Editorial: Of Religion and Science: Thanks to Charles

  • post Type / Young Humanists International
  • Date / 2 March 2009

Man, according to the Sophist, Protagoras of Abdera, is the measure of all things; of things that are that they are and of things that are not that they are not. Obviously as humans we originate, mould and shape all that are in the world: idea and physical.

Religions, science, among others, are all inventions of man. While the former is created out of the ‘fear for the unknown’, or in the course of unraveling the ‘primal substance’ as the philosophers called it, the latter is a product of man’s desire to explore and exploit the world to our maximum benefit. Both efforts are nothing but mere attempts at explaining and proffering solutions to ‘mysteries’ of life.

Take for instance, while growing up, the observation that its gets dark at night and brightens in the day can move a child to ask the father or mother: “Who is playing with the light?” or “who makes it dark at night and brightens the world during the day?” Now it depends on the belief of the parents to ‘attempt to explain’ the seeming mystery to the child. Whichever of the explanations is offered surely has an opposite: if it is scientific explanation, then the religious explanation is neglected somehow, and vice versa. If it is the religious explanation, then the child will with time, just as Galileo did, grow to discover that the world has a better explanation than being flat but spherical” (which means that the child will with time discover that the parents have done him/her the greatest disservice by offering him/her only their microscopic mirror of life). Nothing disgusts a child more than this.

So, compatible or not, antithetical or progressively agreeable, what is of utmost important is that both science and religion offer alternatives in the explanation of the origin and even our continued existence on the planet earth. Both obviously cannot be right, most especially if one considers the dark past of religion when futile attempts were made to stall the growth of science; for one, science, is essentially based on verifiable fact, cross-checkable anywhere and everywhere in the world, once the same or similar condition are provided; while the other, religion, is based or premised essentially on revelation.

Again if one considers the fact that there have been recent ‘mad rush’ to use scientific explanations in explaining religious positions, one will not be wrong in concluding that the religious citizens of the world have come to agreement with their science oriented counterpart that science offers better explanation of the world realities.

For offering the world the ability to explore other alternative to the creationist explanations of the origin of the world, this edition of YouthSpeak is dedicated to Charles Roberts Darwin. We could only imagine what the world, and indeed knowledge, would have been without that magnum opus of his, On the Origin of Species.

-Yemi Ademowo Johnson, Editor

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