SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- Religion, it appears, isn’t helping science.
That’s the findings of new research by Princeton economist Roland Benabou and his two co-workers, which found that countries with a higher number of religious believers create less scientific and technological innovation.
But religion has always played an important role in science. People have always looked to the stars for answers, which has led secularists and thinkers alike to contemplate what truly influences the world.
Some religions — like Islam and Christianity — directly reference other planets and the cosmos. Experts told Deseret News National back in 2013 that the Bible itself references the heavens and the Earth, showing that heaven is something otherworldly.
And back in the 17th century, many people felt as though the existence of other planets and beings was a sign of God’s power and dominion, although that idea has changed over time, said Matt Stanley, a professor at New York University, to DN National.
“There’s a sense that anything else than a universe beaming with life is an insult to glory of the God,” Stanley told the National. “It’s an ever-changing thing because new discoveries are and have shaped different cosmologies.”
This led scientists to take a larger look at the stars in an attempt to figure out life’s origins.
Science’s explanation for the start of the universe is usually written under the guise of “The Big Bang” — a theory that contests the universe started when a giant explosion caused the universe to expand and start life.
Americans aren’t completely sold on that theory though, as 51 percent of people said they were “not too confident” or “not confident at all” in the big bang being the catalyst for life’s creation, according to an AP/GFK poll.
One of the reasons for the disapproval of the theory by the American public is because Americans don’t want to discount their faith.
But new research has pointed towards religion and faith needing to work together in order to find out where life began and where it’ll go in the future. A new survey found that many Americans believe religion and science can work together on a variety of issues, and shouldn’t be battling each other all for the sake of trying to help people with their lives.
In fact, the study found that 18 percent of scientists attend weekly religious services, which is just below the 20 percent of general Americans who check in to church. And 15 percent of scientists would consider themselves religious, the study found.
“This is a hopeful message for science policymakers and educators, because the two groups don’t have to approach religion with an attitude of combat,” sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund said in a press release. “Rather, they should approach it with collaboration in mind.”
That collaboration may have already happened with the theory of theistic evolution, where God and natural selection worked together to give life its start. This was seen prominently in the film “Noah,” according to JJ Feinaur in an article for Deseret News National.
“Not to be confused with creationism or intelligent design, which both argue that natural selection cannot explain the creation of man or the Earth, theistic evolution generally accepts the scientific theory of evolution as the means by which God created life, though not all accept every part of Darwin’s theories equally,” Feinaur wrote.
This is just one way that science and religion have begun to work together. And though scientists are still concerned with working with religion, there’s plenty of room for the two to side together — especially as they fight for a common purpose.
“People bent on science-religion conflict are picking the wrong battle,” Dr. Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told The Huffington Post. “The real battle is against the daunting challenges facing the future of humanity, and regardless of our religious views, we’re all better off fighting this battle united.”