The Catch-22 of the "Science and Religion" Conversation

(system) #1
It's hard to talk about the relationship between "science" and "religion" without reinforcing the sense of cultural conflict between the two.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Mervin Bitikofer) #2

Thank you, Mark, for these much-needed observations and thoughts!

I think you are exactly right that we inadvertently reinforce much that we don’t mean to, but perhaps that is a justified cost for at least having the conversation in the first place.

Maybe we should all be thinking more along the lines of all being on the same island (or continent) with each other, rather than “bridge building”. Some years ago I penned a bit of a cartoon that I believe attempts to illustrate the very effect you are speaking of here. Too many of those conferences you are invited to are probably in one of the two regions being fenced off.

Perhaps our project is more about “fence-defying” rather than bridge building --and encouraging the polarized crowds to forget their narrow sectarian ways and join us in exploring the whole island! Alas that too many are still busy trying to build/maintain fences.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #3

Are men and women in conflict?

Yes and No. Men and women are different. They to some extent have different needs and points of view. That means they are in conflict.

On the other hand men and women have much in common, so they also have common needs and common points of view.

I believe that God made males and females complementary to each other. I have observed in a limited way that same sex couples also tend to take on complementary roles.

This is how God and Nature generally work. Forces work together rather than against each other to create a dynamic harmony. Men and women can work together within the family structure to create a dynamic structure that is not always smooth and peaceful, but is much more creative than one acting alone.

Science and Christianity can work together to understand reality and create a cohesive whole which is much more dynamic than one working alone. However there is something missing here, like men and women without children or families, and that is philosophy.

Philosophy defines the relationship between science and theology, so we have conflict if philosophy does not act as referee to define the proper role of each.

There is n Catch-22 of thesis discussion, just the reminder that Science and Faith need a third partner , or else we have the widespread confusion that we see today.

(George Brooks) #4

This is true if you intentionally pick two schools of thought known to oppose each other.

What about the Congregationalists who is quite content with his notion of God invoking Evolution?

In his mind, there is no conflict. To the modern day Catholics, they are also content with whatever Science demonstrates to be true about God’s creation.

So OBVIOUSLY it isn’t about ANY religion … ANY denomination vs. Science…

It’s about certain schools of religion… certain schools of theology and/or metaphysics.

If it weren’t for them … we wouldn’t even need BioLogos…