Friday, February 10, 2017
A Sweet Balance Between Science and Religion - Dr TN Chugh
A Sweet Balance Between Science and Religion - Dr TN Chugh
10 February, 2017
Pictures and Videos: GS Mann
A Sweet Balance Between Science and Religion
Religion is a system of divine belief, broadly concerned with ethical teachings, belief, spiritual practices and their application to everyday human activities and interpretations of different natural phenomena. There are many religions in the whole world, but each religion has the virtuous qualities of sublime devotion to the Supernatural Master. The followers claim about existence of soul and God, which are metaphysical, philosophical and ontological powers. It also relates to advanced state of humanity with great moral values and spiritual emancipation. The practice of religion generally includes commemoration of Divine actions under the guidance of saints (spiritual guide) through sermons, initiation, meditation, sacrifices, public or social services and other aspects of human culture. Most religions have specific symbols, traditions (festivals, music, art, dance, marriages, funeral or burring etc.) and pious methodologies to explain about meaning and origin of life or the universe. The faith in certain religions also explains body experiences and even re-incarnations after death.
With the passage of time, thousand of religions the world over, but only a few have had the substance and resilience to withstand the changing scenario. There are more than 4,200 religions on this earth, amongst which 31% people believe in Christianity and 21% in Islam. The ‘Sanatan’ Hinduism is the oldest scripted surviving religion having about 16% followers of world population. The remaining 32% people of the world believe in other religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and many more.
Science is eminent, systematic knowledge of the physical and material (natural) world gained through observation, experimentation, measurement and the formation of laws. The study provides the excellent qualities of skill, cleverness, craftiness etc. The various fields of knowledge include the natural world as Physics (mechanics, heat, magnetism, electricity, electronics and radiology), Chemistry (physical, inorganic, organic, analytical and electrical), Life Science, Astronomy, Paleontology etc.
Advancement of Scientific Principles:
Science acknowledges reasons, use of experiments, and evidences. Scientific ideas approved through repeated testing become asset up to avoid known inaccuracies. The scientific experimentations have to be highly controlled and respectable. The scientists spend sufficient knowledge, skill and innovative talents to achieve success.
The scientific method is a planned process of question, hypothesis, testing, data analysis, repetition and conclusion. The scientific research is systematic study and investigation of materials and sources in order to establish facts so as to reach conclusion. It is a creative work to increase knowledge of human culture and society for diverse applications. Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental mental problems concerning matters, such as existence, knowledge, reasons, values, language, mind etc. Hypothesis is a limited supposition or proposed explanation of a phenomenon; a theory is substantial explanation confirmed through repeated observations and experimentations; Law is a universal principle that describes the fundamental nature of the phenomena. These concepts are essential for investigations.
We must be grateful to scientists for their appreciable contributions to reasoned understanding of various phenomena of this universe. The present generation is getting facilities in many fields—agriculture, business, administration, hospitals, medicines, transport, defense, telecommunications, electricity, electronics, architecture, computers, banking, printing, microscopes, telescopes, smart phones, etc. Many new research projects are still in progress. The excellent skills have been developed and the clarity of concepts promotes better utilization of resources. The progress is saving time, physical labor and enriching life.
Non- compromising Attitude between Science and Religion:
Now some people acknowledge that science and religion if not regarded as foes, these should not be considered as good friends. These are mutually irrelevant.
1. Science tends to examine the philosophy of natural world, whereas, religion deals with supernatural and spiritual world (hence the two can be complementary).
2. A historical claim cannot be confirmed via scientific method because these events are not repeatable (because we cannot go back in time). Examples of truth also cannot be tested.
3. We all believe in logic, the existence of other minds, experimental truth like love which are non-scientific or captured in test tubes. Science does not believe in untested concepts and miracles.
4. Science gives us the facts connected to further research. Religions just give us faith and opinions to address emotional, moral and metaphysical truth. Most truths we believe are based on probability and not certainty.
5. The religious principles make strong claims that the world was created in six days. Whereas, scientists describe the origin of earth about 4600million years ago and the origin of life 3600 to 3900 years ago. The various forms of living organisms originated through natural selection and evolution. There are about 3.0 M species of plants and 1.8 M species of animals. About ten thousand species of organisms are being discovered every-year but religions claim the presence of total 8.4 million races.
6. The supernatural entities cannot be investigated by science. Science brings legitimate but incomplete knowledge of the world. It has no way of guiding ‘ought’.
7. Science is descriptive but religion is prescriptive.
8. Religion does not involve critical reflection on experiences present in science.
9. According to Christianity, in geographical system, Earth is a centre of universe. The sun, moon, other planets and stars revolve around earth. The eminent scientist, Galileo, thought of heliocentric system, by which the earth and other planets revolve around sun and all the stars were at great distance from sun. Galileo was punished house arrest for rest of his life.
10. The universe is 13.7 billion years and earth 4.6 billion years old. Biologists believe that first living organisms originated as unicellular microbes about 3.6 to 3.9 billion years ago. All other forms of life have appeared during this long period through progress of evolution and natural selection. But according to religious concept, all species of plants and animals were created in six days by supernatural entity.
11. Present day achievements are being accomplished through science for advancement of society.
Positive Relations of Science and Religion:
According to Albert Einstein,” science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.” This seems to be a source of endless debate between believers and non-believers. The conflict between religious faith and scientific prospective on evolution seems immaterial.
• The science and religion, both address the same world with same reality. They both impact how we understand and live in our world, as both make similar factual claim.
• Science and faith are not enemies. Both these aspects of knowledge attempt to describe and enlighten upon the reality, sometimes in a complementary way.
• There are many cases in which science and religion coexist as synergetic and harmonious. The scientists of different religious faith see no contradictions.
• The two organizations deal with different realms of human experience but still complementary.
• Theoretical interpretations, experiences and practical explanations are common in science and religion. Both advance in creative imagination and describe reality.
• Religious and scientific languages show parallel effects.
• Community is neither completely scientific nor religious. There is a third overlapping community of interested and involved scientists, priests, clergymen, theologize and engaged non-professionals.
• Various religious philosophies were developed by elevated souls who had the universal vision and compassion to guide their followers to live in harmony with each other and nature. A close scrutiny of Vedas and other important religious literature of the world could conceive the details of natural phenomena without access to modern technology. It is surprising to note that they were close to the findings of the current day scientists.
• The science and religion cannot be in disharmony with one another in the areas they overlap.
• If the Science and true Religion, having roots in widely different cultural environment and time span, can join hands, their potentials for human welfare will be tremendous.
Religious Power is Stronger:
Religion is as old as angels. Many persons believe angels as gods and render their worship. However, human community is similar to angels and Almighty God is the sole creator of every race. Religion can only be presented through true faith (trust) and complete submission in Divine Lord. Christians believe that religion established its existence since the creation beyond ‘Adam’.
Religious people rely upon supernatural magic and miracles. Our senses, memory, introspection are generally trustworthy (but a few may develop errors). Religion sincerely deals with emotions, intimacy, meanings and destiny. It requires submitting all our mental facilities to be truly understood.
Religion also provided social legitimating for science throughout history by demonstrating how scientific particles can be religiously useful. More than 75% scientists believe that religions convey important truth. The conflicts result in seriousness of culture, needless sufferings and can generate loss of life. Whatever, the scientist may become or do they reach, science without character is most threatening and sati net. Growth in religious thinking leads to changes for the better.
Humanity to establish Positive Relations:
Science studies how the heavens go and religion how to get to heaven. This intellect examines the conscious matter of ultimate meaning. Religion is a particular subject matter of faith and worship with great devotion. It is culture system of behavior that practices world views, sacred text, holy places, ethics and social organizations with gratitude for humanity. Anthropologists explain it as order of existence. The debates are eventually settled by evidence, dialogues and consultations. Certain super-eminent qualities of faith, hope, love, truth, devotion, beauty, goodness, regular delight and devotion do not live in the territory of science.
The scientists tend to become assured and extend voluntary service following virtuous principles of humanity without much desires or personal benefits. The visualization of ultimate, supreme and divine power can be achieved through initiation and guidelines of spiritual saint. Their spirit gets blessed and awarded with peace and contentment. They acquire strong will power and emancipation of soul to prepare for salvation.
Contributed by: Dr. Triloki Nath Chugh.
Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana, India ).The writer is an eminent former Professor of Zoology; he has more than 3 decades of teaching experience in various colleges of KUK and is presently Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, DSS, Sirsa. He can be reached on his Mobile No:+91-94160 48789 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Dr Chugh has published many Zoology research papers; Guided several M.Phil students for research; M.Sc. Secured 2nd Position BITS PILANI 1968; Gold Medalist in French Diploma 1981 KUK; Prinicipal at SSS Boys College for 7 years.