Do science and religion contradict each other?


Fact Box

  • Prominent scientists such as Sir Frances Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, and more used the Bible and their understanding of God as Creator as the basis for their scientific discoveries.
  • The biblical book of Genesis is written as a historical narrative.
  • The literal reading of the 7-day creation story, otherwise known as creationism, asserts that the Christian God created the universe in the first seven days of existence, including earth and all of its inhabitants.
  • The scientific community is in near-universal agreement that evolution has occurred.

Marie (No)

Harmony between science and religion is apparent--the Bible is the framework for science. In Genesis, the creation story displays the systematic ordering of space, light, water, life, and more. As Genesis is written as a historical narrative, it should be a guide for scientific exploration. Therefore, much of what Genesis details holds to be true. Based on the fact of the complex nature of every star and the striking uniqueness of humanity, how can one disregard the essential truths of the Bible?

Science's founding fathers formed many of our key concepts based on biblical knowledge. Johannes Kepler based the laws of planetary motion on the systematic movements of the planets--not on a chaotically formed universe. He believed that intelligent design directed the universe. Isaac Newton drew on his extensive biblical studies to form the fundamentals of optics, the law of gravity, and the laws of motion. Genesis, Jeremiah, and Job are just some of the books explaining the universe's intricacies: astronomy, physics, and geology. The foundations remain the same; science is founded upon the framework of the Bible. 

Further, break down the basic building blocks of life to one of the necessary proteins: laminin. Laminin is responsible for keeping all of the body's structures intact. In essence, it is the 'glue' that holds us together. By no means of coincidence, laminin's molecular and physical design is that of a cross. Colossians 1:17 states, 'He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.' Biology is complex and extraordinary, and laminin is only one of many minute pieces that make up the human body, leading to the belief that science and religion can truly coexist. 

Emma (Yes)

A literal interpretation of the Christian religion inevitably contradicts accepted science. One of the most prominent examples is in creationism and how that compares to the scientific consensus on the origins of the natural world, particularly that which is shown by the fossil discoveries made by paleontologists, called the fossil record

The scientific consensus overwhelmingly agrees that the species currently inhabiting the earth have come about through the slow process of evolving from other species. In the fossil record, thousands of species are found that do not currently exist, and almost every species we have today cannot be seen as fossilized specimens anywhere in the fossil record. The creationist assertion that all species were created during the first week of the universe's existence contradicts the fossil record evidence of what has and has not existed during the earth's history. For example, humans (scientifically named Homo sapiens) cannot be found further back in history than around 300,000 years ago out of the nearly 3.5 billion years recorded by the fossil record.

Further, transitional fossils have been found, which strengthens the case that species have evolved rather than been the result of divine intervention. A transitional fossil depicts an animal with features from previous extinct species and that of the current species we know. These fossils fill in the 'missing link' between the present and past species. 

Using the competing stories of our natural world's origins, there are obvious contradictions in the place where Christian religion and science meet.

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