Apples (Religion) and Oranges (Science)


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Many have said, “Science is just another religion.”  But is that true?  I am not going to answer that question.  The reader can decide, based on the definitions below, and if he/she is honest with themselves he/she will not try to fit round pegs into square holes.

Here are some definitions to get us started (these are from Merriam-Webster):

science: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method

scientific methodprinciples and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses

religion: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

~~~

Science involves following the scientific method which was invented by Francis Bacon in the 17th century.  He was greatly inspired by the work of Copernicus and Galileo.

The method was written down and has been used by the scientific community ever since.

So in that way, science is like a religion.  Something was written down in a book a long, long time ago.

Where science differs from religion is that the scientific method includes an error-correcting mechanism.  A scientist must prove what they discovered and if it can’t be duplicated by another person, it falls under scrutiny.  A theory that can’t be proved is just a theory and will be replaced by a better theory if scientific experimentation or mathematics yields a more correct result.

This process continues and theory will either remain theory or be proven.

The religion I am comparing with science is written religion.  I am not talking about a person’s individual spirituality.   I’m not talking about meditating or breathing fresh air and clearing the mind.  We all can sit down and close our eyes and connect with the world around us.  I am talking about book religion.

Book religion doesn’t change.  What is written in the book is the word of the deity who penned it and there is no defined religious method to scrutinize or correct it.  Sure, it can be interpreted in many different ways.  Just the other day, I was reading Lander 7’s post about all the artwork that exists of Moses with devil horns!  That was due to a “mistranslation” of Exodus 34:29-30.

There are undefined error-correcting mechanisms and those are re-translation and re-interpretation.  The method of re-interpretation can be good.  It is what has allowed some denominations to open their doors to previously unwelcome groups like homosexuals.

The only other error-correcting mechanism in religion is the “direct hotline”.  A person who claims God is speaking to them directly.  They can skip the book study and give us the new version straight from the source.

I have been guilty of opening the Bible to get a few laughs.  But it’s no laughing matter.  There are stories in that thing that should be discarded like old medical literature that says masturbating will make you go blind.

But this post is about science vs. religion.  Is science just another religion, or are we comparing apples to oranges?

A post I wrote recently had people wondering, “What do I believe?”  Should a person who is born and chooses not to believe in a book that was written need to carry a label at all?  I believe in what can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  If that turns out to be a deity in the clouds or Bigfoot, I’ll drink the Kool-Aid with you, but first I require at least some proof.

So I guess my “religion” is science as some have suggested.  But is it really a religion, or is it a methodology to guide experimentation in a reproducible manner?

That’s the question.  Is science a religion?

 

 

 

 

 

80 thoughts on “Apples (Religion) and Oranges (Science)

    1. Ha, ha. Good one.

      I just saw this quote on someone’s blog. I don’t know who said it originally.
      “I would rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that cannot be questioned.”

      To me, this sums up the religion vs. science debate nicely.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Afternoon 🐏
    In regards to mistranslation of the Bible, it also says there were unicorns but…eh, the idea of the mythical creature had to originate from somewhere…also in the Book of Enoch (one of the Apocryphal books which isn’t followed in some of the Christian circles) he speaks of giants- product of Angels and man, so who’s to say?

    Science and religion go hand in hand in one’s life

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, please. That damn Annunaki story is such a big, fat lie. More theory put forth as truth. Do the Annunaki exist? Yes. Is the story true? No. We are not a slave race and they did not create us. *sigh* I’m so sick of this garbage floating around.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t like or dislike Sitchin. He was nothing more than a conduit, either by translating clay tablets (disputed) or by channeling. Hard to tell. There have been several cuneiform scholars that have come forward to say Sitchin’s translations are wrong. If so, where did he get the information he wrote in his books.

        I could provide additional info but, I know you aren’t interested.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes science will bend around the (uhh) scientist who creates it. For instance, inventing some “thing” and then creating science to prove it. Works even in some obscure mathematical formulas that show a particular aspect of chemistry or physics. *or so I’ve been told.

    But, at the end of the day, no, science is NOT a religion, *it can be as corrupt*
    .
    .
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    Sadly that wasn’t the right question.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It all depends on what do you know is true and what do you believe is true.

    For science to not be viewed as a religion, then one must use the scientific method in all aspects of their life to prove what other scientists claim. If you believe Stephen Hawkins at face value, then you would be using science as your religion. If you refuted all science until you have verified it for yourself, then you would be using the scientific method as it was intended.

    To believe scientists, without first proving to yourself that the science they practiced was legitimate, then you would be using faith to trust the scientists at their word.

    I think it would be impossible for any one person to verify every single scientific discovery of the past few hundred years.

    Just as it would be impossible for a person of faith to verify that everything in the Bible or any book of religion is accurate as well.

    How do you believe in space and planets if you’ve never been there yourself? Do you put faith into the theory?

    How do you know if or when dinosaurs existed or what they looked like or their mannerisms, if you never witnessed one in the wild? Are you a paleontologist?

    We all practice faith, we just don’t respect the faiths of others, so, we convince ourselves that we got it right, while everyone else has it wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reasonable doubt, is well, reasonable. That’s why I don’t have to verify every scientific discovery of the last hundred years. If I have doubts about any of them I can do the experiment (unless it requires a nuclear reactor or a spaceship, etc…)

      Now, if I have doubts about the Bible… There is nothing I can do but hope and pray.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have had doubts, but they were not reasonable when I weighed the evidence. So my belief is the U.S.A. went to the moon. One hundred percent sure? Of course not.

        But to believe in the moon landing doesn’t require ressurection of dead bodies, talking snakes, impossible math, people living in whale bellies, etc.

        Much more reasonable to believe one than the other I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Data is not just numbers on a page, it can be anything we see. Of course I did not create the data myself. I wasn’t alive in 1969. The data I have seen on the moon landing is in the form of television broadcasts, technical documents about the spacecraft, photos, video, documentary films, and books written about the subject.
        When I view it as a whole, I think it is reasonable to conclude they went.

        There are a lot of people on the internet who will disagree.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry Coffee, I don’t have the time tonight, but maybe I’ll do a post on it. That’s a big topic.

        I have to head out of town for a week. I’ll try to do a post here and there but I don’t think I’ll be able to go at it with full force like the last couple of days.

        It has been a lot of fun though.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say both.
        My mom; smoked, she died from copd complications, not lung cancer.
        Moon landing still hasn’t been proven *even looking through a telescope* as far as I’m concerned.

        I’m a born again skeptic.
        I’m skeptical about EVERYTHING

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry about your mom.

        Being a skeptic isn’t the worst thing to be.

        I’m thinking about doing a post on the moon landing. It should be a fun ride just like these religious posts.

        Like

      1. I realized after I said, “see” that someone might say, “How do you know radio waves exist?” or something like that. Which is why I changed it to measure.
        Measure. Something you can use your senses or a piece of equipment to observe. Sense. Something you can feel, touch, taste, smell, or see.

        I have never sensed God. I have never measured him. Have you? Many believers say they have, but what do they mean? They saw him in nature. They saw him in their children’s’ eyes. How come he doesn’t literally speak to us the way he did to Moses and friends?

        I’m not saying he doesn’t exist, but the things the Bible says don’t match reality in my experience or in the experience of anyone I know.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hear ya BS. The thing to remember is that we are all on our journey. Some find things sooner than others. Just because I believe something, doesn’t mean that you must believe the same and vice versa.

        One day, I just knew that I believed in God. The world and the universe is immeasurable. We do not control the heavens and the seas as we would like to think that we do.

        People (in the plural sense) never change, no matter the time, no matter the place. All that varies is the “flavor of the month”.

        I believe and I have faith, and that’s all I need. Everything else is a plus, in my book.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Samuel Morton, being a highly respected scientist of his time, used the scientific method (or so he says) to scientifically prove that black Africans were sub human and due to their darker complexion, they were better suited to work in the fields. It’s how science was used to defeat the abolition argument that slavery was justifiable if not natural.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/race-human/Scientific-classifications-of-race#ref810753

    And he was from the north.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This has since been proven incorrect. Another triumph for the scientific method.

      I have not looked at his research but I assume many false assumptions were made.

      How well was this ever accepted by the scientific community as a whole?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Deities don’t “pen” religious words. People do. Science and religion overlap as Einstein suggested. A scientific THEORY relies upon some FAITH, does it not? It may or may not be “proved.” But people who believe in evolution or global warming rely on a certain amount of faith in some of the principles because they really can’t or haven’t yet been “proven.” So science relies on faith and how people of religion can deny all science (like micro-evolution, some natural selection) seems ridiculous as well. Obviously whatever is true must be some combination of both. People often behave about science as if it is a religion, instead of keeping an open mind about it. That isn’t a true scientific mind.

    So climate change and evolution, neither of them are “settled science” because science doesn’t “settle” theories. Ever.

    Spirituality and faith don’t compel the belief in a “deity” at all, though there is plenty that “science” cannot explain.

    They are not incompatible at all. Branches of the same tree as Einstein said.

    Like

    1. Nice response. I agree with much of what you say.

      I don’t make the same connection between THEORY and FAITH. A theory is an educated guess of what might happen, not necessarily relying on the hope that it will happen.

      Many discoveries have been made or were led to being made by a theory being disproven.

      I agree that global warming and evolution are theories and the debate has not been settled.

      I agree there is much that science hasn’t explained at this time. It doesn’t mean it cannot explain it in time.

      I think faith, spirituality, religion, and the Bible are actually four seperate things that tend to get tied up together, but are actually very different. Maybe different branches of the same tree, as Einstein said. Or maybe different trees in the same forest.

      Like

  6. I think we’re getting away from religion and into faith. They aren’t the same. Faith is believing in God. Religion is believing whatever version of mans interpretation of God you choose. You can believe in God without believing in Religion just as you choose which science you accept and refute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right. Faith, religion, spirituality and the Bible are all very different things.

      My posts of the last few days may give some the impression of closed-mindedness. It is quite the opposite. I am open to anything, including God existing. I just need more than an ancient storybook full of plot holes to prove it.

      I still think science is a little different than faith or religion because it requires evidence. At least, good science does.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Where science differs from religion is that the scientific method includes an error-correcting mechanism. A scientist must prove what they discovered and if it can’t be duplicated by another person, it falls under scrutiny. A theory that can’t be proved is just a theory and will be replaced by a better theory if scientific experimentation or mathematics yields a more correct result.”

    I have to disagree with this on two points. [1] The error-correcting mechanism was dismantled when scientific careers were built on a theory that became popular. Theories have now become fact because money & power is involved (very much like Academia). They are still hiding the age of the Sphinx. They still think the pyramids are burial chambers (previous discussion). [2] Quantum mechanics spun scientific theory on its head when experiments conducted returned results that the “observer” expected. How does “science” error-correct two side-by-side scientists conducting the same experiment, yielding two different outcomes due to human intent?

    We left-brained data heads will always lean towards science and view religion with skepticism. These days, I’m viewing nearly everything with skepticism. Our society is so technologically advanced that they can make you see & hear anything. Ever seen the Ctrl+Shift+Face videos? Creep factor off the charts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Ctrl-Shift-Face videos use machine learning, which is from the mathematics and computer science discipline. It took years of science to get there.

    Yes, the age of the Sphinx is not agreed upon, but its purported age has not been established as “fact” either. Scientists can still study it and put their theories out.

    Yes, many idiots think the pyramids are burial chambers. They also think men heaved blocks weighing 1,000 pounds. But has any of this been established as scientific fact?

    Quantum physics is not fully understood yet. But we are making gains on it because of experimentation. Even Einstein had his mind changed on it because of new experimentation.

    Liked by 1 person

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