It’s an article in The Humanist titled “Why Science Is Not in Conflict with Religion”…but its whole point is that religion is completely wrong. It argues that the existence of an interventionist deity is a question of science; it mentions that religions make scientific claims all the time.
All religions, particularly the “big three” Abrahamic religions, make claims about the natural world that clearly fall under the purview of one or more fields of science.
I’m reading the whole thing and agreeing with it, and wondering how they’re going to argue themselves out of this discussion of major conflicts to deny the existence of a conflict, and they sort of do, at the end.
Science will continue to advance. Predictions will be made and conclusions drawn, many that are accurate but others that will be in need of revision as further evidence is compiled. Humans will continue to gather information about every aspect of the natural world, and if findings don’t correspond with or support religious beliefs, as has happened throughout history, then the theists do themselves and humankind a disservice by denying objective evidence. The scientific process is neutral; it is objective and seeks only to discover new information, and thus is not in conflict with any entity besides itself as it self-corrects and achieves greater accuracy over time. If there is indeed a conflict, that conflict was fabricated by those whose agenda is driven by subjective beliefs and who fight to preserve positions that are no longer tenable in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Oh. There’s the problem. Science is objective and neutral and just plain true, therefore it’s not in conflict with mere subjective beliefs.
I’m sorry, you don’t get to do that. You don’t get to simply declare that your position is ultimately the correct one, that your authority is the universe itself, and therefore you aren’t really conflicting with anything that matters. This is a kind of bland scientism that obliviously steamrolls right over the issues in question.
There clearly is a conflict when a majority of Americans believe in a divine authority as the cause of the entire universe, and claim the authority of a supreme being greater than the universe as the source of their information. Waving that fundamental assumption aside as irrelevant because Science is not a valid way to address the question. The points the author brings up are valid, and they may refute the existence of a deity, but do not refute the existence of a conflict.
Anyone who is at all involved in science also knows that there isn’t simply a truth laid out in a clear path before us. We struggle within science to figure out what’s true, so it’s unfair to pretend it’s obvious what’s right in a conflict outside of science. Do the work. There is no shortcut.
It’s as if two fighters climb into a ring, and the referee looks them over and announces that A is 5 pounds heavier than B and has a longer reach, therefore this fight does not exist and A has won it. There are no victories by fiat, and you’d better realize that we really are in a battle here.