ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, August 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

Do science and religion contradict one another?

Today secularist and religious camps have grown so far apart. In Einstein’s perspective, science and religion are not in contradiction,

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 01 DECEMBER 2018 17:00 h GMT+1
Albert Einstein. / TeleSur (CC)

“Does there truly exist an insuperable contradiction between religion and science?”, asked Albert Einstein.



This question has dominated some of the most important debates of the last centuries, yet today secularist and religious camps have grown so far apart – in language, method of knowing, accumulated prejudices, communities and institutions in each side – that a true, sincere encounter between the two sides seems hardly imaginable.



But the answer of a scientist at awe with the universe may surprise us:




“Does there truly exist an insuperable contradiction between religion and science? Can religion be superseded by science? The answers to these questions have, for centuries, given rise to considerable dispute and, indeed, bitter fighting. Yet, in my own mind there can be no doubt that in both cases a dispassionate consideration can only lead to a negative answer.”[1]




In Einstein’s perspective, science and religion are not in contradiction, not will ever one render the other useless.



Einstein arrives at this curious conclusion for two reasons.The first regards the origins and motivations of science. “… science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding.



This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason”. [2]



To aspire toward truth, and to believe that our universe is stable and intelligible, assumes the intentional work of a Creator, in other words.



Einstein points here that the birth of empirical science did not emerge in ancient Greece where, though there was philosophical debate, a polytheistic view of gods at war with one another did not foster an a systematic investigation of reality.



There were exceptions, of course, such as Aristotle, but who believed precisely in a primal Cause behind the universe. Instead of Greece, empirical science emerged in early modern Europe, in the times of Copernicus and Bacon and Galileo, inside a Christian framework.



Only after centuries of belief that the world was caused, that it was stable and reasonable to the human mind, could modern science be born.



If Einstein’s first reasoning regarded the motivation for science, his second consideration examines the effects of scientific enquiry. The person in the lab, or who looks at the world through a telescope, does not remain unaffected. “… every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. The pursuit of science leads therefore to a religious feeling of a special kind…”[3]



There may be several unresolved debates still going on, be it in biology, astrophysics or archaeological history. But in Einstein’s overarching view, science emerges from religious motivations, or at least is sustained by the assumptions born of a belief in a Creator, and leads to religion, as the delicacies of our universe are better known and better appreciated.



Not only are science and religion not in contradiction, but, according to Einstein, “I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith.”[4]



I imagine our scientific research would be sharper, and our religion less divisive, and our minds less fragmented, if we could hold the study of the universe and the worship if its Creator closer together, as Einstein did.



We may not be involved in high-end research, or pursue doctorates in quantics, but the passion of a ground-breaking scientist is nonetheless intriguing, even for those looking out the window with the naked eye.



“I want to know how God created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details”.[5]

 



[1] Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science: Irreconcilable?,” The Christian Register (June 1948).



[2] Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (London: Castle Books, 2005).



[3] 24 January 1936 letter in response to a sixth-grader (Phyllis Wright) asking whether scientists pray, and if so, what they pray for.



[4] Einstein, Out of My Later Years.



[5] E. Salaman, “A Talk with Einstein,” The Listener 54 (1955): 370-371.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Do science and religion contradict one another?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.