All scientific inquiry begins with a question. How is this possible? Why is that planet behaving that way? How old is that thing? What is that made of? How do we catch the flu? Once you have a question, you can set about determining an answer. That’s science, and in my opinion, it’s a thing of beauty.
What frustrates me most about people who disparage science is that they tend to say, “Well, science used to believe this. But now we know that’s wrong.”
Uh… YEAH. That’s the whole point. You add to science as you increase knowledge and extend your inquiries. Surprise! Blood letting isn’t the best idea for the feverish! The earth isn’t flat after all!
Science, by its very nature, is not rigid and set in stone. It’s a journey, not a destination. It grows. It (dare I say it?) evolves.
The reason science and religion seem at odds with each other, in my opinion, is that religion doesn’t want you to question. It wants you to believe without question. It doesn’t want you to change, other than to get with the program. It says, “These are the rules. Stick to them.” It believes that the way we thought 2,000 years ago is the way we should think now.
Science is messy. It says, “Hold on… what about this?” It’s ever-changing. It’s fluid. That’s a scary concept for some, but I firmly believe that learning and growth make us better people.
This may surprise you, but I genuinely believe that science and religion don’t have to be mutually exclusive. There are questions that will never be answered in our lifetime. If religion helps you with the great unanswered, then more power to you. And if you believe in God, surely you must believe that he or she gave us curious brains so that we could use them.
I am so grateful for both the gifts of intelligence and morality. I will never squander those gifts. (Not that morality is exclusive to religion, mind you. But sometimes it is nice to have a guidebook, even if we don’t always consult it.)
I am very excited by the prospect of knowing more tomorrow than I do today. I look forward to applying that knowledge in a way that benefits mankind. Life is good!
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