Are Religion and Science in Conflict? — Science and God

Are Religion and Science in Conflict? — Science and God

Are Religion and Science in Conflict? — Science and God

2018 Posts



Does belief in God get in the way of science? The idea that science and religion are inevitably in conflict is a popular way of thinking today. But the history of science tells a different story.

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Can you believe in God and science at the same time?

So-called “New Atheists” like Richard Dawkins and scientific materialists like Neil deGrasse Tyson certainly don’t think so. To them, religion gets in the way of science. In their view, more science leads to less God. 

This is not a new position. It was first expressed over a hundred years ago by English physician John Draper in a book titled, A History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science.  

Draper, who was deeply influenced by Darwin’s then-new theory of evolution, regarded organized religion as a direct and existential threat to the advancement of science. As he put it “. . . [Religion] and Science are… absolutely incompatible; they cannot exist together…mankind must make its choice—it cannot have both.”

So, are science and religion inevitably in conflict? Have they always been?

Well, not exactly.

In fact, the giants who established modern science—astronomer Johannes Kepler, chemist Robert Boyle, physicist Sir Isaac Newton and others—were deeply religious men. They didn’t see any conflict between science and religion. On the contrary: they thought that by doing science, they were discovering God’s design and revealing it to mankind.

Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Judeo/Christian religious tradition led directly to modern science. 

To back up this claim, Cambridge University historian of science Joseph Needham posed a famous “Why there? Why then?” question.

Why there—in Europe. Why then—in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Why didn’t modern science start somewhere else before then?

After all, the Egyptians erected pyramids. 

The Chinese invented the compass, block-printing, and gunpowder. 

Romans built marvelous roads and aqueducts. 

The Greeks had great philosophers. 

Yet none of these cultures developed the systematic methods for investigating nature that arose in Western Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.

This realization led Needham and other historians of science such as Ian Barbour and Herbert Butterfield to look for some other “X factor” to explain why “the scientific revolution” occurred where and when it did. 

Here is the conclusion they reached:  

Only the Judeo-Christian West had the necessary “intellectual presuppositions” to enable “the rise of science.”  

So, what were those presuppositions?

We can identify three. All find their origin in the Judeo-Christian idea of a Creator God who fashioned an ordered universe.  

First, the founders of modern science assumed the intelligibility of nature—that nature had been designed by the mind of a rational God, the same God who also made the rational minds of human beings. 

Thus, these men assumed that if they used their minds to carefully study nature, they could understand the order and design that God had placed in the world.

Second, they assumed an underlying order in nature. 

This was best expressed by philosopher Alfred North Whitehead who argued, “There can be no living science unless there is a widespread instinctive conviction in the . . . Order of Nature”—a conviction he attributed to belief in “the rationality of God.”

This idea led to the unprecedented use of mathematics to describe the orderly processes at work in the world, and inspired the invention of better instruments, such as telescopes and microscopes, to see that order.

And third, these founders of modern science presupposed the contingency of nature. This simply means that God had many choices about how to make an orderly world.

Just as there are many ways to design a clock, there were many ways that God could have designed the universe. To discover how He did, scientists could not merely deduce the order of nature by assuming what seemed most logical to them; that is, merely using reason alone to draw conclusions, as the Greek philosophers had tried to do. 

For the complete script as well as FACTS & SOURCES, visit


33 thoughts on “Are Religion and Science in Conflict? — Science and God

  1. Trisha Lynn

    Not for me it isn't. View them as separate matters; Religion is a mystery, science is a fact. One involves hope, faith, salvation; the other truth, reality, morality.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  2. Thomas Paine

    As a Deist science will prove God and also prove religion is a lie !

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  3. Side Wire

    Christians still mad that they lost the evolution debate

    If all of the religious scientist from over a hundred years ago came back to life with all the information we have now like, evolution, modern astronomy and cells they would at least be agnostic

    Hell Abraham Lincoln was a diest which was pretty much the closest thing to an athiest without getting killed or persecuted for it

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  4. Dee Kay

    West is still living church's propoganda.. Oldest and most scientific civilisation ever there is Indian civilisation.. Its called Vedic sanatan Dharma.. What west discovered in 1600-1700.. We always knew most things about entire cosmos

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  5. jimUkay

    I was hoping we could find the reason why everything came into existence without violating the 1st and 2and law of thermodynamics. Hadn't got the answer for this.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  6. slab largemeat

    Science and religion are in conflict when they provide competing claims about reality.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  7. I love how it feels to get a little more 👍

    Been saying this since I was 13

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  8. MMaximuSS1975

    Just think. Atheism could be falsified with one single piece of empirical evidence. Thousands of years later you religious folks still have zero. Only empty threats like "You'll see when you're dead."
    Um no. You're the one who's gonna regret wasting your life as your eyes shut one last time.
    This is why Thomas Aquinas was a long winded idiot. Hence why philosophers mocked theistic thinking with questions like "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  9. MMaximuSS1975

    Somebody at Prager. Name one single time religion trumped science or philosophical naturalism anytime ever at explaining ANYTHING. Just one.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  10. MMaximuSS1975

    God is not just a very, very stupid idea, but also impossible. One must believe a fully formed omnipotent consciousness existed before there was anything to make itself out of.
    Like I said before. Religion and God beliefs are a mental disorder.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  11. pauldebanfe

    This guy is hugely exaggerating the nature of the beliefs of modern scientists. I empathize with trying to see the humanity in science, but Newton and other enlightenment thinkers were deists at most.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  12. Wesley Wright

    The Religion of Progressvsim Socialism is Anti Science. For instance, Biology and God said there is man and woman and Progressivism says man can become woman. Haha 🤣 lol.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  13. doctor man

    I liked this video just so I can unlike

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  14. Lucas Johnson

    On a related note, another great evidence for God's existence is how universal the belief in Him is; every ancient culture worshipped God in some form. Why is this? If God doesn't exist, why do all the roots of humanity suggest otherwise? Why was there never any ancient culture that denied his existence? Wouldn't at least one or two societies have declined to believe in things they could not see? In other words, why was there never a purely materialistic civilization in human history?
    To the arrogant modern atheist, this is simply because people back then were just backwards or less intelligent. Such a point of view is myopic and born of hubris rather than logic. It seems a far more logical conclusion that the countless generations of people who have sensed the divine presence throughout their lives did so because something beyond their physical senses compelled them to. An innate attraction to a former glory permeates the human psyche, a sense that even atheists cannot deny exists. But while atheists make a conscious effort to write off such feelings as mere biological impulses, those who embrace and investigate the divine spark within themselves tend to discover a far wider and deeper pool of spiritual knowledge and source material than any earthly impulse can explain. Indeed, God has taken many forms in human history, but those who have worshipped Him have done so not from a place if ignorance, but rather from a place of enlightenment.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  15. חֶסֶד

    I think a lot of the current viewpoint comes from the conflict between the Church and early Scientists. The view is that the Church tried to shut down certain points of view and discoveries. This, I think, has lead to the idea that Christians are closed minded to Scientific discovery.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  16. Frank Anon

    When I think of the conflict between science and religion, the biggest one that comes to mind is the Bible has the earth as being around 7,500 years old or thereabouts and scientists have it at millions of years old. That's a big gap. Both sides have their defenses

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  17. Rafael Bocanegra

    Religion and science are not at odds God created everything and everything belong to him,so,whatever man thinks is of no consequence

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  18. jaime torres

    Religion and Science are in TOTAL conflict

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  19. Hasib Rahman

    As the topic here is about science and religion, this guy very cunningly didn't utter a single muslim scientist name or their contributions. Well why am I expecting that! It's an Islamophobic channel we all know.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  20. Sam MO

    Wow 😂 the time when Christianity took over Europe is known as the dark ages, Science existed everywhere, it was developed by Europeans but they themselves took their knowledges from Polytheist Greeks and Romans who they took it from Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant… they even took it from Muslims who took it from Persians. The west was not Judeo-Christian, don't put yourself in one position with jews.. Europe hated (and still hates) them, Jews don't agree with Christianity, you are not the same.. the bottom line of this video is trying to say (white christians invented science) which is not true.. they did contribute but what do you expect from Polytheists for example ? They were already massacred in Europe

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  21. ajmittendorf

    Really cool! Thank You, PragerU!

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply

    Nope, not in conflict, just expect debate (where you may end up ridiculed) if you bring up your god in a science class courtesy of atheists such as myself. So, keep it a church, pray where I don't see you (as described in Matthew 6:6), and we are all good.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  23. Pal Tomori

    There is 0 evidence, that the universe is designed by something. However, we have a lot of evidence for natural selection, what means that complex things evolve from simple things without a plan.
    Religion is a set of lies. Science is a constant search for the truth.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  24. Rev. Stephen A. Cakouros

    As tempting as it is for me, a committed evangelical to go along with this video I must disagree with its basic premise. The video makes short shrift of the Pre-Socratics who presupposed the order of the cosmos; who realized early on that that unless the cosmos was designed along rational lines they could not understand it. This is why the Greeks after much debate chose the Pelasagian word THEOS for God, which highlights not the power of God, but the ability of God to design an orderly universe.

    Where does Christianity fit in the picture? Christianity sees no conflict with science if and when scientists admit that nothing in the empirical world can be used to prove that the world could not have come from a Creator God. A scientist can say that there simply cannot be a God but to take such a position requires a leap of faith, because nothing in the on hand data would suggest or prove such an assertion. Indeed, the data points to a Creator God.

    Note: The reason why people are atheists is they do not wish to answer to a higher power.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  25. X X

    The more I had learned about science, the more obvious has been the existence of God.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  26. Invasion_of_the_body_snatchers

    The compass 🧭 was a Viking invention

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  27. wdd3141

    My own view is that God created the universe, and He used the laws of physics to do it.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  28. Harry Macdonald

    We need to be careful here.
    Anyone who is trying to suggest that there is a conflict, whether they claim to do so from an atheist point of view or from a Christian one is doing so for a reason and that reason may not always be helpful.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  29. massey3129

    The “science” i see today is almost comical and the farthest thing from science. See Fauci and CDC and WHO for examples.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  30. Camden Sprague

    Science is actually in the Bible. Evolution is the problem which is not science. Science is what we actually know not what we think or speculate to be true, but what is actually true. Paul wrote to Timothy about this(i think it was Timothy maybe it was Peter….?) Anyway Paul wrote "to be aware of vain babblings or science falsely so called" evolution is exactly that, falsely so called science. I believe it to be a religion on itself. You have to believe you came from a rock, if talking from a biological standing. Theres like 6 other types of evolution too. The only type that fits is micro evolution(terrible name)which is what we actually observe and can test and can demonstrate. It is the variance of kinds or species if you will. We can see many different types of birds fish reptiles frogs monkeys etc but they are and will always be a bird fish reptile frog monkey etc. No matter the size color or amount of hair or beak thickness. They will only produce after their own kindspecies. They use this fact to distort the rest.The moment a scientistsmart indoctrinated person says that an amoeba changed from an amoeba into a sea sponge or the sea sponge changed into a fish which in turn changed into a monkey and then a human. That scientist just left realityscience or teaching and is now preaching their religion. Considering themselves to be wise they became fools. Majority opinion is not fact and is not science. Science like the video states is what we can actually observe test and demonstrate. So be careful out there and dont be fooled. Its important to remember when man is explaining things to eat the meat and spit out the bones or you may find yourself choking. We are very fallable and the heart is easily deceived, who could know it? Stick with Jesus and all will be right. Science is real and so is God. God bless 🙏

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  31. positron haberdashery

    Judeo Christian cuz you know it was the Palestinians who did the Holocaust to the Jews

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  32. Botond Kalocsai

    So I really do not understand the basis of the claims of these anti-teist scientist that sciencie is inherently in conflict with religion. Science is just a method to obtain knowledge. Of course one can criticize the the method of the obtainment of the religious statements / considerations from a scientific standpoint, rightously.
    Apart from that, if religion do not gets in the way of science and individual liberty, then it cannot cause harm. They should not be so though on religious interpretation which does not gets in the way of science and individual liberty.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply
  33. Chris H

    I’ve found that true science always confirms the Bible. Sometimes it takes a few decades or even centuries for this to occur, but true science, that is actually looking for the truth, will always confirm the Word of God. What is called “science” today has been so perverted and politicized (that was redundant!) that it no longer resembles the search for truth that science once was and was meant to be.

    January 5, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply

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