On the face of it, Religion and Science seem to be at the opposite end of a spectrum of beliefs. While science prides itself on hard facts and observable events, religion asks us to trust in the unseen, believe in the unknown and in general take everything on mere faith.
So, is it possible these two can co-exist peacefully?
Historically, we have seen hundreds of incidents where scientific thinkers were persecuted by the Church, religious rulers and other believers. For example, the Church threatened Galileo with punishment unless he recanted some of his theories. While the Church was not really against science, some popes wanted to ensure the common folks look only towards the Church and no one else. So passed hard rulings against certain scientific discoveries of the middle ages.
This kind of conflict was common in the west and in the Middle East. In the East, especially in India and China, science and religion have always walked the path with little conflict. Many of the Indian sages were great mathematicians and astronomers who could calculate the trajectory of planets bodies that were not visible to the naked eye. Even to this day, the scientists who launch the satellites visit the local temple and pray for success before each mission.
In most of Europe and Americas except for minor skirmishes caused by the far right, religion and science peacefully co-exist. But in the Land of Opportunity, i.e. the United States, cult-like religious ministries are exploiting people’s faith to make a quick buck and science is their favourite boogeyman.
It is easy for science and religion to coexist if people realise that some matters are up to faith while others are up to the facts. Praying for the sick is ok, but hospitals are a better option. There is no need to use one as a replacement for the other.