The Coexistance of Science and Religion

Eric Clouse, Writer

The debate of whether science and religion can coexist is a serious topic and controversial issue that is debated all across the world today. Through proven research by scientists, to people who believe in a creator, the debate between science and religion continues to rage on.

At Emerson Jr. Sr. High School, a survey with questions based on the debate of science vs. religion was sent out to many different people, including multiple teachers of science. As well as being sent out to teachers of science, it was sent out to teachers of different faiths and a pastor.

One of the questions that were presented in the poll was as follows:

“Do you believe in science or religion and or both? Why or why not? Please explain to what extent you rely on science or religion.”

Andrea Nakis, a teacher at Emerson Jr. Sr. High School, responded by saying “Both, I rely on science to explain for example a medical diagnosis but I rely on my faith that everything will be okay and to provide some type of solace that a scientific reason cannot explain.”

Pastor Haveman states the following… “I am a minister, so of course, I believe in God…I am a Christian. As for belief in science, this feels like an odd way to put it, but I do accept and rely upon the findings of science in almost every area of life. I accept the theory of gravity, special and general relativity, the scientific method for investigating the workings of creation. In short, I rely on science to help explain the what and how of the workings of creation, but I believe in my faith to explain the who and why of creation.”

Andrea Nakis and Pastor Haveman find that both science and religion are jointly intertwined with each other in our world today. Nakis explains that medical reasons are explained by science whereas religion serves as a hope factor giving her comfort with what is to come. Rodney Haveman believes that science has been proven and relies on some aspects of science such as gravity whereas he uses his religion to explain what happens in our world today and how the earth was created.

In the poll the people were asked the following:

“Are there aspects that your beliefs cannot explain? Please explain the limitations.”

Michael Strater a science teacher at Emerson Jr. Sr. High School explains the gaps found in both science and religion by stating,

“There are plenty of things that science currently is not yet able to explain. However, I have faith that as a species we will one day be able to understand the universe and our existence in its entirety through the continued practice of science. That being said, I do not believe that science and faith are mutually exclusive. I think that science and the scientific process are the tools through which God helps us to understand His grand design.”

Michael Strater explains his lack of understanding in areas of his beliefs while also believing that science and religion are linked as a whole.

The last and final question of the poll was:

“Do you understand the other side’s belief even if you don’t agree with it. What is one thing about the other side’s belief you understand?”

There were many strong responses to this from people of science and religion such as,

“I absolutely understand people who don’t share the same religious beliefs, but having differences in beliefs, to me, is more a sign of differences in the values and ideals of different cultures. The same could be said about people who do not believe in any religion, or to those who choose to ignore the scientific theories that have become widely accepted by the scientific community. Having a different set of ideas or beliefs is simply a part of the human condition.”

“I do understand both sides. Part of having an intellectual conversation is the ability to have discord and use reason to support your position. Religion can’t explain everything with evidence and science might not either. So in the end, both parties should be open to listening to what the other side has to say and respect that.”

“Yes, I understand the theory of evolution or Darwinism which goes against my faith.”

The responses to this question shows a mature and open-mind about how science and religion can coexist.

Open discussions about any topic and seeing the other viewpoints side is a very critical aspect of understanding the world and your own beliefs. Specifically to the debate of science vs. religion, the discussion has presented many answers that show insight into beliefs and differences.

This segment was inspired by a video produced by a group called “Jubilee”, which takes controversial topics and has people debate the topics in a small and controlled discussion group.