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Geoff

Science and religion cannot coexist - the idea that a scientist can believe they can beggars belief. Science is evidence-based truth and understanding where religion is blind faith in non-falsifiable dogma. Evolution by natural selection is the ultimate stumbling block for a happy coexistence. Without a doubt, he's not religious - he's just trying to be popular!

lycaste

To suggest that religion cannot coexist with science is seen for the absurdity it is by looking around you at this moment. They are both carrying on side by side in most parts of the world. The "incompatibility" is a mental difficulty, not a real world problem.

Since rationality managed to evolve in Man it follows that at some date most of us will think rationally when it comes to spiritual or scientific matters. They are not mutually exclusive and when any group chants "This thing must be stamped out!" it is time to be very concerned. It is from within the scientific community that we hear some give this command. I have not heard any religious leader in the West declare that we must do away with the "threat of science."

Science also entails a faith, though not exactly blind, in non-falsifiable dogma. Take as an example the modern revelations in the phylogeny of plants and animals based on molecular sequencing data. The science is good but it rests on postulations that cannot be proved beyond what we know about the occurence of genetic mutations over time (also inferred) and on "best picks" selected from the logarithmic manipulation of data sets. Statistical probability weighs heavily here. In short, the relationships among these organisms are speculative to a certain degree, even if they are based on sound methodology. To accept these results requires a certain type of faith.

What is the underlying fear of those who would so vehemently deride the religious beliefs of others? Does anyone of sound mind really believe that if religion were to vanish from our species we would be somehow free of the terror and horrors we have inflicted on each other over thousands of years? It is the vagaries of human nature that dupe us over and over, religion being a mere excuse for noble or violent deeds. Even then most wars are really about property or territory or demographics and not about religion. What negative traits of our species do you actually think will go away with the cessation of religion?

An unthinking and unchallenged belief that Science will bring humanity every bright promise and palliative we could ever need is a dangerous position to entertain. Science cannot even catch up with the problems it has brought us, but only piles on more science on top with its own open-ended faith, followed closely by that of the general population.

Blind and excessive faith in anything is to be avoided, whether in science or religion. I reject the "ultimate solution" of Dawkins and others in his camp with regard to religion. In the wrong hands science can wreak horrors upon us, just as religion in compassionate hands can bring us much needed healing and comfort. These polarities belong to different magnets.

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