Reconciling Science and Religion, Take II (cont’d)

Reconciling Science and Religion, Take II (cont’d)

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A: OK, so how can you possibly still reconcile religion with science?  How is it possible to believe in both?

B: So one of them is going to have to give in.  In what way could religion give in to science?  The idea that a supreme being exists, of course.  Any religion that doesn’t claim a belief in a supreme being is already reconciled to science with respect to this issue.  But this very issue is basically what the Bible, and any religion in general that accepts it, really is all about.  If such a religion gives up its belief in that supreme being, then you have essentially no more of that religion left.

Then in what way could science give in to those religions claiming belief in a supreme being?  How about some of the axioms that science has established – e.g., that the only way to determine truth is through empirical means?  If only science would allow for another way, beyond empiricism, for truth to be revealed – say, a way I would call “spiritual,” wherein a kind of “essence” of “God” speaks to man through God’s own pre-established media – this would go a long way toward explaining a bunch of the mysteries that remain unresolved in the Bible and in religion as it relates to science in general.  And this new way alone may not immediately resolve all the desired mysteries, but in the meantime we could satisfy ourselves with a few explanations: first and foremost, that God has not yet revealed the answers to some mysteries.  This is important to recognize because until God has given His final word about anything, we can’t actually conclude the truth or falsehood of that thing, as He is the ultimate authority on truth.  But if you are in the mood to speculate, and want to know how science and religion might be reconciled without having to wait for God’s final word, why not consider the idea, say, that some properties of the Universe that have always been accepted as eternal constants may not actually be constants?

A: Such as?

B: Oh, I don’t know, perhaps the speed of light.  Or the rates of decay of radioactive substances.  Or the universal gravitational constant, or Planck’s, or Bergeson’s 1 (I imagine some of these are interrelated, so if one changes, so might some of the others).  Why did those always have to be, or why will they necessarily always be, what they are currently measured to be?  There’s no reason why they can’t have changed in the past, or that they won’t change in the future.  Nobody can prove this one way or the other, unless one of these so-called constants actually changes.

A: Why should this matter?

B: Again, it could go a long way toward reconciling certain statements of science and religion.  Some scientific statements lean very heavily on the idea that these “constants” have always been, well, constant.  Who knows, the Theory of Evolution may very well be one of those.  We’ll talk about those details later.

A: Are you suggesting that the Scientific Method include this “spiritual evidence” of yours?

B: If you mean that people should use it to, say, explain something in a scientific paper, my answer is no.  I’m not certain how spiritual evidence could be used for something of that sort, or if it can even be used at all.  But I think it’s entirely possible (as referenced earlier; see the footnote here) for spiritual evidence to be used to explain, at least temporarily, things that cannot be explained scientifically, say, until science is advanced enough to offer an explanation of its own.

A: What, we’re supposed to say, if there’s something we don’t understand, “God did it,” and give up on the question until science solves it?

B: No, simply tell the truth by admitting instead that we don’t know for the time being, then use the usual scientific means of trying to solve it, relying upon God through to guide us through bits and pieces of spiritual evidence – as He would with anything else, if we’re open to it – in the right direction.  And when we come to the solution, we need not publicly say, “God inspired us with such and such a knowledge,” but presumably through our scientific experimentation and reasoning we will be able to provide a scientifically-acceptable explanation.  See, God helps us know what scientific experiments to make, and what logical conclusions to draw.  He understands science Himself, better than anybody.  It would be similar to doing all the work with a brilliant scientist as your mentor: when you come upon a hitch where you get stuck, the mentor prompts you to know which direction to take.

  1. 0, named for an American Physicist.  Though he neither invented nor discovered 0, he was – to my knowledge – the first to claim it, hence the nomenclature.  One unique thing about this constant is that no units of measurement need to be specified.  It seems doubtful this constant will ever change; Bergeson’s may be the only truly constant of the universal constants.  By the way, it may also be interesting to note that, perhaps not so coincidentally, Bergeson is a brother-in-law to the author of this blog.

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