One would think that scientific discoveries supporting evolutionary theory would have put to rest the question of whether science has defeated religion. Yet, a question mark remains over what answers the “how” versus “why” questions of life. Science asks “how” and religion asks “why.”
Colin Blakemore discusses this issue in an article published in the UK Guardian-Observer, Science is just one gene away from defeating religion. Blakemore describes how “Crick and Watson’s discovery transformed our view of life itself – from a manifestation of spiritual magic to a chemical process.” This is surely a “checkmate” in the “metaphysical chess match between science and religion.”
Religion continues to go unchallenged because of the notion that there are two questions, “how” and “why.” The answer to the “why” questions might be as simple as Blakemore points out: “Either they make no sense or they can be recast as the kind of “how” questions that science answers so well.”
The appeal of religion is that it gives definitive answers whereas science cannot do that. Definitive answers provide a source of comfort because no more questions need answering. Science answers questions with more questions and requires us to think. Freedom of thought is a burden. Religion alleviates that burden.
Colin Blakemore presents the UK Channel 4 television series God and the Scientists.