“Religion and Science Are Compatible” – Debunked

  1. There’s no denying that science and religion both exist (and therefore technically coexist) but that doesn’t mean they’re compatible. Marriage and infidelity coexist too; so do the rule of law and criminal activity. Lots of things exist together, but that doesn’t mean they’re compatible. In fact, it’s probably a bad idea for religious apologists to play the compatibility game because then you’ll have to also accept the compatibility of such things as child abuse with the Catholic Church. Or how about the compatibility of Christianity with antisemitism, or religion with religious wars?
  2. Which religion are we talking about here? Is science compatible with Hinduism and sub-Saharan animism too? What about Mormonism and Norse mythology? Are they also compatible with science? Science has as much to do with Hinduism, Voodoo, Greek mythology and Mormonism as it does with Christianity, Islam or Judaism.
  3. Science is just as compatible with religion as astronomy is with astrology, and chemistry is with alchemy—and for the same reasons. There was indeed a time when astronomy and astrology were blended together. Alchemy used to be a discipline contained in the wider field of chemistry. And yes, science was strongly connected to religion. But as soon as scientific thinking started maturing a few centuries ago, these fields, and science altogether, started to split apart from religion.
  4. The baseline fundamentals of western science were laid out by polytheist Greeks, centuries before the birth of Christ. Does this mean that Greek Mythology must also be true, or that the Christianity of the great scientists is based on Greek mythology? What about the huge contributions to astronomy, chemistry and medicine that came from Muslim scientists, during what’s known as the Islamic Golden Age? Wouldn’t this make Islam true as well? This Golden Age, by the way, coincided with the European Dark Ages – a period of considerable Christian religiosity and scientific backwardness. Would this mean that during the Dark Ages, Christianity was not as true as Islam? On top of that, the scientific advancements of the vastly superior Indian and Chinese empires far exceeded those of the Christian world for quite a few centuries. Does this mean that Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism are all true as well, or were true in the past?
  5. When was the last time a discovery in, say, quantum mechanics was made by means of religious faith?

It’s generally a good idea for religious apologists to steer clear of even hinting at causal connections between religion and science, unless they want to establish that degrees of religious truth can be determined by calculating degrees of scientific progress, in which case we can all but establish that god no longer exists, based on how irreligious so much of the scientific community is these days.

Get the Debating Religion book now and start debunking common religious arguments in real time. This is a practical hand-book comprised of short segments that introduce common religious arguments followed by bullet-point replies that debunk them—simply, quickly, straight to the point.

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