Sunday, September 02, 2007

Four views of science and religion

There are at least four different views of religion and science relate to each other. There is definitely more to it than religion just being against science and vice-versa.

1. Continuity

This is the liberal view. It says that science casts light on how God carries out his plans for the universe. This means continually re-interpreting scripture in the light of science and even predominant cultural values.

This beautiful photo by by Are You My Rik? falls under the Creative Commons license.

2. They talk about different things

We have to be careful when comparing things to make sure we're not comparing apples and oranges. Religion often concerns itself with morals, with actual history and with God. Science with mechanisms. For Barth, for example, science has its place, but that place is not explaining or justifying the Christian faith. In fact, if we do try to know about God through reason alone we are setting a pale imitation of the real God,
Setting up a false god [that] will not lead him in any way lead him in any way to a knowledge of the real God. On the contrary, it will keep him from it.
This photo by automania falls under a Creative Commons license

3. Dialogue and Convergence

Science and religion are in a dialogue which will lead to some convergence in common areas. Both are committed to realism, and to finding the truth. They can interact, which is to the benefit of both.

Photo by phil_h under a Creative Commons license.

4. They're at war

In this view there's outright conflict between the two. Not only do science and religion talk about the same thing, but it's not going to be possible to fix the differences!

This photo is by jimfrazier under a Creative Commons license

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