Science and Religion

The Church says that the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church. Ferdinand Magellan, source unknown

I became skeptical of Christianity about a year before I resigned from my church. During that year, among other things, I began "secretly" reading modern scientific works.

To my amazement I found them filled with facts. Not emotional cries to believe, but experiments to consider. Not stories of old, but studies of today. And slowly, I began to put my stock in the scientific process, which I’ve come to see as the exact opposite of religion.

Consider for a moment the evolution of religion in comparison to science:

Religion usually begins with a single idea that is proclaimed as the one and only “truth” which many come to have faith in. As more and more people come to believe this “truth,” different opinions arise as to the true interpretation of that “truth.” Since there is really no experiment to prove anyone’s interpretation, those different opinions flourish and eventually become different factions and denominations of the religion.

In the end, what began as a single great movement is now splintered into a million pieces.

On the other hand, Science begins with a variety of different and opposing theories about some facet of the universe. It's then that scientists go to work to find verifiable or observable facts about a hypothesis, albeit sometimes with a bias. However, as experiments continue, biases are forced aside in the face of observable and repeatable facts.

In the end, what began as a variety of varying and contradictory ideas has come to something of a consensus with most scientists, if not all people, coming into agreement – a far cry from what happens to religions!

When you try to run the human race on "faith" with no evidence, it just ends in splintered factions, like Christianity and Islam today. Everyone is doing his or her own thing thinking it’s the most correct version. But science can bring humanity closer to agreement because it is based on evidence--something everyone can see if they just look at the facts. That observation alone is a very powerful evidence in my mind that science, not religion, provides a more secure future for humanity, and that religion is simply a man-made idea.

So, I think Magellan was right (if he really said that). Even if there are questions that scientists still cannot figure out, there's still no point answering one mystery with another (i.e. your particular god).

The truth is that if there is truth in the world, it shouldn’t take evangelism, puppet shows, preachers, emotional worship songs, or even a sword to get people to see it. I’ve never seen a scientist leave tracts in public restrooms hoping someone will be inspired and believe. No, science just takes evidence. And evidence, like a shadow, is so much more powerful than the faith that Christianity gave to me.