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What Science and Religion have in common

The future of religion and science have the same goal if you truly understand what sciece and religion are about.

In many people's minds there seems to be two separate worlds, the world of religion and the world of science. Before science there wasn't two worlds. Religion was humanity's best guess as to what reality was and how the universe works. But now that we have science and we now know that the universe is 13.72 billion years old, how does religion fit in? How do we square religion and reality.

Religion is in part the search for the ultimate truth. But what is the ultimate truth? Isn't the ultimate truth the sum total of everything that is actually real? Thus if religion searches for the ultimate truth then it must also be a search for reality.

Science by definition is the study of reality. Science is really a set of disciplines to determine what reality is collectively in a way that excludes our personal biases. That's why science uses peer review and double blind testing to ensure that what it determines to be true actually is. And when mistakes are discovered or a new understanding is established then scientists believe what is supported by the best evidence at the time.

Science however has avoided other issues that religion embraces. Science can tell us that the universe started out as pure energy that condensed into matter that formed the early starts. That those early stars went super nova creating the heavier elements that make up what we are. And after nearly 14 billion year the universe evolved into us. But what science doesn't tell us is what is right and wrong. Why is the meaning of life? Is there a purpose to the universe? How does humanity fit into that purpose? And why is it my job to wake up this morning and write this article?

The scientific community might say this is outside the scope of science and that perhaps we merely exist for no reason at all and that life is meaningless. But the flaw there is - if nothing has meaning then why do science? What gives scientific pursuit meaning?

Our scientific knowledge is expanding exponentially. Every year computers double in power. In less than 20 years they will exceed the human brain. We are understanding our genetics and we are making robots on the atomic level. We are at the threshold of engineering life itself. We will be able to a superior race of humans, or a superior race of machines that could replace humans. The question arises, how do we choose what humanity will become?

Because we must answer that question science can no longer ignore the religious questions regarding the purpose of life, humanity's role in existence, what is right and wrong in a reality based context, and where values come from. We can't just sit here and wait till the robots rise up and kill us all off before we address the question as to why humanity should continue to be part of the evolution of the universe. If the scientific community is going to replace religion, they have to address these religious world questions.

Thus both the religious world and the scientific world need to come together in a meaningful way to seek the ultimate truth. Religions need to upgrade from believing to knowing. Religions need to be in right relationship to reality. And the scientific community needs to not only pursue understanding but what it means to be the understander and why that has value. The union of these two worlds forms the basis for the Church of Reality.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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