Non-overlapping Magisteria???

Ok – I suspect that the majority of you, like me, are thinking… What’s that about!

Religion and Science have long debated where each belongs in relation to the other. It can be a very hot subject – I sometimes wonder if either community is capable of reasoned discussion when pitted against each other 😦 So, the Non-Overlapping Magisteria view is that each has its own field of influence and that ne’er the twain shall meet. I don’t doubt that I’ve got that wrong… There will have been an agreement somewhere that invalidates it πŸ˜‰

All very nice but, I’m a Christian and I believe that Science has its place in explaining our world. I don’t see it as a challenge to my beliefs, rather a clarification of understanding. Much that I have read in scientific discovery suggests that there is a controlling influence somewhere. So where is the problem in bringing science into our churches as a means of explaining the world? It lies, sadly, with individuals. Athiests like the high profile Richard Dawkins, as an example, who will claim that there is no God but do so from the stance that it’s ok for science to extrapolate from evidence but not ok for religion to do the same. Equally, it comes from those who in the face of all the evidence of the fossil record insist on Biblical creation.

It’s ironic too, isn’t it, that some of the great early scientific discoveries were made by Muslims and Hindus… Clearly all human religions are favoured by ‘their God’ to make key discoveries… Even that could be construed as evidence that there may be an overall controlling influence! The mere fact that we describe our interpretation of God differently doesn’t mean that our God’s are different beings – in much the same way that our understanding of scientific principles does not differ, just the way that we like to put across our ideas!

So where is there no overlap? Religion and science have to embrace each other, even if at arms length. Believing in the Higgs Boson was a matter of faith, so even scientists have faith, it’s just that some of them have yet to discover it πŸ˜‰ I look forward to a 2013 where I hope that there will be a more open debate between Human beings of all faiths, creeds, and scientific beliefs. And if it provides the first steps towards peace on our planet, that would be a great thing!



  1. absolutely, more openness and receptivity to new ideas on all sides, with peace inevitable once we put aside those absolutes! well said martin πŸ˜€

  2. Happy New Year Martin ,More power to you for 2013 my friend πŸ™‚

  3. Well said my friend,, openness is good but not often happens in this subject..and happy new year to you..:)

  4. I never understand the view of some that it has to be completely one way or another with no middle ground tolerated by either side. I agree with your statement Martin “I don’t see it as a challenge to my beliefs, rather a clarification of understanding”.

  5. With good will, everything is possible.
    Without good will, nothing is possible.
    So it doesn’t depend on “science” or “religion”, which are abstracts anyway.
    It depends on each and every one of us. It is we who are science, we who are religion, we are God in the world (no, not blasphemy at all,):
    “Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.”
    Gerard Manley Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire. Should be obligatory reading.

    • I’ll dig that one out Judith – thanks for bringing it to the table πŸ™‚ Not sure that Science can be called abstract since it is the study of the world around us. Certainly, hypothetical questions are abstract. But the study of the behaviour of Pigeons or Planets deals with the real world. I would agree that religion, in whatever form we choose it, comes from within us. We formulate our beliefs through a mix of guidance from others and our own interpretations. And Good will is definitely a prerequisite of moving towards a peaceful world.

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