On Science and Religion

14 Nov


I just finished watching the critically acclaimed movie Contact. I know, I’m late. Shut it.

For those that know me, know that I’m a sucker for cerebral movies that address existential questions. I am my father’s daughter. In fact, I related so much to Jodie Foster’s character and her relationship with her father.  (I swear I should’ve been an astronomer or physicist. Oh well.)  The movie reminded me of when me and my dad would talk for hours about “life out there,” parallel universes, multiple lifetimes. I remember one time my dad and I stood on our deck starring at this flickering light in the sky that moved in a circular fashion. I ran to retrieve my camcorder just so I could record what we both were witnessing. We stood on the patio for about 45 minutes guessing and hypothesizing about that light. What was it? Where did it come from? We didn’t know, but it was cool just to stand and wonder with my dad.  He was the only person I could ever wonder with.

The movie Contact got me wondering about more than just existence and our purpose in it, it also got my brain juices stirring about the relationship between science and religion.  The movie itself forced viewers to confront how, if at all, math/science and religion/philosophy relate to each other, and the purpose they serve for humanity.


Some of my random thoughts:

If math/science is the universal language, then religion/philosophy is the intonation, rhythm, and pulse of that language. Both seem necessary to stay connected as a humanity existing in a singular universe. However, neither is Truth but the pursuit of it; both are means of communicating existence, something of which we may never ever fully grasp in one lifetime, in one multi-dimensional existence.

If the foundation of proof isn’t necessarily physical evidence then it’s fair to say that faith and skepticism are both equally valid perspectives.  For instance, I’m not one to mull over if God(dess) exist, but I am one to obsess about whether or not I will ever see my father again (or any other kindred souls I’ve become acquainted with throughout my lifetimes).  Science and religion can only barely address this question, but not answer it.  Yet on the same token, science and religion can help communicate the reasons and sentiments behind this question.  Philosophy and religion inform my belief that it’s possible to find my father after this lifetime.  Science informs my belief that connection is possible, but we’ve yet to develop the technology or formulate the exact equation to make it possible just yet.  The theory of space-time certainly opens up many possibilities for humans to connect the universes and all that inhabits them.  Yet still, we’ve got a ways to go.

In the end, I’m left both faithful and skeptical that I will see my father again. A scary thought, but perhaps the most plausible.  Skepticism and faith together are as necessary as positive and negative electrons, as necessary as Judaism and Islam, as necessary as vibrations and rhythms.  These are the things that make up energy of inquiry and the pursuit of Truth and understanding.

Humanity is given clues to existence and purpose that hopefully science and religion can together one day unravel.


11 Responses to “On Science and Religion”

  1. harriedmystic November 14, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    Tara, I share your affection for Contact (book and movie).

    I totally agree with your comment that “faith and skepticism are both equally valid perspectives.” I go a step farther: faith without doubt is magical thinking, doubt without faith is cynicism.

    We need to use all the powers of doubt to expose all of our assumptions and then get beyond them ( over and over again). I am a student of synchronicities and your post really resonates with me.

    I have recently uploaded a number of posts on this very subject. Your tornadic/labyrinth picture at the top of your post also speaks to an archetype that I have been meditating about today. Glad to have found you in the blogosphere.

  2. tara l. conley November 14, 2009 at 5:24 am #

    Thanks for stopping by!

    You wrote: “faith without doubt is magical thinking, doubt without faith is cynicism.” Absolutely beautiful.

    I appreciate you taking my thoughts further. I agree that it’s so necessary for us to address these issues in a way that shocks even our own ideological senses.

    I’m definitely going to stop by your blog – I’m totally into this kinda stuff 🙂

  3. Mitchell Artis November 14, 2009 at 5:59 am #

    I could discuss these topic all day. There is so much to say, but you’re right. Our speech will never be able to describe Truth. It will always be a pursuit. However, I do believe that what lies beyond all sense, what can not be said with words, always exists. That is to say that it has always been, is, and shall be.

  4. Mitchell Artis November 14, 2009 at 6:12 am #

    By the by, I know someone who took a photo of a cloud formation like you have pictured above. I would not have believed it was real unless I had known someone who had seen it with their own eyes.

    • tara l. conley November 14, 2009 at 7:32 am #

      Oooh, I’d LOVE to see that photo if you have it!

  5. geogee November 14, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    This a very thought provoking post indeed! I embrace the equation, skepticism begets faith, and faith evolving from knowledge, dispels assumptions, or more accurately transforms them into convictions.

    And I share your belief that speech will never be able to vividly and accurately detail the truth in every aspect,or detail. And even if it could, it would only be as valid as the author mouthing it.

    Very nice blog with a very intellectual and engaging atmosphere.

    • tara l. conley November 14, 2009 at 7:36 am #

      Thanks so much for commenting!

      I agree that skepticism begets faith, and so on… and the more we search for these truths, the more question accumulate and the more we ask of ourselves as humanity – and that, in itself, is such a beautiful thing.

      Thanks again!

  6. Speaks Beliefs November 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    thanks for sharing this. i have no doubt that you will see your father again. we, as humans, search for answers via science and religion. i do not advocate for one over the other. both are necessary. i will say that unlike religion, science at least attempts to continue its search (via new scientific theories replacing old/established ones which, in many cases, lead to scientific advances. But, i digress.

    you will see your father again. when you do, answers will be revealed that can’t be answered in this existence/reality/lifetime (whatever you want to label it).

  7. Domita November 18, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    So to understand wether God really exists or not is where you will find your answer. The fact that you feel, miss, and want to see your father again is all the things that God speaks in his word the Bible. Understanding why we are here on this earth, and understanding why it is that we die, is key to understanding life. God does not want any to die, but it is because man Adam and Eve who chose to decide for themselves what they wanted that we are at this point of life. The point where things don’t make sense, the point that there are so many ways to believe and so many things to believe in, like religion and science. But if there is a hope or belief in you to want to and hope to see your father again, then u should mull into wether or not God exists and is real, because it is only with that, that you will see your father again. Science can not promise nor guarantee that, only God can and he will. Remember that everytime you see a rainbow it is a symbol of God’s promise to never deluge the Earth again, but it is also something that we can see that it real, and that we can understand, What has science given us a promise in this lfe? If you have a bible, or if not you can look these scriptures up on the internet and meditate on not only the words in the scriptures, but think about the promise of the rainbow and the sacrfice God and Jesus made for us Revelation 21: 1-4, John 5:28, John 11:17-44, Matthew 27:52, and there are many others that I can share. How about you read these and let me know what you think. TTYL.

  8. lee December 11, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Hey! Great post… You guys can read the latest instalment of the Uk underground smash from the streets “The Maze”. R rated!!! Over 18s only!

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