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Science and religion: enemies or friends?

To challenge the assumption that science and religion are in conflict with one another.

by D. Rogers

Suitable for Key Stage 3

Aims

To challenge the assumption that science and religion are in conflict with one another.

Assembly

  1. Let’s look at the definitions:
    Science: The study of natural things.
    Religion: The study of supernatural things.
  2. Now let’s look at science …

    What knowledge have you gained through studying natural things?

    What do all people do on a daily basis?
    How do people communicate with each other?
    How do people learn new skills and ideas?
    What happens to all people eventually?

    WITH science, we have made many useful discoveries (e.g. penicillin).
    WITHOUT science, we would miss many useful discoveries (e.g. insulin).
  3. What questions cannot be answered by science?

    (a) Value questions, e.g. Which flower looks best?
    (b) Moral questions, e.g. Is abortion by choice acceptable?
    (c) Supernatural questions, e.g. What is God like?
  4. Definitions (revisited):
    Science: The study of natural things. (We’ve just looked at this.)
    Religion: The study of supernatural things.
  5. Now let’s look at religion …

    ‘Supernatural’ means: above and beyond (‘super’) the natural world.

    Tell a story of a supernatural healing. (Go to www.ibethel.org or www.jesusculture.org and find a story under the testimonies section.)
  6. Briefly explain these headlines of Jesus’ days about his supernatural activities:

    5,000 people fed with five bread rolls and two small fish.
    Sick instantly healed.
    Man walks on water.
    Man raised from the dead after three days in tomb.
  7. What questions cannot be answered by religion?

    Practical questions, e.g. Religion cannot teach you how to swim or drive.
    Cultural questions, e.g. Religion cannot teach you ‘what not to wear’.
    Medical questions, e.g. Religion cannot teach you what diabetics should eat.
  8. Therefore, returning to the question at the start: ‘Are science and religion enemies or friends?’

    ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.’ (Albert Einstein)

    We would like to conclude that they are in fact friends, not enemies.

Time for reflection

We may know so many things
but miss one thing we really need…

If God is real and knows all things
then why not let him take the lead?

Could it be that all we know
is that which God has made us see…

and that one thing we really need
is not more knowledge – it is he?

Publication date: May 2008   (Vol.10 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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