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Are Science and Religion in Conflict - Research Paper Example

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Are Science and Religion in Conflict

A quick glimpse of the topic, conflict in science and religion, using the online search engine generates more than 52 million results. This information could not clearly establish though, if indeed, conflict exists between the two divergent disciplines. The complexities by which the term religion is defined have proven the vast encompassing elements that go into its pursuit. Robinson (2011) for example, after evaluating a host of disparate definitions, arrived at this conclusion: “religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life, and a worldview" (p. 1). The simplicity by which science, on the other hand, clearly is indicated as “knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world” (Science Made Simple, Inc., 2006) already signifies brewing conflicts in terms of the possibilities of overlapping issues. In this regard, the objective of this essay is to confirm through supportive arguments from various authoritative sources that indeed, science and religion are not in conflict despite supposed overlapping and contradicting issues. Arguments Supporting Science and Religion are not Conflict From the overview of definitions of both science and religion, it is already eminent that conflicting issues exist due to their disparities in disciplines. According to Robinson (2009), science and religion are based on different foundations where “science is ultimately based on observation of nature… (while) religion is largely based on faith” (p. 1). This fact is validated by Ecklund and Park (2009) when their findings supported “the idea that religion and science are in completely different spheres” (p. 290). Science deals with different areas ranging from natural sciences (study of the natural world) to social sciences (study of human behavior and society). Religion, on the other hand, has indicated from the abovementioned definition that it is a system of beliefs that encompasses a broader range of beliefs including philosophies of life and different perspectives of worldviews, depending on cultural factors and value systems. Since these two disciplines propose divergent theoretical foundations, there is no way that conflicts in interests could exist. Another supporting argument that attests that no conflict exists between science and religion is the fact that there are studies that reveal the existence of scientists with defined religious orientations who do not believe that conflicts between the two disciplines exist. In the study written by Scheitle (2011), to prove that no conflict exists, “the assumption is that, because they are the most knowledgeable about scientific matters, scientists will be most likely to demonstrate some conflict with religion if such a conflict exists (Wuthnow, 1989, p. 143). If scientists are less religious that nonscientists, then the inference has been that there is an inherent conflict between scientific knowledge and religious belief” (Scheitle, 2011, p. 175). More importantly, and consistent with Scheitle’s study, the findings generated by Ecklund and Park from their study of Religion Among Academic Scientists (RAAS) which was completed over a three-year period from 2005 through 2007 revealed that “in contrast to research that has argued there is not an actual conflict between the knowledge framework of religion and that of science, on the basis that social scientists are le ...Show more

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The essay aimed to confirm through supportive arguments from various authoritative sources that indeed, science and religion is not in conflict despite supposed overlapping and contradictory issues. …
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Are Science and Religion in Conflict essay example
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