Religion Can Learn from Science
Jaime VanNostrand   -  

by Pastor Phil


Religion can learn from Science

Recently I listened to an interview of medical scientists and their perspectives of how collaboration and competition worked in discovering treatments for Covid.  With a variety of vaccines on the market, it witnesses to the drive of competition in finding a cure for Covid.  The scientists also said there is a lot of collaboration.  Collaboration within businesses and government, to pool their resources to help find a solution.  Scientists publish findings in peer-reviewed journals that allow other scientists to try to replicate research finding.  This type of review allows scientist to see if they can replicate these findings.  If they don’t, then those new scientists write a review against what was written in the journal.  If they can duplicate experiments, they then verify the research.  This type of review allows others a new starting point to get involved in the progress of research.  

I like the idea of sharing your “facts” and having peers review it.  These discoveries add to the body of common knowledge in the field of science.

Could religions do that?  They have in the past, sort of.  Hinduism is one of the oldest religions on the planet.  Could they publish their beliefs and experiences about God or Gods, the world, universe, and the afterlife, so that other faith traditions could research these claims?  Sure, it would not be a “factual” experiment, but it would be possible to assess these new ideas upon one’s own experience.  I’d ask myself, “Is this information helpful in my life?”  “Does reincarnation make sense to me?”  Stuff like that to get me thinking about my own spiritual journey.  I don’t have to say this is true and this is false, religion is not science.  I could say, “This is helpful, and this doesn’t make sense to me.  This, I want to hold onto, this I will let go.  This I want to add to my spiritual journey, this one I will disregard.  This one I need to ponder over.”

I would love to collaborate with other faith traditions and pick up parts of those traditions that would benefit my spiritual nature.  Buddhism as the stepchild of Hinduism, borrowed meditation.  The Roman Catholic church gave birth to religious orders and rituals.  I would like to borrow meditation and religious rituals, like saying the rosary to help my spiritual life.  The Jewish tradition speaks of a mystery of God, so much so that the name of God in Hebrew is unpronounceable, “YHWH”  I’d like to borrow that due to my desire to embrace mystery rather than certainty.  Add a Yarmulke on the top of my head, and I too can feel the very presence of God upon me all day long!  Then include the practice of Muslims saying prayers 5 times a day and I would have a well-rounded spiritual discipline, borrowed from other faith traditions.

If only Religion could learn from Science.  We can, we must, and religions always have….collaborated.  You might not be aware of that fact.  No religion existed in a vacuum.  No religion, was created out of thin air.  Faith traditions have borrowed, borrowed, borrowed since the creation of humanity.  Let’s continue to collaborate, but leave the competition behind.