faith looking forward


Verity and Science

A Natural Coexistence

Religion and science have long been seen as two forces inherently at odds with each other. It seems that the stronger the love for one, the more decided the stance that the two cannot connect.

Fundamentalists fear science because they see it as something which may take away things they see as precious. To them science (as if some wickedness personified) seems to say, “Your way of life will one day be obsolete, and your tradition will mean nothing.” To the fundamentalists, tradition is everything. The past is not only the foundation on which they build their world, it is the walls and ceiling and hearth. The past is where everything good and wholesome is, and was. What horrible immoral future does science want to force upon them?

Even some more moderate religious people are affected. Though it’s a flawed correlation, they connect science enthusiasm with aggressive atheism. They hear “the burden of proof is on the believer.” “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.” Why can I not believe things because I believe them? If I am peaceful, what injury are my beliefs to you? Why such anger?

Supporters of science sometimes resent religion because they see it as something that aims also to take things away--some very important things, such as a sustainable, progressive future. It seems common sense. Who doesn’t want a future in which no one need worry about preventable diseases? If stem cell research can cure leukemia and save lives, how dare a Bible-thumping Luddite with a Senate seat stand in the way? We’re almost there, and yet fear and ignorance would ruin it all, they think.

There is also much anger in the hearts of people who were hurt by religion, which is no small number. Watching religious people directly attack breakthroughs and damage progress helps nothing. And so the hate brews on either side. How could both of these be right?

We agree that there are many religions that cannot be held true along with science. It is unfortunate that those belief systems seem to get the most press.

Science is the pursuit of the truth (defining) of nature. But Verity is the pursuit of the truth of the human-Divine experience. These are unique systems, but there is no reason why they cannot co-exist, even complement one another.

The key in accepting both Verity and the findings of science as true is acknowledging that they truly are different means of discovery, with different expectations of validity. If the only way you can find something to be true is if it can be proven repeatedly in a closed environment with a control group and an experiment group, faith will never be satisfying. That method of proof tells us everything we know about the provable universe. But it will not extend to explain the findings of religion, and anyone who tells you otherwise is confused or being false. We do not support the belief that religion can take the place of science.

Verity, however, is a different means of finding truth--the seeking of an interpersonal understanding of forces that transcend the scientific method. The Gods will never be provable, nor will Divinely-given things such as intuition. That is the very nature of Divine things. They will never be tangible enough that we or anyone else can provide a study or a report providing hard proof of their existence or the ways they function. Just like we can’t explain why some of us get the urge to check on a family member before we are informed something bad has happened. If we were asked to repeat these results in a lab, there would be much disappointment. The study of science works within defined parameters. Intuition and Divine occurrences do not.

So this is how they are separate. We make no claims that faith belongs in a science journal or that we have vacuum-tested proof for our Gods and Goddesses. Nor do we feel we ever will. However, we notice a consistent thread in the goal of science and in the name of our faith: “Truth.”

The Gods really expect very little of us. But They do want something--They want us to grow. And how does one grow? By discovering truth. And so, with their encouragement, the last 10,000 years of our history have been a saga of reaching out to grasp truth.

Most recently, the most brilliant and precocious means of obtaining truth has been the institution of science. In the researcher Builder pushes for answers, more knowledge on how to better depict the universal flowchart. The ecologist’s fascination with nature is never-ending. The physics tutor has the knowledge and wants to pass it on.

Though the word pushes some buttons, we see the universe as a creation--one in which rules have been the same for billions of years, while remaining a system which is ever-expanding and changing. So think of the universe as a growing orchestral anthology.

The Gods are the artists and sound engineers: composing material, recording symphonies, releasing remastered versions of the old works.

Science is the human music-lover who revels in the dynamic complexity of the orchestra, aims to use music theory knowledge to break it down and understand it.

Verity is the musical spiritualist, who hears the soaring strings and the fiery trumpets and experiences it with every inch of the body, an enamored transcendent experience which is difficult to reproduce or explain.

And so, science is the brain which longs to define and comprehend the universe. Verity is the spirit which longs to experience it. The brain and the spirit can reside in one body. In fact, they make a well-balanced pair. That is why we support science and religion. They are sibling powerful forces, each both creative and destructive, as the cycle continues. There is no need to choose.