Religion and science

There has been numerous efforts to bridge the domain of religion with the domain of science. But are they in need of bridging?

I would like to offer a definition of these two domains for your digesting:

The domain of science covers what can be objectively falsified.

The domain of religion covers what can be only subjectively falsified.

Given these two definitions, I am not sure whether they need any bridging except for pure tolerance of each other.

102 thoughts on “Religion and science

    1. I think they offer a way forward in discussing these subjects as they are more precise than what I have found in any dictionary – at least as to how they relate to each other (science and religion)

    2. “But I think too uptone for most commoners. ”

      What kind of evaluation of a person’s inner world is that?
      Are you setting youself above others that you see below?

      For me all tones make a thousand melodies in music.

      Ridiculous and outdated separatist idea. (The “ideia”, not YOU.)

  1. I would say in another way: science is something I need proofs of. Religion is something I don’t need any proof at all. I simply believe in God and that’s enough for me.

  2. A great book on domains of thought is “The Structure of Religious Experience” by John MacMurray. It is out of print and cost me 60 bucks years ago. Currently this book (originally a lecture) is 33 bucks and is around a hundred pages.

    MacMurray divides our domains of thought into three distinct lenses: Science, Religion and Art.

    What would art falsify? And what then would be the difference between whatever art would falsify and the subjective and objective?

    Very few people in philosophy give art any place in the “big ideas.” And maybe that is because it is the missing lens and component everyone is overlooking.

    Is ART an integral of the universe? Guess it’s time to bring in the Sophists -eh Phaedrus? Sadly, you and their works are gone – just like the Pythagoreans.

    1. Since the aesthetic wavelength is so close to that of a static, I would say you are absolutely right on, Bunkai.

  3. They only need bridging when one recognizes that there can be an overlap between the objective and the subjective.

    All studies in psi (i.e. psychokinesis, remote viewing, telepathy, etc.) live in this overlap zone.

      1. Some past life memories are falsifiable objectively, some aren’t.

        Therefore, do past life memories belong in the realm of religion or science?

        To me, they’re sort of in both. Same could be said for exteriorization.

        With that said, I do like your distinction between subjective falsification and objective falsification. In the majority of cases, that distinction is very clear. In some other cases, imo, the distinction is not quite so clear.

        1. Per the definitions it is never both. But some exteriorizations can be subjective. BUT, exteriorization as a subject is falsifiable and thus belong in science.

  4. Dear Geir,
    Please explain to me why it isn’t:

    The domain of science covers what can be objectively verified.

    The domain of religion covers what can be only subjectively verified.


      1. Interesting how pointing at falsity can convey a more precise idea.

        Could one conclude that all that is verifiable is also falsifiable?

          1. , where the process of verification has subjectivities and uncertainties, and it seems to be impossible to be done without a filter.

  5. Science is an external study, with some internal aspects.
    Religion is an Internal study, with some external aspects.

    They are their own opposite sides. They are one and the same but the view point is different. There is no bridging between them.

    1. I look at it slightly differently. To me,

      Science grows from the establishment of consistency among observations.

      Science started with the establishment of consistency among observations of the physical universe. It is now entering a phase where the physical universe, as a reference point, has itself come under observation. What are these fundamental particles that are the basis of this physical universe? Are they a function of the viewpoint itself?

      Science continues to be an effort to establish consistency among observations, only the scope of observations has now broadened with the advent of Quantum mechanics. Buddha was very consistent in his observations, which went way beyond the observation of the physical universe. I look at Buddha as a scientist rather than a religious person.


    2. If you realize science is an external study with some/many internal aspects / connections, you already have the bridge there.
      A scientist has some/many preconceived ideas/beliefs that he will (try) or not verify in his/hers experiments. Besides, a scientist’s vision is projected outside. The observed object is always influenced by the viewer. Objective concerns direct observation of material, verifiable things but we don’t know at what point these are “real”. It is also a person’s deeply rooted ideas creation.

      Religion is an internal study with some/many external aspects and you have another bridge there. A believer will verify or not his beliefs in experimenting reality.

      You cannot separate them. Only by the mind, which is an adept of cision all the time, and what you dissecate, you kill. Nothing can be isolated and still make sense.

    3. @Eric
      You are talking about external and internal. So you are assuming some boundary that separates external from internal. What is that boundary you are assuming? Is that boundary between what is actually out there and one’s interpretation of it?

      Are the perceptions themselves an unconscious interpretations of what is actually out there?

      Please see KHTK 4: LOOKING AT THE MIND

      So, the physical universe is also subjective when we contemplate from a certain level. It seems that the boundary between objective (external) and subjective (internal) would shift with the level one is looking from.

      And what does this do to what you said, Eric?


  6. Science and religion are thinking models derived from Scientology. As if there would be nothing beyond. Far from the truth. Religion is actually a barrier on the road of final accomplishment. Ignorance as well.

      1. Geir, your negligent comment here again proves that an OT VIII does not have true spiritual insight.
        Science is made up of the observation of the forces that hold together and make the various phenomena of the material universe and describes these forces, phenomena and the law behind those. That is science.
        Religion one way or another deals with the source of the material universe. Except that science can be very precise with less mistakes while religion can’t because it usually made up for the control of the masses and usually for political purposes. And at the moment of it’s codification the specific religions immediately became part of the physical universe, part of Samsara.
        So religion and science are not two poles like south and north. Religion points towards north in many cases but itself is not north.
        Now what can you call a religion? From Scientology we know that you can call anything a religion which has Sunday Services, which believes in God or some supernatural thing and which have some worship practices. Roughly these must be together to call some system a religion. So I can say that UFOs created man and we have Sunday Service to worship the first UFO which emerged from the Big Blackness and voila I have a religion. I can assure you, there are some very strange modern religions accepted by governments and the Jedi worship is not even close to these. Science is not like this.
        So when I speak about religion that is not the correct “opposite” of science. There are some traditions which does not call itself a religion but deals with the spiritual side of life. Shamanism is an example of this.
        So as religion is something synthetic we can say it has nothing much to do with getting free. Or do you want to get into heaven guarded by angels, following the Christian way and wants your body resurrected? Christianity is a religion and can be only subjectively falsified? Anyone can objectively falsify these tenets even a child, so we can see that even this definition is not correct.
        In my opinion science is much closer to a true religion in case Science is not “blind”. Because science is looking and you can go free only by looking. You must go bexond, but that is the first thing you must do. The field of quantum physics is almost in the realm of religion. You know both buddhism and both quantum physics say (simplified) that there is only space and reality is an illusion. “Hard core” buddhism does not even say it is a religion.

        1. “Geir, your negligent comment here again proves that an OT VIII does not have true spiritual insight.”

          Overdriver; I have been very patient with you. This is another adHom by you and you hereby get a yellow card. Another adHom (regardless of who may be the target), and you’re out.

          Then: “Science is made up of the observation of the forces that hold together and make the various phenomena of the material universe and describes these forces, phenomena and the law behind those. That is science.”

          No, it isn’t. You very effectively ruled out most of the social sciences.

          I fail to see how the rest of your post contributes to a debate on the OP.

          But seriously, did you actually mean to imply that “Science and religion are thinking models derived from Scientology.” Or was that a mistake?

          1. The usage of the two pairs, thinking in “Science and religion” are the thinking model. As if Science and religion would be the two sides of the coin. This is not true. Maybe my wording was bad as English is not my mother language. Sorry for that.
            Regarding the social sciences, in my opinion these are just called “sciences” and these are more or less (rather more) as inaccurate as religion. In this sense Scientology is rather a social science and not a religion, except formally. It may sound bad and any deeply religious 🙂 Scientologist (are there religious Scientologists?) can say I am bad but Scientology does not get into the field of the 8th dynamic (God or whatever) as it was clearly stated by Hubbard, so how could it be a religion?
            Regarding the yellow card, you have all the right to do whatever you want on your blog. It just happens that I feel at the beginning of the blogging you’ve had a slightly different view on authority, than you have now. The way I spoke was the exact consequence how you responded a bit earlier to my comments. But because of your authority position, it is only you who can give “yellow cards”.
            I do not want you to be patient with me. I do not want to cause bad feelings to you. I just wanted you to realize certain things. I understand that I am not welcome by you, so I just leave your blog by myself. Good luck.

            1. “The usage of the two pairs, thinking in “Science and religion” are the thinking model.”

              That thinking model predates Scientology by centuries. And whole movements have been dedicated to it before the advent of Scientology. Like the All World Gayatri Pariwar. The study of the relationships, common grounds and boundaries between religion and science even has its own prize: The Templeton Prize. Nothing to do with Scientology. More homework needed.

              Apart from the social sciences (which are aptly classified as sciences, you also dismissed mathematics and all branches of it (like statistics). Are they not sciences?

              And as a side note: I happen to believe that Scientology should not be classified as a religion. As per my definitions.

              Then; I don’t get it regarding what you think my opinion on authorities is. Please explain.

              And lastly; The yellow card was a warning on your adHom attacks. You as a person is highly welcome here. Any adHom is not – because they serve as a distraction in an otherwise fruitful debate. They do not create any bad feelings with me, it is simply noise I do not care to have littering my blog. That’s all. And as I said; YOU are very welcome.

  7. And my overly simplistic and easily misconstrued statement for the day is: Science supports Religion.

  8. I did observe what Eric has stated and do agree. And I still hold to my statement that science supports religion and I will continue observing how the two views merge and mingle in everyday conversations, actions and history. This is thought provoking for the entire family. Thank you.

  9. Damn, you pick good subjects! I was just thinking that this very subject would be interesting to take up next, and voila! here it is!

    If you substitute the word faith for the word religion I would agree. To me religion deals with the nature of existence, life and of my own true beingness. Someone once asked me if I believed in God. My answer was that I don’t believe in believing without good solid reason to do so, so I was non-committal to the concept of God. I think those items listed ultimately, at least potentially, might yield to the scientific method and perhaps (hopefully) be proven.

    The more important a certain “truth” is, the more important it is that we can rely on its veracity. What is more important than those things listed above? And why should we then only settle for subjective proof? Is the “feeling” that there is a God enough for us to conclude that indeed it is so? How many times hasn’t such a feeling been proven wrong in the long run?

    I also think we need to look at what we mean by objective proof. All too often it is said that spiritual things can not be proven, because they are not physical. This is not necessarily so, since the scientific method is quite flexible. ESP, like someone mentioned, is definitely something that should be provable/falsifiable using the scientific method.

    Then again, I would agree with you that as soon as something is proven it is no longer a matter of faith, and becomes science. So I suppose that by my own reasoning I would have no place for religion in my life. For me those things that are not proven have become hopes rather than faith, and definitely not a certainty, no matter how certain it might seem on a subjective level.

    An observation: what I am thinking right now would then fall under the realm of religion since it can not be objectively falsified.

    I think the definitions need to be expanded upon to accurately define each realm, although they do indeed do a good job of delineating the demarkation point.

    1. Nice comment. One thing struck me:

      “To me religion deals with the nature of existence, life and of my own true beingness.”

      Doesn’t science?

      Now, given my two definitions, there is no reason at all that spirituality would not fall under the domain of science. For sure both ESP and reincarnation are falsifiable. Thus they belong in the realm of science per the above. God may or may not belong in that domain. As for now it is undecided (in my view).

      The reader may have noticed that there exists a large virtual domain as a middle ground overlapping the two domains – that which is yet to be decided if it can be objectively falsified.

      And then there is that which can be falsified objectively but not yet determined, and this is where faith crosses from the subjective into the objective. This is also where emotions encroach on the objective and where scientists get all worked up about their own subjective view about something objective.

  10. The idea of people actually using Art as a philosophical lens for truth is not very common. Usually it is considered a “vessel” for truth and not truth itself. So here is a cool and creepy introduction to this concept.

    The great comic book writer Alan Moore has an interesting view on Art. He defines “Art” as magic and bases his definition on the original meaning of the word. It’s unorthodox idea that rings true to me regardless of how strange it may seem.

    MOORES DEFINITION OF MAGIC AS ART: “There is some confusion as to exactly what magic is. I think this can be cleared up if you look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest forms is often referred to as ‘the art.’ I believe this completely literal, I believe that magic is art, and that art, be it writing, music sculpture or any other form is literally magic.”

    MOORE: “I believe that every single individual human being should probably make their own peace with the universe. I mean, we’re all of us different emotionally we’re all different physically, intellectually. It would be really odd if we were all the same spiritually. So. I meant that’s why I have a problem with religion per se, because religion the very word comes from the same root word as “ligature” and “ligament” and it means to be bound together in one belief which I find a bit creepy and a bit unnatural.

    When I started to become interested in magic, I understood that everything that people talk about with regard to magic is all absolutely true as long as you understand it is happening inside people’s minds. And it struck me that must be what magic is. It must be like treating the space that we perceive inside our minds as a kind of territory. And I thought I thought that working on that hypotheses, you could explore that territory.”

    From: “The Mindscape of Alan Moore.”

    QUESTION: If Art is actually a descriptive lens of truth like religion or science, what would it falsify?

        1. The word “only” appears in just one of the first two definitions. I copied the second defn for art and then spotted the “only.” Why did you not use “only” in the first definition?

          1. Because it is not needed. But it is in the second definition – because something can obviously be objectively AND subjectively falsified, and in that case it belongs in the realm of science.

      1. Let’s take a look at these three lenses as tools for viewing realities.

        1. How does a person who uses ONLY the Scientific lens view the Universe? (“That data is incorrect.”)
        2. How does a person who uses ONLY the Religious lens view the Universe? (“That violates the fifth commandment of Xur!”)
        3. How does a person who uses ONLY the Artistic lens view the Universe? (“That painting is total crap!”)

        You also have people who use all three freely. Some view religion after filtering it through science (Skeptics). Some view science after filtering it through religion (Creationists). Some view religion after viewing it through an artistic and scientific lens (Liberals).

        1. “Religion”, “religious”, can be used in more than one sense.

          One can “religiously observe what one observes.” That would be integrity of observation.

          Words are neither a good lens nor a good medium, unless their meanings are observed religiously and artfully arranged.

          Get my drift?

  11. I believe that the fundamentals underlying all scientific knowledge are measurability, consistency and predictability within a clearly delineated context.

    Beyond that is experience. Experience can be subjective or objective. It can be shared or individual. It can happen only once or it can happen repetitively. It may or may not be measurable. It may or may not be possible to share with others. It may not be explainable. It just is.

    But if it can be measured, if it happens in a consistent fashion, and it yields more predictions or is predictable, then it could be called scientific knowledge.

  12. Well, first off – love the definitions. You should submit them to

    Or where ever you think appropriate, but if people like ’em and they ‘gel’ for some, then it should be put into the hands of the people to decide.

    I’ve become quite the ying/yang kinda guy with my whole trip in, through and now mostly out of scientology.

    I like the black and white simplicity yet always available shades of gray your utterance above can evoke.

    I don’t have more to say at this time – just getting back alive and looking around the twitters and so forth – hope to contribute more.

    Oh – too uptone Profant?? I Don’t get that.. “truth” is neither uptone nor downtone. It simply is. Some days ‘truth’ tells me my body is older… Other days ‘truth’ tells me good food is being consumed…

  13. The essence of religion is that truth is revealed to man, and man must accept it because man is limited and unable to penetrate absolute truth. The basis of religion is that only the divine can reveal absolute truth, an absolute truth that cannot be apprehended by the imperfect and flawed senses of mortal man, truth that is formulated into scriptures and laws that man can only follow. The truth cannot be questioned, it can only be learned and the laws that result can only be obeyed or disobeyed. There is no possibility of questioning such a truth for it is beyond the ability of man to discern.

    Science works with truth that can be apprehended by the limited senses of man. It makes the assumption that a predictable truth is more truthful than an unpredictable truth and that the truth of divine authority may or may not be absolute. Science can be falsified. Religion cannot.

    Both science and religion are a subset of the realm of all knowledge or truth. I don’t know what this subject is called. It doesn’t appear to have a name.

    1. I am looking at this idea, “Truth is revealed to man, and man must accept it because man is limited and unable to penetrate absolute truth.” The basic idea is that man is at effect and he can never be at cause.

      Something doesn’t sit right with me about this idea. Maybe it is a Western perspective. I never suscribed to that idea while growing up in the East. There I was taught to question everything, even the very basis of scriptures.

      So, I would challenge the above idea. It seems to be peculiar to Semitic religions. The subject of religion is probably more than what is taught in Semitic religions.


      1. @ Vinaire

        Indeed, the word religion is very much a western concept. As far as I can tell there is no exact counterpart in Eastern spirituality concepts.

        Consider the roots of the word religion. The most common etymology sources the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind.” Etymologists are careful to point out that this etymology is doubtful. It has also been linked with the term relegere, which means “to read over again.”

        Many western scholars choose the eastern term “yoga” as the closest equivalent to the western term religion. According to wikipedia, the word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” meaning “to control,” “to yoke” or “to unite.

        To my way of thinking, the similarity is superficial at best.

        There’s a lovely description of yoga written by Parmarth Niketan, that really clarifies yoga from an eastern perspective:

        “Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means to connect, join or balance.

        The most important thing, however, is that Yoga – with its entire applications and implications – is a powerful means to an end. The ultimate end of all human pursuits is ‘Moksha.’ Moksha is freedom from all bondage; freedom from insecurities; freedom from the clutches of desires; freedom from the sense of limitations and inadequacy; freedom from all that thwarts us on our divine journey in life. In other words, the end of all human pursuits is everlasting peace, happiness and a sense of fulfillment. This is possible with steady and prolonged sincere practice of Yoga. It activates a process of cleansing and purification of mind, which in turn, prepares us for the dawning of Self-knowledge. Yoga means this connection; this knowledge that removes the impurities and the veil of ignorance that keeps us strangers to ourselves. ”

        This is NOT what a westerner thinks of when speaking of religion. And so we get the western enchantment with yogis and gurus and scripture, messages from God, from beyond the veil, teachings that cannot be apprehended by the limited senses of MAN, man being the mortal being limited to the five senses of physical, mortal existence. And yet there is the “State of Grace” of the western culture, where man is saved by God, and is purified and sanctified by grace and grace alone.

        Interestingly enough, westerners seek “enlightened ones” of the east such as yogis or gurus, who they believe have an established connection with god or godhead and provide them with scriptures and knowledge from outside the realm of the limited senses of man.

        Just as they seek to have LRH be “an enlightened one,” a prophet, a guru, a conduit of salvation.

        I don’t think it is at all surprising that the C of S has become authoritarian. For that is what religion is in the west culture — authoritative teachings that cannot be wrong, revealed knowledge that can only be followed and if followed sincerely and with devotion will result in salvation or the state of grace.

        We may not like it and I am with you on this Vinaire (I subscribe to the yogic world view) but there it is.

        1. @ Maria

          “Yoga” provides an interesting counterpoint to “religion”. It is interesting position you have taken here in that the word “Religion” embodies a western perspective and it cannot be applied to Eastern spirituality. I agree with that. Hinduism would appear polytheistic to somebody looking through the lense of “religion”. Nobody cares about Hinduism being polytheistic or monotheistic in India.

          I prefer the word “Knowledge” to “yoga” in describing the eastern spirituality. Here is something I write about religion 15 years ago:


          The key aspect of “religion” is that the ultimate reality is a Being. The key aspect of “knowledge” is that the ultimate reality is unknowable. That is the difference between GOD and BRAHMA.


    1. You guys are a never-ending resource of good links, books and articles. You’ll keep me busy for the rest of my blogging 🙂

  14. What about Philosophy ?
    Shouldn’t it be part of this discussion ?
    ….and have a definition ?

    1. Good point. Perhaps philosophy is exploring the boundaries between science and religion (and art) and probing what is not yet decided as objectively or only subjectively falsified… as well as serving as an umbrella for these concepts – because this discussion itself would fall neatly into the realm of philosophy.

      1. Way I see it, philosophy is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.”

        But Philosophy is ALSO defined as a particular school of thought.

        Now the type of philosophy a person embodies depends on the priority of HOW that person looks through the three lenses.

        Strict Materialism: Science Lens Only.
        Fundamentalism: Religious Lens Only.
        Hedonism: Art Lens Only.
        Pandeterminism: Seeing the Lenses as Just Lenses and Using Them The Way You Want.

        And what do lenses do? They help you look.

        1. So, could it be said that any lenses is a “via”?

          Then, does any “lens” actually help you “look”(or LOOK, as Vinnie would have it), or does a lens limit your sight? Can evolving and using progressively better lenses lead to enlightenment?

          How do lenses relate to “as-is-ness”, if they do?

          Is language itself a “via”?

          Can one perceive “things-in-themselves” directly, or communicate more directly than with language?

          How does a baby actually “learn a language”?

          1. I would throw out: Any tool makes the handicapped function better ant the non-handicapped less efficient. Let Mr. Bolt dash the 100 meters with crutches.

          2. I so agree Geir. But I would say “Any CRUTCH helps a handicapped person and hinders a non-hcndicapped person.”

            Tools are good for everybody – if they are really tools and not crutches. The problem is that people often think crutches are actually tools.

            And one should let them hobble forward. It’s not HOW you get there. It’s getting there.

            1. You wouldn’t need any tools if you didn’t need them 🙂 Then they would only be in the way.

              Like; The only reason you would ever want to write something down to remember it is because you are unable to remember it. The only reason you would need a tool like a telephone to talk to someone is because you are not perfect in your telepathy etc.

          3. Well, I wear glasses with thick lenses.

            However, some people seem to be unaware that they have lenses on.

          4. Valkov makes an excellent point. An external crutch may help one fuction better, but if one is not aware of that crutch, then one is obviously identifying with that crutch. That crutch has become a part of him. On the other hand, “functioning better” is a scene that is an extension of one’s desire. In a sense, DESIRE + CRUTCH + UNAWARENESS OF THAT CRUTCH = BEINGNESS.

            Can “beingness” be a crutch of sorts? Can this whole body be a crutch of sorts? Can this whole universe be a crutch of sorts? That is an interesting direction to contemplate in.


          5. Oddly enough, if you want to remember some things, the easiest way to do it is to write them down. Chances are you will remember most of the list without having to look at it. The act(effort) of writing them down removes the effort from your mind, where it does not belong. If you don’t write things down, you may find yourself “trying to remember”.

  15. “The domain of science covers what can be objectively falsified.

    The domain of religion covers what can be only subjectively falsified.” (Geir)

    The pairing of these statements just — bothers me.

    I can easily grant that the first statement is largely true (for me) though would be ‘more true’ if the word ‘theoretically’ was parenthetically inserted prior to the word, “be.” “The domain of science covers what can (theoretically) be objectively falsified.” (I’ve read of hypotheses that remain ‘scientific’ even though they cannot _currently_ be falsified given the present state of our technology, wealth, or knowledge.)

    And, while I’ve have doubts about the truth of the second statement, what really bothers me is that by pairing them one gets the impression that they should be treated as statements of comparable magnitude — as though science and religion are of similar value but simply have dissimilar domains.

    Full disclosure, here: I was raised as a Baptist by a Baptist preacher and quietly became an atheist by about age 12. I never did like the idea of Scientology becoming a religion; I much preferred the, “knowing how to know” bit and, grudgingly, accepted the religious assertion as a, presumably necessary, ‘shore story.’ (Grumble.)

    It may be that the greatest failure of Scientology was to let the ‘shore story’ wax and the “knowing how to know” bit wane.

    Science and religion and philosophy and marketing and war and much else are about generating agreements with others. Both as human beings and as thetans, we like for others to agree with us. And, because we are inclined to join groups, we have a generous tendency to agree with others within the groups we join.

    IF reality is/was created as it is, by a group of us forming agreements, some dim recollection of that ability may be why so many of us are still so ready to believe that what we agree upon with others is, ipso facto, true.

    Science, as a professional game, involves both players who are able to make statements that can be (theoretically) objectively falsified, the theorists, and it involves other players, the experimentalists, who assiduously attempt to falsify the statements made by the theorists. Occasionally we have switch hitters — those who are both theorists and experimentalists. The game of Science, though great fun for many players, would be largely irrelevant to the mundane world were it not for the clever engineers (playing the Technology game) who manage to actually do worthwhile things with the body of ‘scientific’ statements that (as yet) have not been falsified. The synergy between the game of Science and the game of Technology has been — wonderful and splendidly productive.

    It may be true that, eventually, the players of the game of Science will zero in on the ultimate nature of reality. On the other hand, it might be that the very nature of the Science game will preclude that result.

    IF what we perceive as ‘reality’ is fundamentally a set of agreements we thetans have collectively made, it may not.

    The various religious games, in contrast, have been — dismally productive. At best, they _may_ be, largely, the feeble attempts of very weakened beings to create a reality when they no longer recall how it’s actually done.

    Science, then, might be described as the (perhaps feeble) attempt to discern the agreements that constitute our shared reality and the various religions described as (perhaps feeble) attempts to create a new reality. 🙂

    It might be claimed that both Science and the various religions seek to define what is true. Science does this by ‘allowing’ a lot of people to propose statements which might be true (hypotheses) and then by encouraging a lot of people to (try to) prove those statements to be wrong. Many, even most, of those statements are, indeed, proven false. Those statements that survive this winnowing process are not then considered, true; it’s just that they’re considered more likely to be true than those statements which have not yet been seriously ‘tested.’ They’re ‘workable’ don’tcha know? Religions generally just seek (or require) agreement and ban, punish, or discourage disagreement.

    Religions require ‘belief’; Science requires disbelief.

    And, of course, (as practiced) religion bad; science good. 🙂

    (Actually, I do acknowledge that some things called a religion, might better be described as a philosophy or, more simply, guidelines for living a ‘good’ life.)

    Is it even possible to address the question, “How do I create a reality,” with science? (By ‘reality,’ I’m talking about universes, pocket universes, or parallel dimensions here.) Perhaps it can; at least, so far as it is possible to (objectively?) discern whether you’ve succeeded or not. At heart, science is about discovering the rules of this (or perhaps any) reality. Might be it could be extended to discovering the ‘rules’ of creating a reality. In which case, it might actually succeed in altogether supplanting todays ‘feeble’ religions.


  16. I received the following in my email:

    Christianity ….One Christ, One Bible, One Religion…
    But the Latin Catholic will not enter a Syrian Catholic Church.
    These two will not enter the Marthoma Church .
    These three will not enter the Pentecost Church .
    These four will not enter the Salvation Army Church .
    These five will not enter the Seventh Day Adventist Church .
    These six will not enter a Orthodox Church.
    These seven will not enter a Jacobite church.
    There are 146 divisions in Kerala, India, alone for Christians,
    each will never share their churches for fellow Christians!
    One Jesus Christ, One Bible, One God???

    Muslims..! One Allah, One Quran, One Prophet….! Great unity?
    Among Muslims, Shias and Sunnis kill each other in all the Muslim countries.
    Religious riots in most Muslim countries is always between these two sects.
    The Shia will not go to the Sunni Mosque.
    These two will not go to the Ahmadiya Mosque.
    These three will not go to Sufi places of worship.
    It appears there are 13 divisions amongst Muslims.
    Killing / bombing/conquering/ .. each other !
    The American attack on Iraq was fully supported by all the Muslim countries surrounding Iraq !
    One Allah, One Quran, One Prophet..?

    Hindus –
    They have 1,280 basic religious texts, 10,000 Commentaries,
    more than one lakh sub-commentaries for these foundation books,
    Hundreds of dieties and forms of numerous Gods,
    innumerable Aacharyas, thousands of Rishies,
    And, Hindus speak hundreds of languages.
    Still, all of them go to All the TEMPLES.
    Think about this !!!

    I think that when beingness is considered to be the ultimate reality, conflicting ideas can about that ultimate reality. But when the ultimate reality is considered to be unknowable, no conflict exists

    1. Correction:

      I think that when beingness is considered to be the ultimate reality, conflicting ideas may be entertained about that ultimate reality. But when the ultimate reality is considered to be unknowable, the possibility of conflict at this fundamental level vanishes.


  17. Here are some musings:

    “Waves out there in infinte variations” + “sensory channels” = input to mind in the form of infintely varied electrical impulses.
    “input to mind” + “unconscious programming” = perceptions
    “perceptions” + “semi-conscious desire” = visualizations (thoughts)
    “visualizations” + “conscious desire” = active imagination
    “active imagination” + “belief” = fixed ideas
    “fixed ideas” + “agreement” = universe

    Maybe those “waves out there” and “sensory channels” are also “visualizations” at some more fundamental level.


    1. “Unconscious programming” could be a very fundamental mode of desire.
      “Belief” could be an enforced mode of desire.
      “Agreement” could be a group mode of desire.

      All desire is arbitrary by its nature.


        1. “Who would you say is not tripping?”
          (I have to answer it here because I don’t find the ‘reply’ link under your question.)

          The “who” you’re asking about, is the one science and religion have been trying to discover. I suspect they are both tripping, and that there is no “who” but if I’m a tripper myself, what else can I say…………………….

          1. Again I can’t find the reply link under your last words.

            “That seems to be right!”

            From seeming to being, there can be a great distance 😉

          2. “From seeming to being, there can be a great distance “

            Do you claim to know… or you are just pssing into the wind?


        2. (Again no reply link under your last answer.)

          You said: “Do you claim to know… or you are just passing into the wind?”

          Maybe who knows doesn’t need to claim it but may opt to share it. Or not. And I am not even saying it’s my case.

          And does that really matter, anyway?

          Let the wind carry it…

      1. A person who is not tripping would focus on what is being said.

        A person who is tripping would be interested in all kind of irrelevant stuff, such as, who is saying it.


      2. Just expressing, “I disagree” only focuses on the “I” and does not contribute to the subject being discussed.

        Actually, it is a display of self-centredness.


  18. According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary,

    A BASIC definition of Religion is :
    “A set of beliefs concerning the Cause, Nature, and Purpose of the Universe.”

    A BASIC definition of Science is :
    “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or
    “knowledge covering general truths of the Operation of General Laws.”

    Looks to me like two view points of the same Subject.

    If you ADD what MAN has used these two subjects for in the past or what they do with these subjects, then you might be looking at them with the wrong LENS.
    The subjects itself are linked through the study of what is around us or within us or even what this US ( You, me, them ) are. The fact that religion might come to slightly different view to science does not mean there is no bridge between them.
    You find by studying the subject of religion you have to enter the subject of science eventually. And when you study science, it is funny how as you look deeper and deeper into the matter and its organized building structure, the subject of Creator ( Which religion focus`s on ) comes into view.

    Now what the final outcome is, would be defined differently with both subjects but the core of the two are extreme opposites of the same subject. Its like looking at the Chinese Yin/Yang sign. There is a little bit of Yin in the Yang and Yang in the Yin.

    All is linked

    O O

    1. “Looks to me like two view points of the same Subject.”

      And I believe that is where the friction between them comes about.

      With my proposed definitions, there is no need for friction.


  19. The peak of the bridge between them would be the scientist looking for proof of God’s (non-) existence and a religious person experimenting (or not) God’s manifestations.

    Where’s the end of the road?

  20. Funny how pornography shocks so many, but public displays of mental masturbations do not. This is the world that we live in…

  21. The following is an account of where religion bridges into science:


    The best answer to an exam question ever (dont have to become a fan to see)

    The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term.

    The answer by one student was so ‘profound’ that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

    Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

    Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

    2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell,then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?

    If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, ‘It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,’ and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct……leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting ‘Oh my God.’



    1. More seriously, God is one of the oldest scientific theories that were devised. The alternative theory was that of BRAHMA (unknowable). Over the years such theories have been refined. The more educated a person is the more refined theory he or she subscribes to. The less educated a person is the more primitive and cruder theories he may subscribe to.

      Historically, the repository of knowledge has been in the Churches, temples and monasteries because that were the only places where man could contemplate in relative peace. As civilization progressed man gradually had more time to contemplate even in cities.

      Science is a subset of knowledge. Religion started out as the sole purveyor of knowledge and posited the earliest theories. All science has come from those who pursued knowledge as part of their religious activity. I do not see a conflict between Science and Religion. The only conflict that one may point to is to do with out dated theories, and with those who still cling to those theories and who are unwilling to look at inconsistencies and refine their outlook.


  22. Interesting concept, Geir. Here is a thought experiment:

    Subjectively, we all have experienced interaction with other living beings. We have our own perception of our own viewpoint, of ARC with others or the lack of it, of communication and the sensation of being duplicated, and the manifestations of another having duplicated us.

    There is also the observation of life interacting with life on the “3rd flow” or “others to others”.

    So then, if one makes the assumption that the essential part of the person is spiritual, that is, that which is aware and interacting and communicating is basically a spirit, would not the observation one could make watching two people communicating, and seeing the interplay of their affinity, reality and communication be an objective (to the observer) demonstration of the effect spirits are making on each other? If the answer is yes, then doesn’t that make the idea of the existence of spirits at least take a step towards science?

  23. There are at least two main types of religion. One is dependent upon a belief in a mythic or magic dogma. That is certainly what most people mean by religion. Science has pretty thoroughly dismantled the mythic religions. But virtually all the great religions themselves recognize the difference between “exoteric” or outer religion, and “esoteric” or inner religion. Inner religion tends to be more contemplative and mystical and experiential, and less cognitive and conceptual. Science is actually sympathetic with the contemplative traditions in terms of its methodology.Ken Wilber

    True religion is simply looking.


  24. The Western approach to religion is a focus on being (God, soul). The Eastern approach to religion is on knowledge of beingness or existence (Brahma, atman). God and Brahma are not the same thing, nor is soul and atman. The “soul” is treated as a being with a personality. “Atman” is treated as a unit of existence (beingness is basically existence).

    Science focuses on knowledge of beingness or existence. However, the Western science has so far limited itself to the study of physical manifestations. It is not delved into the underlying abstract manifestations.


    1. “It is not delved into the underlying abstract manifestations.”

      Actually, it has. But there is a reluctance by most Western scientists to embrace what has been found under scientific controls, continue to investigate (falsify/verify) it, and still call it “science”. There is a cultural fear of stigmatism that one runs into in the West — and maybe throughout the world — when one attempts to explore the sometimes fleeting manifestations that occur at the boundaries of the subjective and objective, ala “the paranormal”.

      This social stigmatism problem has both improved and gotten worse in the last 15-20 yrs, imo. In the 90s, some of the world’s most hardline skeptics loosened up their anti-paranormal rhetoric (Carl Sagan comes to mind), while the 90s and the internet also gave the extremist hardline skeptics a new platform from which to stigmatize (i.e. insult and denigrate) those scientifically investigating the paranormal.

      Ultimately, though, research funds and thus people choosing careers in the field of paranormal research has remained relatively non-existant. And until that changes, there is not likely going to be a great deal of scientific advancement made at the boundaries of the objective and the subjective, imo.

  25. Knowledge has been expressed through religion and science. Both religion and science start from certain premises and present their theories. The idea of “God” is simply part of a theory.

    Neither Religion nor Science present the actuality. The measure of “actuality” comes from the inherent consistency of a theory with what is observed and experienced. All inconsistencies appear as mysteries.

    Historically, Science has been the child of Religion. The difference between them is probably one of scope and methodology. Religion starts out with taking a comprehensive view of existence. Religion tries to approximate what is out there through visualizations in order to understand existence. It focuses on the consistency among those visualizations.

    Science starts out with focusing on perceptions. Science tries to measure precisely what is perceived through the senses to understand existence. It focuses on the consistency among these perceptions.

    So, the difference between Religion and Science is in their respective approaches of visualizations and perceptions. Please see:



  26. The late evolutionary biologist and science writer Steven Jay Gould coined the term “magesteria” to define a self-contained body of knowledge. He argued that it was generally unproductive to evaluate one magesteria with the terms of another. This was particularly true of science and religion, and led Gould to further define these fields as “non-overlapping magesteria’. I think Gould and Isene would have had some lively and generally compatible discussions.

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