Science and Religion

In the ‘Origin of the Species’ Darwin ends with the sentence:
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”
Its important to note that Darwin never directly points his theory of evolution to agree with atheism and their theory of how life came into existence. In this last sentence, he went as far as to even allude life to being initiated by the Creator. If we think about it there can be many conclusions we could draw from only this statement
First, Darwin had written several other books before 1859 when Origin of Species came out. But this particular book was mainly aimed for the common man – unscientific part of the world. During the 19th century – Christianity was dominant in most of the western world where the book would be published and read. So it would make a lot of sense to attribute existence of God in your work otherwise who would read the book in the Christian world?
Second, he writes in his conclusion, “It may be asked how far I extend the doctrine of the modification of species. The question is difficult to answer…it does not seem incredible that…all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some one primordial form.”
Notice one thing that Darwin never really claimed to know the source of all life. While Darwin tried to postulate that all life may have descended from one original species, he never claims that this species sprang into existence on its own. He did not support the big bang theory. He even said that “I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of any one.” Darwin simply steered clear of the original source – Who/what were the original species. This really begs to conclude that existence of God is outside the scope of Darwin’s work.
I think it would be wrong for anyone to severely censure Darwin’s work for denying the existence of God mainly cause he never really denied that! He may have only done this so as to please the masses he targeted to read his work or he may really believe in existence of God and steered clear of that topic only to please all the readers – the Christian world and the scientific world equally; we may never know about it. But to take a note on this point, we may not be wrong in speculating that Darwin really just wanted to try and answer the question ‘What’ – What really happened and what is the process that went through to give us the life that we see in the present world.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis states:
“But why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes – something of a different kind – this is not a scientific question…The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make.” (Book 1, Chapter 4)
Science follows an observational methodology. This means that it is limited to answering the question ‘What’. It cannot in concept answer the question Why? – because it can only fully be answered by religion. Darwin had always stuck to answering the ‘What’. He observed that species would gradually change over time, and hypothesized that perhaps they would even modify from one species to another over longer periods of time. But he never tried to guess about the original source of all life, because then he would be answering Why life exists. Atheists have since then tried describe the source of all life in the theory of evolution, which really took theory from the realm of science to that of religion. I don’t think Darwin never meant to claim that. At one point, he commented, “My conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection…I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.”
This observation may just be limited to just one brief moment in the long battle of who is right – Science or Religion. Science and religion may really be two sides of the same coin and Science may just eventually prove what religion in reality says – We would eventually know if that is right. But it still begs to point that this brief moment that is widely criticized every time the debate of religion over science grows may just be completely an invalid point to make!


3 thoughts on “Science and Religion

  1. sorry!

    On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM, Khushboo Dedhia wrote:

    > bouncer gaya.. 😛 > > > On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 10:15 PM, Darshan Rambhia <

    • Lol… It simply says that In this view of life there is an incredible power – what Once was just one original species – One creator turned into multiple forms/ or evolved into one form which was more advanced and while the planet earth itself continued to age and follow its fixed law of gravity, the Original species a simple beginning of evolution turned into so many beautiful and wonderful forms of life that we see today!
      I think its one of the most powerful statements in the current context! Gives you a sense of God’s creativity!

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