In my last post, I explained my opinion of the intractable parties that make up the debate over science and religion. If you have read my book review over the last few months, it is obvious where my bias falls. But before anyone skips this fearing another soap box speech about how "science is an elite institution that religion has no place even approaching" let me say they are both social constructs and as such deserve an equal voice in directing the future of our world.
So I guess I am biting off a big chunk of what makes for so many disagreements in the world, lets see if I can start to chew.
To say religion has no providence over science is just as false as the juxtaposition. Religion played a very important part of the early development of society, it was the pool where morality was drawn and imbibed from. It was designed in the best possible way with as much foresight as possible for the time. Even though I personally am an atheist, I do not feel as though we have grown past the need for religion in society. I do feel that religion has lost its way as many of its ideals, no matter how important they might have been when they introduced to the doctrine, are simply antiquated and could use revision.
Like wise, a world completely under the control of the cold and rational arts, seems even less appealing. Maybe if the scientists who invented atomic weapons; for example, were forced to confront the morality of their actions before such an undertaking, they might have thought twice. Science's role in society is to educate inform and advance. Religion is a part of society, it has benefited from science as much as any social construct. Where would televangelists be with out television, or imagine crowding into a church once a week with out the antibiotics and hygiene advances that have come about through scientific inquiry.
On the whole, I believe neither could exist today without the other. It is time to reconcile. For those that are religious, I suggest you take the same approach to science that you would take to religious literature, pick and choose carefully both what you would embrace or fight, but be better informed on the whole of it. The Union of Concerned Scientists isn't inventing global climate change to force an agenda, they really do want the best for you too. (There might just be a chance the message from religious leaders has been co-opted by people who don't, but that is for you to decide.)
Science, when you are asked to question the morality of a course of scientific methodology, do so in earnest. Further more, we need to come off our tower a little, we need to cultivate an other tier between educators and journalism. A group of people who speak both science and english. People to help demystify and humanize research, in an effort to spread a greater understanding of intentions and values in both directions. Maybe stem cell research is a line we should look into not crossing despite its promise in medical science.
As always your comments, positive or negative are welcome and will not be deleted or edited.