False war.. Has politics created an imaginary conflict between religion and science?

Science and religion are two rocks on which we stand in our time. The science that derives its entity from the material universe with its rocks and secrets, and religion as a stable rock throughout the ages, this is what the famous biologist Stephen Jay Gould (Stephen Jay Gould) explained in his book “Rocks Of Time” Ages), and around these two rocks a lot of discussions and conflicts are raised about the relationship of religion and science to each other.

Can science and religion be considered separate?

That is a really important question in an atmosphere fraught with political, economic and social pressure worldwide, where in cases like these humans tend to be radicalized, sticking to ways that can only have two answers (yes/no), and where there is no convergence (convergence) or even separation that protects several areas Or domains of danger of interference that may spoil everything, so you will find it difficult to receive visions that say that these two domains (science and religion) have a parallel role in protecting and perhaps advancing humans, but you will find most people between two extremes, right and left.

To the right, someone will say that modern science will prevail with its great discoveries and deep exploration of the cosmic unknown, and the medical solutions it provides for our patients, science that extends our lives and reduces the death rates for our children to degrees that a citizen did not have a hundred years ago, only to believe that it could happen, and to the left The other will say that religion triumphs in the end with the values ​​it presents that materialistic explanations of the world cannot digest or explain or even present in the form of laws/laws, morals and values; Societies organize and reduce human fears and help them find meaning in their lives. The question of religion here would simply be: Are we happier? With all that progress and all that achievement, have we become more loving life, for example? Or is it that the rates of depression rise significantly in the millennial generation, and that 40% of the world’s population lives in homes without toilets?

The book “The Rocks / My Rocks of Time” by the famous biologist Stephen Jay Gould (communication sites)

At first glance, it seems that the battlefield is the place where everyone will end up. The apparent or apparent contradiction between these two domains does not foretell any possible convergence. Let us, for example, consider the most famous conflict between the religious story of creation and evolutionary biology. They seem to be on opposite sides. Therefore, Gold’s task, as it appears, will be difficult, because the question posed above is in fact a difficult question, made even more difficult by the unwillingness of either party to hear a different answer than the one waiting for it.

Gould starts from an important sentence that he considers the center of his idea, which he calls “Non-Overlapping Magisteria”, a verse from the twentieth chapter* of the Gospel of John; Her story was that Saint “Thomas” asked to see Christ and touch him in order to believe that he had returned again, so Christ appears and asks Thomas to see his hands, then says to him: “Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Blessed are those who believed and did not see.” This saint tried to He investigates the matter of my faith; Examine the tools of doubt (if I do not use two sensory mechanisms, namely, touch and look, to examine the claim.. I will not believe), which Christ accepted – in Gold’s expression – but pointed out Thomas’ mistake that faith is not done in this way, because his doubt represents weakness, while this stands Skepticism as a primary goal of science, skepticism toward any claims based solely on authority, coupled with a demand for direct evidence—and perhaps exceptional if the claims are also exceptional—is perhaps the first commandment of science versus the commandments of the Bible.

The miracle and the overlapping of ranges

Let us contemplate here one of the famous books of the seventeenth century. It is the book “The Sacred Theory of the Globe” by Reverend Thomas Burnet, which he divides into four parts; The first talks about Noah’s Flood, then Paradise, and the burning of the world and the new heavens and earth after the burning of the world. The book was a best-selling book at the time, and until now it has been used in many works that discuss issues of religion and science. Burnett relied in his book on two ideas, first: that the Bible came with a true literal account of the history of the earth, and second: that it is not possible to rely on a narrative related to the history of the earth unless all its events and parts are subject to the immutable laws of nature; God, in that view, could not allow a contradiction between His words (the sacred texts) and His actions (the natural world), so Burnett’s task was to devise natural mechanisms for the miracles of the Bible, and he failed.

For example, Burnett imagined that the earth was smooth with a thin layer of rock, but it cracked during the flood, and water came out to submerge the planet, then he says that “if a man could drown in the drops of his saliva, the world could drown in his waters.” Of course, it is dealt with The book, with all its unscientific claims, is considered an abnormal whim of pseudoscience, but despite that Burnett points to an important point, which is his saying that God created this world and then let it work with laws like a clock working with gears, and therefore – from his point of view – it was necessary to Interpreting these strange cases – miracles – at some point as natural reactions, not miracles.

The scientist Isaac Newton (networking sites)The scientist Isaac Newton (networking sites)

Isaac Newton, Burnet’s friend, had praised the book, but it was sent to Burnet pointing out at several points that there must be divine intervention in some points – a miracle – to explain some of the problems in his story, but Burnett insisted on his idea. In fact, this calls for a little reflection here, because the statement of direct intervention to deviate from the laws of nature indicates that we can in any case justify that intervention, and this allows a process of mixing the two domains of religion and science, so Gold supposes that Burnet, despite his mistake in the book, he was It’s a better methodology at that point than Newton.

A similar problem faced the Arab youth when he pointed out d. Zaghloul Al-Najjar in one of the meetings – without evidence – that someone told him that he saw a scientist from NASA on television saying that they had observed the splitting of the moon, here the world turned in the Arab world to talk about a conspiracy from NASA – perhaps the most famous sentence in the Arab world in this regard – to hide the facts Scientific appeared through miracles, on the other hand, some said that it had nothing to do with science, but the one who created the fissure was able to patch it without any trace, but the idea of ​​​​the differentiation of the domains of Gould here also does not accept that explanation with that degree of clarity.

The main problem, then, occurred when some of the clergy tried to bring the religious entity into the world of science, imagining that religion speaks primarily of scientific facts. The solution here, as Gould sees it, has to do with the language of science, which is a precise scope, uses precise language, bearing very little interpretation. On its facts, and on the other hand, religion appears in an interpretable language in more than one form, and thus neither of them can see/read/interpret the other, for the creation of the universe in six days may not mean six real days, nor does it mean that the earth at that time was spinning very slowly as Newton suggested to Burnet, but it means that it can be interpreted in another context that does not talk about scientific facts, within a different scope, but for Gould, it is a little more complicated than that.

Questions of religion and questions of science

At that point in the book; Gold begins with a vision of the role of religion in answering its own questions. Let us ask, for example: What is the relationship between us and living things? We have varying degrees of anatomical and physiological forms, our biochemistry works in the same way, and evolutionary biology explains a clear link between us, but when we move to another set of related questions, our view may differ slightly here, as we have more value than insects and germs? Can we exercise authority over them simply because our nervous system is more developed than them? Are we breaking ethical rules when we encroach on the natural world with technology?

The Earth and the Sun

In fact, this idea of ​​the conflict being political deserves some reflection, with an attempt to make an Arab approach from it that looks at political movements to control the ocean through religious movements that stuck science to religion against its will, and -Cubrent- tried to put from science a way to interpret religious texts based on the same rules . On the other hand, Gold stands on another line of defense with Richard Lontine against the use of science by some scientists, sociologists and others for Darwinism as a scientific idea or for the link between genes and behavior in order to establish radical deterministic ideas related to the distinction of races from others. Members of certain ethnic groups, and this is the voice that is being raised these days in the United States and Europe (against immigration and refugees) and in the Arab world as well by some right-leaning young scientists, and it must be clarified here that all of them are not based on a solid scientific basis.

The breach of scopes then causes catastrophes whose consequences cannot be calculated, so Gould insists that both scopes must be very careful and strict in dealing with the questions that concern him, and points out that current scientists – unlike both Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley who paid attention From the first moment of the necessity of separation – if they had always been careful as they should be in their interpretations, and adhered to the aspect of humility, and some of them penetrated the scopes of other corridors, it would have been possible to exonerate the scientific community in this particular issue, but the misuse of science here caused errors that cannot be avoided .

Gould’s hypothesis then; It is simply an attempt to apply Aristotle’s golden rule by standing between two points, holding the stick from the middle, at first glance it does not seem a solid position, but by delving into the history of this conflict we discover that it was only a struggle on television screens and newspaper pages, while in the essence of each of the two areas there is nothing We can call it a struggle in the understandable sense. The application of the rule of separate domains, in the form we presented in the words of Gold in his quotation at the beginning of this report, “maybe – as his writer sees – is the only solution to save the world from this problem, which we already clearly face in the Arab world, which prevents Ordinary citizen from dealing with science in any way, it needs the intervention of solid institutions that go beyond all these political games and intervene to break up this clash, which enters socially as one of the reasons for slowing down the progress of our country, so could the system of separation of corridors be the solution? .. No one knows.


* We find in the Qur’anic text, and in all religions, similar stories bearing the same idea, but here it is worth noting basic differences in the degrees of acceptance of skepticism across religions, so it should be noted that we mean a “general form” of the idea, far from the main clear differences between those beliefs.

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