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Please read my first blog on this subject, Part 1, in which I explain the fundamental connection between science, faith, religion and belief.
Religion and science go together. As I've said before, science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal -- the search for truth. Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. And it is equally absurd when scientists say that there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean that he must subscribe to a creed. Without religion there is no charity.It is also important to remember that the classic battle between science and religion, i.e., the arrest and imprisonment of Galileo by the Catholic Church was not religion vs. science but rather a battle between two different scientific theories. Yet this battle seemed to set the stage for today's conflicts between religion and science, such as those involving human evolution and the Big Bang Theory.
The Earth centered, geocentric, system held that the Earth was at the center of the Universe. Refined by Ptolemy it was quite accurate. (Wikimedia.org)
And while not widely known, the geocentric system is still useful and used today under various circumstances:
The geocentric (Ptolemaic) model of the solar system is still of interest to planetarium makers, as, for technical reasons, a Ptolemaic-type motion for the planet light apparatus has some advantages over a Copernican-type motion.
|Zeiss Planetarium Projector in Montreal. (Wikimedia.org)|
NASA uses the Geocentric Solar Ecliptic (GSE) system for some applications. The GSE is now the preferred system for depicting vector quantities in some space physics situations. (Wikimedia.org)
The conflict between science and religion is often one of older ideas or an old science vs. new concepts. Ideas once held by religion such as lightning bolts being thrown by an angry god have been replaced by a scientific understanding of electricity in the atmosphere. Few people would argue with this today. As a result some ideas in religion need to give way to well established scientific understandings.
Science, on the other hand, needs to acknowledge that it cannot know everything. There is a limit -- as I have suggested in my earlier blog. Science, for example, relies on its ability to measure. Measurement is at the heart of the scientific method. Yet there are things, critical things, that cannot be measured.
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
Every snowflake, every person, every galaxy is unique. If this were simply a scientific world of laws of cause and effect, then it would also be a cookie cutter world of duplicate people and galaxies -- a Universe of clones. Yet it is our uniqueness that science cannot explain, which is essential to life and a fundamental mystery.
Snow crystals photographed by William Bentley (wikimedia.org). While subatomic particles, the building blocks of nature, are exactly alike, and water molecules are, for the most part, exactly alike, every snow crystal is different. "The water molecules in an ice crystal form a hexagonal lattice..." "it is indeed extremely unlikely that two complex snowflakes will look exactly alike" http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals
We know with nature, in particular, that diversity is a survival strategy. Diversity gives a species the advantage of responding differently to changing environmental conditions, for example.
Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.
This principle of change or movement prevents nature from ever really repeating herself...
The History of Scientific Ideas, Charles Singer
Even something as simple as green seaweed as seen through the natural mosaic of endlessly diverse water surface ripples shows the infinite variations created by nature. (Wikimedia.org)
The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.This idea was also expressed by the poet/painter/photographer who went by the name of Wols. In 1944 when looking out at the Mediterranean at Cassis, France, he wrote:
in the little waves of the harbor
which are always the same without being the same...
All loves lead to one love, and
beyond all personal loves,
there is the nameless love,
the great mystery,
the cosmos ...
Wols (Alfred Otto Wolfgang
Schulze) Watercolors, Drawings, Writings by Wols
Electron microscope photograph of an "antenna of common wasp, Vespula vulgaris" magnified 3000 times. Scale is about 30 micrometers or about 1/1000 of an inch. (wikimedia.org)
Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics.