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The Myth of Conflict Between Science and Religion - Essay Example

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The Myth of Conflict Between Science and Religion

Conflict seems to be the most common interaction between religion and science. The two seem to conflict on nearly everything including conclusions such as the origin of man, the origin of diseases, and heliocentric solar system, as well as on how they arrive at their respective conclusions (Brooke and Numbers, 2011). Their conflict seem to emanate from what they rely on for their respective beliefs; religion relies on authority of supernatural being and truth that is supposed to be eternal and universal, while science relies on authority whose source is reasoning and evidence that are subject to challenge. It is this nature of conflict that informs the assertion by Ronald Numbers that the greatest myth in the history of religion and science holds that they have been in a constant conflict state (Numbers, 2009). There has been a raging debate regarding this assertion, with some agreeing with it, while others disagreeing. This essay will discuss how the history of religion and science has been in a state of constant conflict as argued by Ronald Numbers. The argument will be supported through a discussion of Newton, Einstein, and Darwin. The brilliant work of Isaac Newton in the seventeenth century gave rise to issues that strained the relationship between religion and science at that time and in subsequent years (Harrison, 2010). Newton’s arguments have been used by many scientists in their works and have been some of the greatest causes of the conflict between science and religion. Newton modeled the celestial bodies (the sun, earth, and moon) behavior through means that are largely mechanical by posting that the force of gravity was the only force responsible for terrestrial phenomena (Newton, 1953). His model postulated that terrestrial phenomena like the falling of heavy bodies to earth and celestial phenomena like the orbit of the earth around the sun was as a result of the force of gravity. He brilliantly combined his observation with mathematical model to formulate three famous motion laws: that a force of strength applied to a mass body leads to acceleration; that every action is paired with an opposite and equal reaction; and that a body at rest will always stay at rest, while a body in motion will keep being in uniform motion, unless an external force acts on it (Newton, 1953). The powerful and comprehensive work of Newton significantly contributed to the field of science as his principles account for a number of natural phenomena. Although he frequently argued that in the absence of a materially-mediated force, God might be directly responsible for gravitational force, he never categorically stated that the system of nature required God (Brooke and Numbers, 2011). His success and continued success in the field of success is viewed by many scientists as an argument for atheism. According to most of them, no one has any reason to believe that God exists, if God is not needed to explain the world’s behavior since mechanical and scientific principles can. However, religious arguments conflicts the science arguments as postulated by Newton (Morris, 1974). Contrary to Newton’s arguments, religion holds that God exists and he is the force behind everything including the terrestrial and celestial phenomena. Also, religion is of the view that the behavior of the world in the past and in present times can only be understood by inferring to a Supreme Being and not science. Besides, religion conflicts Newton’s arguments by arguing that the world’s complexity spoke in favor of the existence of God ...Show more

Summary

Generally, science is understood as the study of empirically observable things in the world, while religion entails mainly to what is unobservable and immaterial and they cannot be detected by senses…
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The Myth of Conflict Between Science and Religion essay example
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