Empirical Science Versus Religion

  1. Lemma
  2. Empirijska nauka spram religije
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Various approaches to the problem of correlation between science and theology
  6. 17-2-2017
  7. Stokic, Zoran [Author]. Empirical Science Versus Religion. 55–64
  8. Theoria
    1. Stokic, Zoran
  9. epistemology
    1. The author addresses the issue of science–religion correlation mainly in the frame of successfulness of the theory. From his point of view, science and religion can be delineated if the prediction of new facts is put into focus. The theory of Newton, Einstein, or the theory of quantum mechanics led to new facts; however, the theory of religion proved to be incapable of providing reliable predictions.  

      The reliability of prediction of future events is the reason that empirical scientific knowledge rises to the most respected forms of knowledge. Magic, astrology, religion and Marxism are systems that have proved to be unreliable regarding future occurrences diagnosis. Such reliability science has achieved owing to its new epistemology, non-dogmatic method, critical method and errors elimination.  

      There have been numerous attempts to delineate science and religion. Some of them have emphasized the symbolic and allegoric character of religion, and mathematical one of science, whereas some have tried to make demarcation in the sphere of logics, and other introduced the categories of sense and nonsense. However, all the attempts have remained half-performed. What is known today is that science and religion rest on belief, since the first leads to knowledge, while the second does not.

      The author further provides historical explanation of the scientific progress accentuating the points of demarcation. While knowledge was at first nurtured in monasteries, in the Middle Ages God was not searched for in the monastery orthodox practice but through man and nature. Therefore, there was a big shift from monasteries to universities.

      As mentioned at the beginning, from the author’s stance, success of the predictability may be a line of demarcation, especially regarding brave, unexpected predictions of new facts. For instance, in 1687 Newton published his theory of rational mechanics. In that time, there were two theories related to comets. The more popular one – metaphysical – considered comets to be the signs of God’s anger. The less famous one, the one of Kepler, regarded comets as celestial bodies which move in straight lines. Halley, who worked according to Newton’s theory, calculated the exact time when one comet would return – in seventy-two years. That was an impossible discovery. It proved to be exact, the comet returned according to Halley’s calculations, although he was not alive to witness it.

      Therefore, the author concludes that religious images of the planets movements could not provide new predictions. Furthermore, they were not able to fit in the already known facts. Contrariwise, scientific theories yielded new reliable facts and truths.

      Although the paper tackles the points of science–religion demarcation, the paper does not explore the subject thoroughly. Instead, it gives general historical account of the shift from monasteries to universities, from religion to science, without exploring their correlation or dissent.