Scientific Theories And Religious Theories – Are They Same Thing?

An engraving by Albrecht Dürer, from the title...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, near the end of my art class, a student asked me my opinions about religion and science. I was glad to talk about it, though obviously it’s not the subject of my teaching. The discussion was interesting. I said that the difference between religion and science is that religion derives from our wish, science from facts. One of students immediately disagreed, saying science derives from theories as well as religion, and claimed that their science teachers told them so.

I understand that lots church goers often believe that scientific theories are just like theological theories, which means something come from our (crazy) heads. But based on my understanding, any scientific theories, at the moment they could claim themselves as a “systematic theories”, there were already supported by massive amount of facts, because it is precisely because of those hard facts that the theories were constructed, or deduced. Making evolution as an example. The “theory” that humans evolves from apes (or more actually, humans share same ancestors with apes. I am not an expert on evolution so bare with me), who could conceived such a theory just by “thinking” or “wishing”? What kind of benefit we human can get from such hideous idea? But it nevertheless was born because lotsa of FACTS suggested so, and the following one and half century’s scientific studies and fossil excavations all support and prove this theory. Contrary to scientific theories, religious theories are all “abstract ideas” from the beginning. There maybe some “Christian scientists” look for evidences of Bible, but anyone with decent history knowledge know that Bible was not born the same way as evolution.

I don’t think my students believed what I said. They claimed that evolution is not true neither, could not be proved, even their science teachers told them so. I am no scientist so I don’t suppose my words are convincing to them more than their teachers. But that’s OK. What seems frustrating to me is, these students are highly influenced by their parents, who are all proud church goers, and believe bible almost literally. For a moment or two, I believe I appeared to be annoyed, or emotional, because I was again “stunned” how simple facts could be distorted, even in such young students. But I tried my best not to be so upset.

Well, A middle aged art teacher’s peace can be disturbed by her teenagers students. Maybe there really is something wrong with me? I better laugh it off.

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