Rented Angels & Demons on Netflix last night. Though I did not read the book, either Dan Brown (writer) or Ronny Howard (director), or both, were trying to make the point that religion and science need not be divided.
Strict science can not and does not recognize any god/s, as the existence of one is based on faith, and has yet to be proven. Science is based on proofs, not beliefs. Hard science must be observable, repeatable, and not just once, but over and over. And the proofs must be able to be duplicated and confirmed by independent sources.
Religion needs no proof, nor outside corroboration. It's based on believing what you're told to, blindly [for the most part], or in a tautological loop.
Religion is based on faith, and faith requires only belief. Christianity is based on a man/god/(son of a god?) who may never have existed. In fact, there is no direct evidence Jesus Christ ever walked the earth. All reports of him are from disciples with a cause to promote, which essentially became the tales of the New Testament.
Throughout history there have been people who claim to be scientists and also devout believers, but religious physicists, mathematicians, biologists and their like are far fewer than the faithful tout. The National Academy of Sciences claims upwards of 93% of its members are non-believers. Averaging many independent studies shows anywhere from 48 to 65% of scientists across all disciplines in America claim to be atheists or agnostics, well above the 12% national average shown in an ARIS 2008 study.
Damn lies and statistics because the above figures may be wildly inaccurate with so many afraid to ‘come out of the closet’ in fear of damaging their reputation or their career by admitting to atheism. But even for scientists who claim to believe in god and practice a religion, this does not mean the two disciplines are in any way synonymous.
Science and religion can never be pals, as Dan Brown espouses. They are opponents, diametrically opposed concepts and practices.
Science promotes thinking, questioning, probing, searching for answers to the unknown, and sometimes seemingly unknowable. Theoretical explanations of phenomena to experimental investigations based on wild assumptions-- real science seeks empirical evidence, testing again and again for validation before declaring a fact.
Religion preaches ancient dogma conjured by men to control the masses by creating an outside deity that cannot, and by its own laws must not be questioned. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden for eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Those who seek truth through proofs can’t possible accept the fairytales of religion.
Thomas Alva Edison was a strict atheist. Even Albert Einstein’s 1930 credo What Do I Believe, states that his only religion is to “sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.” In other words, not god, nor a soul, nor an afterlife, nor virtually any common religious thread was part of Einstein’s beliefs.
Dan Brown, Ronny Howard, and even Tom Hanks should know better than to promote lunacy like religion and science are destined to be good buddies. We all coexist in a world that has both, but never the twain shall meet. By their fundamentally nature, science and religion will, and should remain forever divided.