The Student Room Group

Science and religion

Should a person who is religious / spiritual in nature study a science like physics and not worry about proving their view of / existence of god through science or will science always cause a conflict between religion and should be avoided by such individuals and they should go with philosophy , theology instead? .
Those like Einstein , Tesla and Hawking have studied physics but haven’t denied god’s existence for example

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Original post by _np02_
Should a person who is religious / spiritual in nature study a science like physics and not worry about proving their view of / existence of god through science or will science always cause a conflict between religion and should be avoided by such individuals and they should go with philosophy , theology instead? .
Those like Einstein , Tesla and Hawking have studied physics but haven’t denied god’s existence for example

There is no problem with this, I’m a Muslim who studies Physics and Chemistry for A - Level and there is little to no contradictions between theology and the curriculum. Of course if there is you can take this as a test and not let your faith be moved by these things.

Philosophy and theology are good to study in your own time but STEM subjects can often open a broader career path.
Original post by _np02_
Should a person who is religious / spiritual in nature study a science like physics and not worry about proving their view of / existence of god through science or will science always cause a conflict between religion and should be avoided by such individuals and they should go with philosophy , theology instead? .
Those like Einstein , Tesla and Hawking have studied physics but haven’t denied god’s existence for example


There are far more scientists who have practiced religion or some faith than not. Many have contributed greatly to science.

Albertus Magnus is considered a patron saint of (natural ) sciences. Georges Lemaitre coined or is considered as "father" to big bang theory. Stanley Jaki is known for his studies in physics. However, some are not recognized for direct contributions to sciences as some tie religion into their studies. this is not always to proove God but help highlight that faith is not a barrier to science. Science is not a barrier to faith.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 3
Original post by _np02_
Those like Einstein , Tesla and Hawking have studied physics but haven’t denied god’s existence for example

Yes they did, in different ways.
Einstein rejected the idea of the god of religion. He thought of nature as "god".
Tesla believed in a universal "force" but not a religious god.
Hawking explicitly rejected the concept of god.
There are plenty of religious scientists
I wouldn’t consider Tesla rejecting a religious god. The definition of God really is just a universal power who maintains order which is what you’re saying he believed in anyway.
Original post by WADR
Yes they did, in different ways.
Einstein rejected the idea of the god of religion. He thought of nature as "god".
Tesla believed in a universal "force" but not a religious god.
Hawking explicitly rejected the concept of god.
I think unless you have a really strict religious belief (like not believing in evolution type of thing), studying science would be no problem! I did religious studies and science A levels, and it was really cool and surprising how they could interlink
Reply 7
Original post by raufkhw21
I wouldn’t consider Tesla rejecting a religious god. The definition of God really is just a universal power who maintains order which is what you’re saying he believed in anyway.

Tesla didn't believe in a "who" who controlled everything.
Gravity could be described as a universal power that maintains order.
Plenty of scientists throughout history and in modernity are religious. The major area where the two clash is usually in the biosciences due to religious issues with evolution.
Yes but a force like gravity doesn't have a will, it can't choose to start things off. For the universe to begin something with a will must have started it off. An entity that has the power to bestow and maintain order and also has a will can only be described as a divine force or God.



Original post by WADR
Tesla didn't believe in a "who" who controlled everything.
Gravity could be described as a universal power that maintains order.
Original post by _np02_
Should a person who is religious / spiritual in nature study a science like physics and not worry about proving their view of / existence of god through science or will science always cause a conflict between religion and should be avoided by such individuals and they should go with philosophy , theology instead? .
Those like Einstein , Tesla and Hawking have studied physics but haven’t denied god’s existence for example


I personally see no big issues with it. Whatever people find out and whatever they learnt, they can't prove the existence or non-existence of a god at 100%. Uncertainty always remains.
Reply 11
Original post by raufkhw21
Yes but a force like gravity doesn't have a will, it can't choose to start things off. For the universe to begin something with a will must have started it off. An entity that has the power to bestow and maintain order and also has a will can only be described as a divine force or God.

That's the point. Tesla did not believe in a conscious entity like that. The god of religion. Such an entity is not required for any known explanation, and there is no evidence that such a thing exists. So it is unreasonable and irrational to insist that one is necessary, and does exist.
Anyway, this is turning into debate which is forbidden in F&S.
Original post by SupposedlyIronic
There are plenty of religious scientists


And was in the past. As far as I know Newton was a religious person who believed in the existence of god. Just to name one.
It's worth noting that studying philosophy and/or theology (at uni level, at least) can have just as much of a 'detrimental/damaging' impact to one's personal faith, as the OP seems to assume that studying science might. My friend came out of her theology degree a complete mess tbh (though she and I would both say she's a better person - and a better Christian - for it) :erm:
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
It's worth noting that studying philosophy and/or theology (at uni level, at least) can have just as much of a 'detrimental/damaging' impact to one's personal faith, as the OP seems to assume that studying science might. My friend came out of her theology degree a complete mess tbh (though she and I would both say she's a better person - and a better Christian - for it) :erm:

Do you mean "mess" like she was confused and disturbed?
Reply 15
Original post by Kallisto
And was in the past. As far as I know Newton was a religious person who believed in the existence of god. Just to name one.

Newton believed in alchemy. So what? His scientific achievements don't make alchemy any less ridiculous.
The key issue is that in the past, everyone was religious by default, and even if they weren't they would likely pretend they were to avoid the hassle. Now that religious observance is no longer required there are far fewer religious scientists. Over 90% of members of the Royal Society and the American Academy of Science are atheists. It seems that the the more a person understands science, the less likely they are to be religious. Coincidence? Who knows.
Reply 16
Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd
It's worth noting that studying philosophy and/or theology (at uni level, at least) can have just as much of a 'detrimental/damaging' impact to one's personal faith, as the OP seems to assume that studying science might. My friend came out of her theology degree a complete mess tbh (though she and I would both say she's a better person - and a better Christian - for it) :erm:

Indeed. Many religious people are woefully uninformed about the religion they follow. And the stuff they don't know tends to be the more unacceptable stuff. And sometimes what they do know doesn't actually have a sound basis in scripture.
Original post by WADR
Newton believed in alchemy. So what? His scientific achievements don't make alchemy any less ridiculous.
The key issue is that in the past, everyone was religious by default, and even if they weren't they would likely pretend they were to avoid the hassle. Now that religious observance is no longer required there are far fewer religious scientists. Over 90% of members of the Royal Society and the American Academy of Science are atheists. It seems that the the more a person understands science, the less likely they are to be religious. Coincidence? Who knows.


It stands to reason that the more the people grasp, the better their understanding is and doubt in the faith of god. These doubts and the courage to scrutinize religious imaginations in society led to a co-existence of religious and non-religious people.

I have just shown up that there is no contradictions being a scientist and a religious person at the same time. Both in the past and still in presence.
Reply 18
Original post by Kallisto
It stands to reason that the more the people grasp, the better their understanding is and doubt in the faith of god. These doubts and the courage to scrutinize religious imaginations in society led to a co-existence of religious and non-religious people.

I have just shown up that there is no contradictions being a scientist and a religious person at the same time. Both in the past and still in presence.

Scientists being religious and religious people being scientists does not mean that there is no contradiction between the fields of religion and science. It merely means that those people have a way of reconciling any contradiction.

For example, a biologist who believes in creationism. Those two fields are inherently contradictory, so they are compromising either their scientific knowledge or religious belief.
Original post by da_nolo
Do you mean "mess" like she was confused and disturbed?


Yeah she was a completely broken person after it!

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