The Best of Science and Religion

My publisher has promoted my book as combining the best of science and religion. I like that. It’s a succinct statement of why I wrote the book.

Of course, you have to be careful with terms. By “science” I mean the basic definition in the dictionary: observation, experimentation, and reasoning – what I call “figuring it out.” By “religion” I mean the essence of Abrahamic faith – the simple belief that our universe and life were designed, that we are not here by accident.

The basic theme of my book is that when you do true science, when you try to “figure it out,” the evidence that our universe and life were designed is overwhelming. Evidence from established, mainstream science — cosmology, nuclear physics, molecular biology, the fossil record, planetary physics, quantum physics. I am constantly astonished by the general but false perception that science and religion are in conflict. I had one person recently ask me three times: “So you think science and religion are compatible?” He had a hard time even hearing my message.

He and many others confuse “science” with a belief system that attempts to make a religion out of “science,” which says that the natural world is all there is and that there are no truths other than the truth of science. That belief system has different names – Scientism, Naturalism, Materialism – but one purpose, to deny the existence of God. Scientism is not science. Scientism puts a box around science, and says you can’t look outside the box for truth, even when you ask how the stuff in the box came to be.

We need both true science and religion. We need to keep figuring out how our world works and how to make it better. I, for one, am not willing to give up modern dentistry! There’s no going back on the comforts and wonders of modern science.

We need religion too. Science without religion is empty. Scientism would have us believe that existence is pointless, and that human beings were created by random events, mere “chemical scum.” That pathetic philosophy is the cause of many of our social problems. How wonderful and liberating that true science supports the existence of God.

Pope John Paul II wrote: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” I like that. As we move forward in this third millennium and twenty-first century, let’s combine the best of science and religion

Thanks for reading.