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science and religion

Science and Religion (both with capital letters) have both become hegemonic, ideological, political powers which frequently set themselves in mutually antagonistic competitive classification toward each other.

However, science and religion (small letters) can simply refer to the worldviews that each constructs from selected elements of the lived human experience. As such, they are just two of the many methods we, as humans, have developed to think about the universe, two framing structures in which to arrange manageable selections from the infinite multiplicity of knowable reality.

Neither science nor religion are in themselves exclusive totalizing arbiters of comprehensive Truth. But both can be used as separate tools which each make possible the construction of abstract structures that are useful for looking at the universe in particular ways. Each selects a sub-set of phenomena around which to create a particular world view. I find beauty and truth (small “t”) in both.

Religion, in this generalized sense, constitutes a particular set of conceptual frameworks which focus mental, spiritual, emotional and creative, aspects of life. Humans are both remarkably similar and remarkably different in the things we most value as people. Religion is the place we store our spiritual treasures, the values and goals we hold most dear. It is the mechanism for creating meaning and significance out of the arbitrary and random events of life.

When religion is perceived and utilized as a vehicle for our essential spirituality it enhances our humanity. As such it makes possible the creation and consciousness of non-material forms of truth; the truth of love, of joy, of beauty.

The term “science” may also be used to refer to a lot of different conceptual constructs. My personal definition of science is that it is: the observation and classification of empirical phenomena and processes and the methodologies which elaborate these into conceptual configurations through verifiable, replicable experimentation.

The scientific process starts from the accumulation of perceptible phenomena and processes; theories are formulated to account for these phenomena and processes, and then these theories are tested to see if they, in fact, do produce the theorized reuslts. When the procedures of experimentation, (either the physical experiments of disciplines such as biology or chemistry or the thought experiments of disciplines such as mathematics or physics) can be duplicated by anyone, anywhere then the probability of credibility increases proportionally.

Neither religion nor science can, by itself, explain everything. Separately they can each only explain parts of the whole. They are both tools for accessing particular aspects of the universal entirety.

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