Evangelicals love to claim that science and religion can stand together. The hope is that through not having to choose between your faith and your comprehensive understanding of the world around you, you will be more susceptible to religion as a whole. Scripture once meant to be the direct word of God become ‘collections of stories and metaphors’ and contradictions found within become ‘different interpretations’ – but in reality, these inconsistencies are all the evidence needed to see that faith is not a reliable path to truth.
The problem is, the methodologies behind religion and rationality are so far apart, they cannot both be embraced to their fullest extent. The best a person of faith can hope for is a selective sense of rationality that is kept at a distance from their religious view; because a proper barrier of skepticism and the application of the scientific method cannot lead to the justified belief in a God.
All religions claim to know things they couldn’t possibly know – some even claim the existence of things that could never exist. It’s clear after even a broad analysis of any abrahamic text that the intention is to fit the presupposition of God into as many aspects of our daily lives as possible. God is in the sky, in the earth, in our minds and even waiting for us on the ‘other side’.
But the scientific method scrictly FORBIDS presupposition. In science, there is no intention beyond seeking the truth. It’s the frame of mind that allowed scientists throughout history to disprove widely-believed unjust claims about people of color and women, that allowed us to cure and treat thousands of diseases and save millions of lives, and that pushes us every day further and further towards the stars.
Bias is the biggest threat to a scientific world view, and a bias as strong and relentless as a belief in God is more crippling to this frame of mind than any other bias imaginable. It changes how you see death, and as a result, life – it changes your view on morality and judgement, on fairness and justice. It’s why, in a world less and less dependent on labels, the terms “Muslim” “Christian” and other such names are still on the table.
It’s because defining these terms are about who you are and how you supposedly act and think. And sure, not all muslims or christians are alike, but their characters are internally much more consistent than outside of it. Individuality and self- expression are not central themes in any majority religion today.
To ‘believe in faith and science’ is to do one of them well, whilst doing the other one poorly. Institutions of religion have worked tirelessly to dull down your idea of this dichotomy and present these two as if they aren’t mutually exclusive – sometimes, they even claim them to be interchangeable.
Regardless of what people believe, the truth is simple; that faith and science are worlds apart, and the only way to bring them together is to lie to ourselves. Religion and science may indeed coexist, but like oil and water, they will never mix.