On a cursory glance, however, they do seem to be at odds.
Science believes in experimentation, thorough analysis and the purest logic, while religion seems to believe in everything that defies logic.
Science raises questions, while religion provides answers.
Science promotes inquiry while religion demands strict obedience.
That’s how it seems to be, at least.
How often we look beyond the similarities of these two entities that so often find themselves on two ends of the battlefield, relentlessly egged on by their respective loyal supporters!
Both religion and science were the product of human inquiry into the mysteries of the universe. Religion just happened to be more poetic about it, but there are many who might claim that a wonderfully explained scientific theory is just as poetic.
Science uses observations to arrive at facts, but so must have our forebearers who formulated religion. Religion must have been the only way back then to tame a species that was inherently wild – for a tribe, a society, a population, to exist. Perhaps they observed the personality traits that ensured the best chances of survival of their own kind and stipulated that all follow these rules.
Of course, that seems a very simple explanation for something so complex, but when we delve deep into it, those ancestors of ours were very much revolutionaries in their own right. They diverted their people from an entirely beast-like existence of hunting, baby-making and cave-colonizing into somewhat finer pursuits.
Just like how science is revolutionizing our world today.
Each institution deserves a place in its own right.
Science cannot deny religion its rightful place, because the very spirit of science lies in the humility that there remains much to be discovered. There may or may not be a God, but science still does not have the answer to every instance that points to a higher power. And despite the many revolts breaking out in the name of religion and the barbarian rituals that are still followed to honour it, we have to admit that it provides solace and hope where there may appear to be none.
Nor can religion blame science for being short-sighted. In fact, thanks to science we have the farthest sight into the universe now than at any point in history, a vision that is expanding even as we speak. Science banished a great many superstitious belief and false notions that served to oppress a great majority of the population, and thanks to that all of us can claim an equal right to every opportunity.
Whichever path we choose, the great potential within all life is the ultimate divinity.
Whether it be religion or science, both are tools to pry open this dormant potential, and eventually, both will arrive at the same answer.
For now, though, they don’t seem to get along so well with each other, so perhaps they should just travel parallelly.