Friday, July 3, 2009

Science and Religion, Not Science Versus Religion

NOVA Science Now podcast has an excellent discussion of science and religion that is respectful of both areas of human research into our understanding of our place in the Universe.

These NOVA Science Now episodes do an excellent job in clarifying how science and religion cover separate spheres of rationale inquiry. Science explores the physical world using human reason, and cannot answer questions such as "why are we here?" or "what is our purpose?". Religion explores the transcendent, that which is beyond the physical world; religion uses human reason paired with faith, and its job is to explore questions such as "why are we here?" and "what is our purpose?" and to probe the nature of God. There is no inherent conflict between the two, no battle that need be fought.

As an example of the harmony between science and religion, I have observed that well over half of the scientists and engineers that I work with at a high tech R&D lab are active in their church, synagogue or temple.

The question is not Science vs. Religion. The question is whether any one person accepts the gift of faith, or rejects it. If they reject faith, then they tend to use human knowledge to support that position. If they accept faith, then they delight in any scientific discovery as glorifying God. "The heavens are telling the glory of God," is a favorite Bible quote for one astronomer who is also a Christian.

NOVA Science Podcast from PBS

Link to the various podcasts from NOVA:

Link to the RSS feed itself:


Defining Science: The Power of Science

Defining Science: Science is Not Dogmatic

Defining Science: Science vs. Religion

Defining Science: Only a Theory?

Judging Intelligent Design

Sorry that I could not put in links to the individual episodes, but if you subscribe with iTunes or Juice or other podcatching software, you can see the list of episodes and listen to these. They are about 17 episodes back from today.

1 comment:

  1. I have been listening to a relatively new podcast called, "The Catholic Laboratory", which explores the friendship between Roman Catholicism and science. It is very orthodox, and is also very good science. The podcaster is a devout Catholic and a physicist. Google "The Catholic Laboratory podcast" or go to