SCIENCE AND RELIGION: THE SHAMEFUL CASE OF GHANAIAN SCIENCE STUDENTS/ENTHUSIASTS

By Serwaa Ampaafo

Science and religion are nothing alike and in fact are locked in a bitter and deadly war for the minds of humans. Religion cannot cure a single disease.  It cannot usefully explain a single physical fact in a rational verifiable way.

 Religion cannot explain volcanoes, earthquakes, thunderstorms, hurricanes, epidemics, allergies, birth defects, diseases, . . . nothing. Religion cannot usefully explain a single thing. 

Science, however, explains all these and a lot more. So how can any reasonable person think that Science is equal to or compatible with religion?

 Facts are true whether or not one believes in them. Science is an impressively reliable but fallible means for ascertaining facts. Indeed, facts are true whether or not science itself believes in them.

 You can hardly call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in Creationism (Adam and Eve story) the Resurrection of Christ; A Muslim if you don’t believe Allah dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad. 

After all, why accept a faith’s authoritative teachings if you reject its truth claims? 

If you teach evolution, you’re teaching the one form of science that hits Abrahamic religions in the delicate areas. You can teach chemistry and physics and physiology and other forms of science-based inquiry, like archaeology and history, and religious people don’t have any problem with that. But, for evolution, they do. Abrahamic religions endorse creationism.

Aside the fact that religious claims are unfounded hence lack verifiable evidence to support their claims one major conflict between science and faith, also rests on the methods they use to decide what is true, and what truths result: 

These are conflicts of both methodology and outcome.

 Science uses different methods to ascertain what’s true. It has an exquisitely refined series of methods honed over 500 years to find out what’s real and what’s false. 

 In contrast Religion doesn’t have a methodology to weed out what’s false. In religion,  they have authorities, revelation, dogma, and indoctrination as their methods and no way of proving their tenets false.

In other words, religion adjudicates truth not empirically, but via dogma, scripture and authority and Faith.  Faith, defined in Hebrews 11 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

In science, faith without evidence is a vice, while in religion it’s a virtue. Recall what jesus said to “doubting Thomas,” who insisted on poking his fingers into the resurrected Savior’s wounds: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

 without supporting evidence majority of African science students, practitioners and its enthusiasts believe in the bible,  God, the divinity of Jesus, Heaven and hell, the virgin birth, and the Devil and angels. 

Why do they think these are true? Faith.

 While science has had success after success in understanding the universe, the “method” of using faith has led to no proof of the divine. How many gods are there? What are their natures and moral creeds? Is there an afterlife? Why is there moral and physical evil? There is no one answer to any of these questions. All is mystery, for all rests on faith.

There are thousands of these religions and all of them make incompatible claims about the universe. The reason that is  the case is because they don’t have any way of testing those claims. 

 Different religions make different – and often conflicting – claims, and there’s no way to judge which claims are right. There are over 4000 religions in the world, and their “truths” are quite different. (Muslims and Jews, for instance, absolutely reject the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God.) Indeed, new sects often arise when some believers reject what others see as true. 

So how do the faithful reconcile science and religion? Believing Science and religion is compartmentalization not Compartibility

PHOTO: PRESBYTERIAN BOYS SCHOOL PRAYING DURING NATIONAL SCIENCE AND MATHS QUIZ
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Often they point to the existence of some religious scientists, or to the many religious people who accept science. But I’d argue that this is compartmentalization, not compatibility. Religious scientist only make room in their brains to accept science and not that the science they know or study is compatible with their religion. 

Others argue that in the past religion promoted science and inspired questions about the universe. Which is true But what is debatable now is whether, in the long run, the progress of science has been promoted by religion. 

Certainly it is obvious that evolutionary biology, has been held back strongly by creationism which arises solely from religion.

Science in itself is an atheistic or an agnostic discipline but unfortunately students, teachers and many of its enthusiasts do not understand this.

In conclusion, it’s irrational to hold on to wishful thinking/beliefs and science/reason/logic at the same time. It leads to cognitive dissonance that prompts accommodationism. 

And for those who do not care whether people practice religion alongside science or not; It’s either social cowardice of the highest order or the worst kind of irresponsibility.

 As I noted, science and religion are engaged in a deadly war. There can be no bystanders, for it really matters who wins—it really matters that science, I mean Truth, wins

 

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