• Question: Just wondering if you believe in the scientific acount of religion or the christian acount and if you agree that you can still be a scientist if you are religous

    Asked by sonyaandmary to Aimee, Dave, Greig, Laurence on 26 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Greig Cowan

      Greig Cowan answered on 26 Jun 2014:


      Hi sonyaandmary. There are many examples of scientists who were/are religious. Personally, I am not religious as I like to see evidence for the existence of anything and find the Universe amazing enough without the need for a creator.

    • Photo: Laurence Perreault Levasseur

      Laurence Perreault Levasseur answered on 26 Jun 2014:


      I also think that science and religion are not incompatible. This is because science and religion aim at two different things.

      Science explains how the world works, what are the rules, the laws of nature, an that’s why it can be a proof-based system. Because the existence of god cannot be proven, science does not say anything about the existence of god, in one way or the other.

      Religion, on the other hand, most often tries to tell people about the purpose of life, the existence of god, or the intension underlying the creation of the Universe. These are completely different questions than what science is trying to answer. An there is no way to get a definitive answer on those questions either, that’s why it’s based on belief, and so it depends from person to person.

      It is true, however, that a lot of people have mixed – and are still mixing – the two, and usually the the consequences have not been very happy. An example is if one asks from the Christian religion scientific question, one can take literally ‘answers’ and ‘explanations’ from the bible that are known today to be scientifically wrong. But one could also interpret the bible as being just a metaphor and use it as a guide for living one’s life, or even as being just a human account from a time when the scientific knowledge of the world was not as advanced as today. In the later case science and religions aren’t incompatible.

      Personally, I do not believe in the existence of a god, but my answer is as valid as anybody else’s, since I do not have any proof to back it up.

    • Photo: Dave Jones

      Dave Jones answered on 26 Jun 2014:


      As has been said before, many scientists have been very religious. Sir Isaac Newton, for example, was extremely religious and dedicated much more of his time to studying the bible than to studying science, and he made some of the most important contributions to our understanding of science that anyone has ever made!

      Personally, I’m not religious. I feel that my training as a scientist makes me look for proof before I can say that I feel something is correct. Religion is about having faith in things that cannot be proven, which does not sit well with my scientific outlook.

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