Sunday, April 15, 2018

Can Scientists be Religious?

The answer to this question, it seems to me, depends on how we define scientist.  Those who use scientific facts in a practical way (e.g. teachers, lab technicians, flight engineers, medical practitioners) can likely balance their scientific knowledge and their religious beliefs without facing a philosophical crisis.  Basic scientists, however, especially those delving into the mysteries of the Universe and the nature of life itself, are less likely to accept the tenets of religious faith.

Indeed, organized religion has attempted to derail the validity of science since the days of Galileo and Copernicus.  Since that time, our scientific knowledge has expanded tremendously as theories have been proven or disproven using the scientific method.  Meanwhile, religious beliefs, not subject to scientific analysis, remain unchanged, a source of pride for most true believers.

But scientists can be just as kind, just as charitable and just as committed to human rights as any of their religious friends and colleagues.  In fact, I suspect that they are less likely to be intolerant or to engage in discrimination.  Science seeks truth through proven facts and truth is the path to human enlightenment and peaceful coexistence.