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Jessica Watkins's picture

We've been distinguishing (or trying to break the distinction) between "science" and "English" minds, assuming that these are the two main categories when it comes to learning and thinking.  Religion has the potential to be lumped into the "English" mind category because it is seen as the opposite of what is traditionally considered "scientific," or logical.  Religion has stereotypcally been considered the antithesis of science, placing beliefs in gods that cannot be readily seen or measured, put under a microscope or processed in a mass spectrometer.  As a religious person the deeper I look, the more I begin to associate religion with the "science" mind.

Religion and science are both based on theories, something that equalizes them in the world of logic and fact (whether we like to acknowledge it or not).  They seek to explain something formerly unexplainable; they use the materials in front of them (for religion, prayer and reflection; for science, tools (both physical and mental, such as equations) and reflection) to try and develop a sound model that applies to multiple aspects of life.  Religion seeks affirmation in the presence of "hard evidence" such as miracles; science also employs "hard evidence" in the form of measurements of space and living matter, as well as applications of these measurements to specific situations.

Come to think of it, aren't most fields and the thought process that goes along with them just extensions of the scientific method?  Subjects like history, for example, are "scientific" in the sense that they begin with a question, explore evidence ("hard" facts/events that took place in the past) and synthesize the information in a way that is acccessible to many and applicable to all.  So religion is a science...can this go both ways?  Is it too radical to say that science is a religion?  We strive for subjectivity when it comes to scientific investigation, but what motivates scientists to do what they do is quite objective.  Religion allows one to believe in something that may not be there; science allows one to explore something that may not be worth exploring.  It is this leap of faith (no pun intended!) that holds the two fields together and closer than we may have originally thought.


Michael Fiske DC's picture

Einstein on the source of true science

"The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness." ( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)