Every religion says it is the right one, and there is no way that they can all be correct. In fact, I'd go so far to say that they are all wrong. But... science is wrong too. (!?)

In science and other practices that view and measure the natural world people readily admit that they have only some of the answers to the mysteries of the universe. When new information presents itself, that information is added to the knowledge already gathered, an if it means altering the information we already have to make the new information make sense, then so be it. When new information presents itself, the old is added to and altered to suit the new. This is how we make progress in society.

This adding is not done with a slapdash attitude either. It is done in a way that makes our understanding greater, not by simply tacking an idea onto the end of an already established understanding. We observe, we record, we test, and we adapt.

In religion it is the opposite. Either new information is ignored when it can't fit into the scriptures, or the information is bent to fit with the ideas in the scriptures. Nothing moves or changes very often, and if it does, it means a splintering of the believers into new sects or versions of the scriptures, one that better suits the people who believe. The Church of England was created so that King Henry the 8th could marry many wives, which was convenient for him. The Protestant Church was created because some didn't agree with the way the Catholic Church interpreted the Bible. The same is true in Islam, Hindu and even Buddhism.

Religion is like a vacuum, where very little new information is added, and if it is, it's done reluctantly an within the blinkered ideals already set out in the scriptures or tenets of the religion. This is not how society makes progress.

The fact remains that nobody is right. Science etc. admits this freely, and rather than seeing this as a failing of the scientific method, we see this as an opportunity to find out more, to see the gaps in our knowledge and collectively fill them with facts. In religion, the unknown is far too often thrown into the "too hard" basket, and slapped with the label "God did this".

Science is an open system, where established rules take new information and add to knowledge. Religion is a closed system which ignores new information if it doesn't back up already held beliefs, at the expense of progress.

I know this is not all entirely true of all religious people, nor all scientifically minded people, but the systems in place, science and religion, are by their nature, as I have described.

The truths held in science are universal, while the truths in religion are conditional and sectarian. Science sits apart from personal interpretation, whereas religion is all about interpretation. Science adapts while religion stagnates. There is no such thing as Islamic science or Christian physics, science is the same for all of us because it's laws are universal. Religion relies on the belief of it's people to continue, and it's laws are arbitrary.

What science and religion have in common is that they are both, on the surface, ways of seeking truth. One is effective and delivers, while the other placates our seeking with the illusion of truth. The fact is that none of us have all the answers, but I can guarantee that science finds more answers than all of religion combined.

Views: 29

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 5, 2011 at 10:14pm
Good read. I would say 'science is wrong' could be more accurately stated 'science isn't right, but at least it's trying'. That wouldn't get you as many readers, though. :D
Comment by Jacob LeMaster on May 5, 2011 at 10:26pm
Great post
Comment by Raven on May 5, 2011 at 11:27pm

Science is always wrong.  It never solves a problem without creating ten more.  -George Bernard Shaw

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.  -Max Planck


Just two quotes I thought fit this post well :)

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 5, 2011 at 11:40pm
@Raven [like]
Comment by Akshay Bist on May 6, 2011 at 4:08am

Based on observation, experimentation and previously established theories, science gives us the best explanation possible.

If a theory is proved to be wrong, then its they theory that failed, not science nor the scientific method.

Comment by Ron V on May 6, 2011 at 8:36pm

I believe this title is somewhat misleading.

Science may be wrong about things, but it seeks to find out if it is wrong and why it might be wrong.

But let's get right to the heart of the matter (puns intended) - do you know anyone with an automatic defibrillator?  I do, and he will be happy to testify how happy he is that science is "right" everytime his defibrillator restarts his heart.  Do you know anyone who would otherwise be dead if not for medical science?  I do, my daughter, who would have been dead at 3 from an easily curable infection if not for medical science- and I am thrilled medical science was "right."  Do you enjoy your computer and the internet?  Science, "right" again. 

Obviously, I could go on endlessly with similar examples.   

"What science and religion have in common is that they are both, on the surface, ways of seeking truth."

Please provide some specific examples where religion actually "seeks the truth" rather than declaring the truth.  Both my friend with the defibrillator and my daughter would be dead if we relied on the "truth" religion might have provided (I guess prayer and God's will???)


Comment by Ron V on May 8, 2011 at 9:01am

Actually, I can accept science and religion are used to explain things- but there is no doubt religion has proven itself suboptimal and/or flat out wrong in the following areas:  biology, genetics, physics, astronomy, history/archaeology, morality, mathematics, and medicine. 

The religion virus/delusion is so strong that people continue to argue that we need both.  I do not think this is actually the case.  I, and many others, am much better off without religion and a belief in a god that was created by the minds of men.

We are probably in a necessary transitional stage in memetic evolution.  But if we look at the evolution of god- animism, polytheism, monolatry, monotheism- it begs the question of whether atheism, agnosticism, freethought, etc. is the next logical step.  I think science has helped this progression, but it has also helped increase the increase life span of humans- and the longer we have to think about religion and god, the more likely we are to question their utility and actually come to the realization we don't need them.

I say let's just get right to it and jump to atheism, agnosticism, freethought, etc.  But, again, the memes that exist (self replicating belief systems) have evolved just as we have and will take time for them to change.  But I believe as long as our life spans remain as long as they are, more and more people will become atheists, etc.

I forget who uses this phrase, or something like it, but I like it- we are all atheists, some of us just go one god further.  To me, it seems like this is actually a natural progression.


Comment by Martin Pribble on May 8, 2011 at 7:40pm
By the the title is intentionally misleading. I like to do that sometimes to get a reaction. In this case it seems to have worked!
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 8, 2011 at 8:09pm
So I hit the nail on the head, huh?


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