Student Question

The role of religion in the development of scientific thinking

How can these two seemingly opposite realms of study can contribute to one another's development?


Let's break the stereotypical idea that religion oppresses science!

Expert Answers

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Science has long been motivated by religion, as has been mentioned above, as a way to "prove" its authenticity both in history and in nature.  The ability to "date" documents was driven, at least in part, by the desire to authenticate ancient documents--which would also authenticate the veracity of the Bible or other religious documents.  The entire study of the world beyond earth--the universe, the galaxy--is also connected to the Christian story of Creation.  The list goes on.  It's interesting this discussion has come to the soul.  Science has, indeed, delved into this area of study.  I don't have the details as I write, but scientists have documented the existence of something they call the soul.  When a person dies, there is an immediate decrease in weight which cannot be accounted for by anything but the departure of the soul.  The research should be easy to find, if you're interested. 

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Right you are, frizzyperm. Religions arose, I believe, for the same reason science did--that people like to have explanations for why things are as they are. And when you don't have any understanding of the way nature functions, it is logical to ascribe things to gods or a god. Religion took on a life (or many lives, I guess) of its own, though, and became a way of life, and of making a living, for many people. When we did finally begin to understand how nature and the universe work, it was hard for people to believe that they apparently would not go on forever.

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