In my first Astronomy textbook, “Horizons: Exploring the Universe”, 13th edition, there’s a “How Do We Know?” small section in the last chapter. It’s in astrobiology which is basically a special chapter, thrown in because it’s interesting for the most part. These “How Do We Know?” sections ask a question that the common skeptical reader would ask and gives a response. This one has the subtitle “The Nature of Science Exploration” and asks “Must science and religion be in conflict?”. Here is the second to last terminable sentence:
“Science and religion offer differing ways of explaining the universe, but the two ways follow separate rules and cannot be judged by each other’s standards.”
Religion and science are both attempts at understanding the world. However, let’s first examine the methodology of the common religion. Spirituality relies, usually, around a specific text, certain object, and/or unique locations, and through either their own nature giving an explanation or discreetly obtaining explanatory power either by a text or person, or by the self. It heavily revolves around emotional appeal and often calls upon its believers into ignore contradictory evidence. Mythology accepts magical, metaphysical, and/or indescribable reasons for a cause.
Science, on the other hand, is based around a method. It relies on the future inclusion of further evidence through experimentation and observation. Science attempts to explain the cause of phenomena, as well as pose future predictions. This methodology is only bounded by what is observed and involves any and all natural evidence to make conclusions.
There is obvious overlap here. What the Bible or Qu’ran will tell you is sometimes contradictory to what’s naturally seen, and science never takes metaphysical causes. But why is this?
It’s often said that science is atheistic. I agree. When you walk into the laboratory, you must forfeit your Christianities and Buddhisms because they have no evidence. They cannot be substantiated. There aren’t papers around any god. And that’s powerful. For a belief in some deity that is all-power and- well, you know the spiel- it for some reason has no evidence for it. It cannot be brought into account when considering the natural world.
Science, therefore, does say something about religion: it has no predictive value and there is a conclusion to be drawn by the contradictions in religion with the natural world, the claims by those who believe in it, and the overwhelming lack of evidence.
There’s also an observational, historical reason I believe that they cannot co-exist. Let’s observe a chart from the Pew Research Forum. It shows that only a third of scientists believe in a god while the general public stands at eighty-three percent. Does that not say something? Does that not say that the natural world serves better at explaining phenomenon, because… I don’t know, the natural world’s events does not need a supernatural cause? If we saw a god and it talked to us, we would reconsider. But that has never been observed. Does it not make sense that the realm of, well, to put it bluntly, reality, that which exists, which is observed, which we know of, does not need something which would only have to be defined as not real to make sense of it? I made a previous post about this here. And let’s take a quick second to even think about what this would entail: is the supernatural world subject to the natural one, or is it not reversible? Do ghosts hate it when we make loud sounds? It’s ridiculous.
You see a trend with intelligence when atheism is abundant. You also see a growing population of atheists globally as time progresses. There’s a reason behind this: those who were ignorant of actual science could accept such answers as “Gawd dun it”. With a biology that is too quick to make a statistical error to assume that there is something when there isn’t, which helped us in the African savannah, we self-brainwashed ourselves into thinking things which lead a large population of the world to think that we didn’t evolve in said continent. Thor may have had the explanatory power that people wanted: that people could affect nature, tell it to stop, or appease it somehow. But now, in the modern age, we don’t need that.
It’s been said that when Yuri Gagarin went to space, the first human to do so, he said “I don’t see any God up here”. It’s true that doesn’t mean that science shows us that God doesn’t exist.
But it sure as hell says that it’s delusional to do so.