Science and Religion: Irreconcilable Realms
According to Carroll (2009), science and religion are irreconcilable (para.1). The two realms are irreconcilable because they reach incompatible results in the real world. Diverse faiths may make contradictory assertions, but these claims ultimately lead to conclusions such as "Jesus died and was raised" or "God created the universe in six days." Science, on the other hand, disagrees with such assertions. As a result, different beliefs in supernatural and scientific hypotheses/theories lead to a contradictory understanding. However, the superficial reasonableness of a claim is insufficient to determine its truth. Moreover, science teaches that what individuals believe as reality may surprise them when they are willing to view it more carefully (Carroll, 2009, para.7). The essay asserts that religion and science are compatible because their conclusions are not in direct conflict with one other but instead seek to compliment one another.
Complementary Roles of Science and Religion
Normandin (2012) asserts that science and religion complement each other. The difference is that they respond to separate questions. This is the strongest objection because it does not only look at the religious beliefs and the scientific assertions. Normandin's objection goes deeper to analyze exactly how the two domains arrive at their conclusions. Firstly, he argues that asking whether science conflicts with religion is a very expansive question. It is true just as Caroll argues that there are certain religions that differ with science. For instance, the claims of God making the universe in six days and the human race growing from a woman who got tempted by a snake. The two examples without a doubt went against well-theorized and tested science (p.19).
Religion, Science, and Belief
However, there are other religions whose beliefs do not conflict with science. Nevertheless, embracing any system of belief which cannot be refuted or confirmed by science is not a sufficient condition for religion to be in conflict with science, in any case, science and religion have several similarities. For instance, unless God comes down from Heaven with the intention of proving that He truly exists, it is not possible to prove that the Christian beliefs are true or not. Faith embraces the religious beliefs. Some scientists may find this argument amusing, but science has a similar characteristic.
Gathering Evidence in Science and Religion
Undoubtedly, scientific theories can never be ascertained as correct. Evidence may be gathered to support a theory, but it is not possible to know 100 percent that the theory is true. For instance, it is not possible to prove that gravity works the way scientists argue it does. Normandin (2012) does not refute that general relativity offers a good description of how gravity works but just as a good number of professors insist, scientific theories are just models. These models are refined continually as new information is developed. Similarly, religious beliefs are re-examined and refined as new knowledge is acquired. Catholicism periodically gathers believers for the re-examination and refining process (p.19).
Interpreting Evidence in Science and Religion
Therefore, both domains gather evidence. However, Carroll (2009) goes on to argue that the evidence collected in science is more solid than that of religion since science can qualitatively measure things (para.7). In contrast, religion is not able to measure the extent of God's field in a church. Even so, there is no doubt that religions have also gone ahead to gather evidence. The evidence is just of a different kind, and it takes text forms, miracle claims, and other personal evidence. Several people find this evidence compelling enough to develop a belief, but others do not. However, does the argument extremely deviate from science?
The Limitations of Arguments against Compatibility
Currently, there exist numerous measurements of gravity, but no one agrees on what gravity is. Firstly, recent research depicts that gravity might be an entropic force. On the other hand, other people are for the brane theory of gravity. Quantum mechanics is a field that began in the 1900s, and it is still contested. Many individuals continue to wonder whether the wave function does collapse, or there are many universes that represent each state. Therefore, it is not the evidence in religion or science that should be assessed for compatibility, but instead, it is what different interpretations that individuals draw from the evidence (Normandin, 2012, p.19). The way people interpret the evidence presented to them determines what they believe.
Considering Different Perspectives
In response, Carroll (2009) argues that using the theory of gravity and the arguments of evolution is not a substantial argument to refute the incompatibility that exists between religion and science. After all, the theories of gravity and evolution have been forced into the human race (para.8). However, we cannot choose the theories that favor one argument and disfavor the other just to prove that science and religion are in conflict. Even so, there are other arguments that can continue to show why Caroll's argument needs polishing. For instance, several religions use miracles as evidence to support their religious claims. However, walking on water cannot be supported by science. Nonetheless, science has failed to present any evidence that directly conflicts with the claim of Jesus walking on water (Normandin, 2012, p.19). Therefore, it is possible that an all-powerful being can locally change the rules or go on to use a kind of force that scientists have not yet understood.
In conclusion, from the above arguments, it is clear that the argument fails to respond to the objection. The argument basis on a greater desire to get the readers to appreciate the limitations of religion and hence become more responsive to the idea that religion and science are in conflict. However, the two domains do not necessarily contradict but rather act as complements. Science predicts and describes the universe while religion explains it.
Carroll, S. (2009, June 23). Science and Religion are not Compatible. Retrieved May 25, 2017, from Sean Carroll: http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2009/06/23/science-and-religion-are-not-compatible/
Normandin, R. (2012, May 11). Can Science be reconciled with religion? The Tech, pp. 1-28.