Do spirituality and science have to be contrary to each other? Regrettably, just defining either concept seems almost hopeless now and then. On the other hand, describing them is much easier, so let’s begin there.
Science isn’t system, but an approach to knowledge, a technique. Scientists will debate forever about the definition of science, but still agree it is the most valuable or productive technique of understanding the world. What are its necessary characteristics? They are objective observation, the deriving of principles and “laws”, and predictions grounded on these. (When it makes things, it is also technology.)
Science can be easily distinguished from religion by the truth that all of the knowledge it creates might be proven incorrect Religious “knowledge” is commonly sacred, and untouchable, while scientific knowledge is always being overthrown or fine-tuned by further application of science. While religious belief is the foundation of religion, evidence is for science.
This explains why “creationist” science is not really science. A creationist “scientist” will not permit his religiously based beliefs to be disputed by new evidence. He will openly tell you that his “faith” is more significant to him than the evidence. He only uses the pretense of science to support his preconceptions. Many scientists, on the other hand, have reversed even their own theories, because the essence of science is to go where the evidence leads you.
Spirituality And Science merged
It seems that spirituality and science oppose one another, but this would only be true if all spirituality was grounded on faiths. Spirituality, though, can be seeking higher points of experience, asking the deepest questions, and seeking the true “self,” which in no way makes it opposed to science. As a matter of fact, since science is such a productive technique of finding new accuracies, it can be applied for spiritual exploration and discovery.
I a belief in God contrary to science? Not so long as it is established on experience instead of faith, and it is open to change. Spiritual systems of beliefs can be a handy method of organizing and using our knowledge and experience, like many additional scientific theories or paradigms. To be scientific, though, they must be open to change.
If prayer brings you serenity, why not pray? When the evidence indicates it to be a phenomenon requiring brain chemicals, why not accept that too? It is scientific spirituality, by the way, that has lead to the technology of brain wave entrainment. Now you will be able to buy CDs that give you the same spiritual experiences as religious meditators.
Being spiritual then, can mean forever looking for higher levels of experience, and looking for the solutions to the deepest questions. Science help in this quest. Since every answer raises even deeper questions, there is no extinguishment of spirituality by way of science. If spirituality is the pursuit, then science may be the most effective means of keeping on it.
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