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Is Religious Belief Anti-Scientific

Religious belief and science have always been on opposite sides. This conflict had its roots in the Middle Ages when the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for his claims that the earth revolved around the sun. The conflict between religion and science is still relevant, two areas of human knowledge answer the questions of the universe in different ways. However, despite the controversy, it is indisputable that science and religion are inseparable along the entire way of human development.

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Science and religion are two types of worldviews that interact. For a long time, the understanding of the relationship between science and religion was reduced because they were interpreted as diametrically opposite phenomena. However, scientific knowledge and religion are closely interconnected, penetrate each other.. Religious systems are not only sets of statements calling for faith but also some generalizations based on argumentation and evidence. Religion laid the foundation for research in the study of the universe, gave impetus to the development of different theories for the origin of life on earth. Religious treatises began to form the first national literatures; without them the formation of philology and linguistics as a science would have been impossible. Science and religion are not opposites; they help each other achieve their goals.

Science deals with facts, while religion deals with faith, although today, many argue that there are areas in which the interests of religion and science overlap. These include, for example, the question of who or what caused the universe to exist. Scientists are usually of the opinion that religion is anti-scientific. The main argument is that religion implies the existence of impossible things in a conceivable universe. The adherents of the theory that religion has negatively influenced the development of science do not consider that these two concepts have been closely related for centuries. In fact, science and religion have constantly posed questions that had a beneficial effect on the development of human minds. Scientists are now beginning to agree that the long-standing idea of a war between science and religion is an outdated and incorrect concept, although they do not see science and religion as natural allies.

The complement and dialogue model between science and religion is especially popular among Catholic Christianity and Protestantism representatives. According to this model, religion and science study reality from different angles and look for answers to different questions. However, the combination of answers to these various questions helps us create a holistic view of reality. Moreover, the ratio and the absence of contradictions between these different views of reality can serve good criteria of truth. In this way, dialogue between science and religion can be seen as a way to resolve issues both sides of the problem while maintaining their independence. For the dialogue to be fruitful, it is necessary that each of its parties is open to the other side’s issues and recognize the problematic nature of its own tradition. Interaction between science and religion becomes possible because religion, like science, like all humanity, is constantly changing (Schellenberg, 2019). A model of complementarity, or critical constructive interaction, in which both sides retain their own sphere, reject absolutization, and mutually enrich each other, trying to understand reality as a whole in all its dimensions.

The synthesis and integration model emphasizes the kinship and interpenetration of religion and science and, accordingly, on the possibility of merging religious and scientific knowledge into a single picture of the world. First of all, it points to the unity of religion and science subject and their solution to the same problems, for example, the origin of the world and man or the prospects for the development of human civilization. However, the interpenetration of religious and scientific knowledge is not easy and not evident at first glance. The main obstacles to this are terminological differences and the consequent lack of communication between the scientific community and religious denominations. The difference between the languages of science and religion, complicated by the variety of terms used in different religious traditions, greatly complicates communication between believers and scientists and sometimes makes it simply impossible. That is why supporters of the possibility of integrating religion and science talk about the need to participate in this process as a mediator, the role of which philosophy can play. Complete adequate comprehension of reality is possible only with the condition of the integration of religious and scientific knowledge.

After identifying the similarities and differences between science and religion, it becomes impossible to say that they are diametrically opposed. Science and religion place the same problems from different points of view and answer the same questions in differently. Religious belief cannot be anti-scientific; the situation is precisely the opposite: only synthesis and interaction of religion and science can help answer the main questions of humankind.


Schellenberg, J.L. (2019). Religion after science. Cambridge University Press.

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