“Take what I have said kindly; I wish only to induce your religious part to have more charity for your scientific self, and the reverse. Both religion and science are working towards the good of man, although their devotees are human and by human error, bring privations, sufferings, and sorrows to men. Neither can fill the place of the other; each should extend a helping hand, and have charity for the shortcomings of the other; they are not antagonists, but workers in one field; both must stand the criticisms of mutual antagonists, and both have cause to fear the evils of fanaticism within their own ranks more than the attacks of opponents from without.” ~John Uri Lloyd
Science VS Religion
Science and religion was once a single thing, but for several centuries, we have operated in much of the world as if science and religion are enemies, and those who are followers of one cannot be true devotees of the other. The result is a world that is a complete mess with both groups blaming the other and accepting no responsibility for it themselves.
The Science Side
Recently, we are seeing memes on social media coming from the spokesmen for the scientific community saying things like “A scientific truth remains true, even if many refuse to believe it.” While that statement by itself is true, it has problems. First, it sounds way to much like the priests and ministers saying that if you don’t belief what they preach, that doesn’t change the truth. Second, it accepts no responsibility for the lack of acceptance by a large part of the public.
Lets look at some of the reasons people have stopped blindly accepting everything the scientific community pushes. In the 1960s and 1970s we had a number of studies done by scientists who showed that cigarette smoking caused health problems. The tobacco companies fought back by hiring scientists of their own who debunked those studies, insisting they were poorly done, not large enough to mean anything, and so on. These bought scientists then released studies of their own that proved that cigarettes were completely harmless. It took decades for enough evidence to come out to convince every one of the dangers of tobacco and force governments to take action.
Around the same time as the tobacco debate, there were other dubious pronouncements from people of science. A Harvard University nutritionist pronounced pizza to be one of the healthiest things we could eat. Many believed it, until the word got out that Pizza Hut had donated millions to Harvard weeks before the unbiased opinion was drafted. Another pronouncement said much the same for soup, after Campbell’s Soup donated to the university. And on and on it went.
Today we have scientists insisting that both vaccines and GMO foods are completely safe, despite the fact that almost none of them have done independent studies to prove it, but are relying instead on the studies done by the makers of those products.
So if science wants to be heard, they need to stop putting the blame on religion and poor education, and look also at their own behavior.
The Religion Side
I wish I could say that religion was doing a much better job than the scientists in revealing truth, but I can’t. They may, in fact, be even worse. When we have several hundred different churches teaching different things in Christianity alone, it is obvious that religion has serious credibility issues as well.
I think a large part of the problem is that the more serious churches who have existed for hundreds of years seem to be unwilling to criticize the phonies popping up who exist only as shady businesses to separate people from their money. I have mentioned one particular preacher in this area before: Creflo Dollar. We do have to give this man credit for one thing though: he doesn’t hide the fact that it is all about the money. He openly tells his thousands of followers that Jesus wants him to live in luxury so they should give, give, give. They do, and he has made millions, but this has nothing to do with God, Jesus, or Christianity. It is, in fact, Satanism.
Dollar is one of the worse examples, but there are many others. If it is not for money, then it is for growing the congregation. Ministers have learned that when they say things the congregation doesn’t want to hear, they stop attending services, and stop tithing. Therefore, they preach what the people want to hear instead of what they know to be true.
The religious community, much like the scienctific one , needs to clean house if they want to get the churches full again. The reasonable real churches should start by denouncing loudly the phonies like Creflo Dollar and the Westboro Baptist Church with the website address of “godhatesfags.com”. Here’s a clue: if the church you go to is more about preaching hate than love, go elsewhere.
Science and Religion
Science and religion worked together in the past and can do it again. They can start by each moving a little closer to the other instead of trying to widen the chasm between them. As Mr. Lloyd says, they both exist for the betterment of man, at least the real ones do. If that is the case, then they should study the concept of synergy, well known in the business world. Synergy says that two or more people working together for the same goal can accomplish more than those same people working as individuals. Likewise, two groups, classes of people, or organizations working together accomplish more than they do individually (generally, there are a few exceptions).
If the churches started trying to be a little more scientific in what they preach, and admit when they don’t know something instead of making up nonsense, things would start to improve. If the scientific community started admitting it’s past debts to religion, and stopped acting like a religion where their pronouncements must be accepted, or else, we would move toward a better place. Each group can learn from the other, including from their errors. Let’s start to get science and religion together again now.