How can you believe in Christianity when Science answers all of our questions now?
From what we hear in the media and over social networking, it seems as though religion is no longer needed to answer those big questions of life. Over the last twenty years or so especially, there has developed a scientism that argues that we can only discern the truth through the scientific method.
Now, at first this may seem like a pretty reasonable assessment! After all, the knowledge gained from the scientific method does provide a type of truth. The scientific method provides a physical description of the universe. Through experiments and rigorous hypothesising and testing, science has provided many answers for many of the natural processes that occur in the very diverse universe we live in. We should also continue to look to science to provide answers for question in this field of how nature works.
Science asks and can get answers for the ‘Hows’ and the ‘Whats’, however, science is also limited in the sorts of questions it can answer. Science can have no answer when it comes to the ‘Whys’ and the questions of purpose in the universe, as these are questions that will not have answers in the physical natural world.
This is where philosophers and theologians have done the bulk of their work throughout history. Questions like “What is the meaning of life?”, “What is my purpose?” or “What is my responsibility to those around me?” have always been and will continue to be the domain of the philosophers and theologians.
So rather than the battle being described as Science and Religion pitted against each other, the actual scenario is that they describe different aspects of reality. Now this does not mean that both those speaking from science and those speaking from religion have not made claims that tread further than their area of expertise as it were. That has happened in some cases and in most cases we should keep that to a minimum because it is best to use the right tool for a job and both Science and Religion have different jobs.
One final note is a specifically Catholic point of view. As Catholics we believe God to be the author of creation as well as the provider of moral and philosophical truth. If these two things are true, the two can also never be in conflict. So rather than to be afraid of what scientific claims may arise in the future about the nature of the universe, Catholics should rejoice when new scientific evidence arises as it means we are a little bit closer to understanding the universe that God created!