrowing their scopes of reality and make the mistake of believing in absolutes. As Obi-Wan from Star Wars said, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” To make his words meaningful to this context, choosing to believe blindly in only one part of reality in the first place is what makes people enemies or “Siths” to one another.
There are several things humans experience throughout life that cannot readily be explained by science where instead, other explanations and ideas should be used. How can a meaningful arrangement of words such as in a poem make someone feel inspired or even make them cry? If all life did evolve from a common ancestor, how did this ancestor come to be? Why are humans so intellectually different from our fellow animals? Why do so many people report seeing and feeling “spirits” if they technically, by all that is scientific, cannot exist? How can people predict the future? Even scientists have admitted that some people have higher and more refined “senses” than others for making predictions about the future for unexplainable reasons.
To deny all that is metaphysically inclined in life based on science is missing the point. This is why science and religion should both be viewed as feasible explanations for the differing principles of the physical and metaphysical parts of reality. I do want to note again, there is a clear distinction between the two, but that they can work simultaneously to paint the differing aspects of how I define a “whole” reality.