Science and religion are diametrically opposed, for various reasons, for one, the two worldviews make claims to the same intellectual territory -- that of the origin of the universe and humankind's relationship to it -- conflict is inevitable.

We could go with a religion theory that would supposedly not interfere with science, however, that would cause problems within itself. If there is a guiding force at all, guiding actions, then one has to entertain the thought that an outside force can be affecting everything in the universe. A scientist must assume that all known factors are accounted for, which he or she cannot do if he or she believes in any God. Take this hypothetical scenario:

Spoiler: Laboratory
Let's follow a hypothetical scientist into her laboratory. Suppose this scientist's task is to measure the amount of protein in a biological fluid -- a common procedure in research laboratories, hospitals, and school science classes. The scientist will proceed by carefully measuring out into test tubes both several known volumes of the fluid and also several different volumes of a "standard" solution she has prepared by dissolving a weighed quantity of pure protein. The scientist will add water to bring all the tubes to the same volume and then add a reagent which reacts with protein to produce a blue color. After the solutions in all the test tubes have reacted for a specified period of time, the scientist will measure the intensity of the blue color with a spectrophotometer. By comparing the color intensity of the unknown solutions, she will be able to calculate how much standard protein is needed to produce the same color reaction as the unknown, and this, the scientist will conclude, is the amount of protein in the unknown sample.

What our hypothetical scientist has done is to perform a controlled experiment. She must report it honestly and completely, including a description or a reference to the method. She must also be prepared to say that all variables which could have affected the reported result, to the best of her knowledge and belief, have been kept constant (for example, by using a water bath to maintain a constant temperature) or have been measured (as were the different volumes of the unknown solution and standard solution) or are random (measurement errors or perhaps proteinaceous dust motes from the surrounding air). This is the essence of the scientific method.

Clearly, such a controlled experiment would be impossible if our scientist were required to entertain the possibility that some factor exists that can affect the color in the test tubes but which can never be controlled in these ways -- a factor that cannot be held constant, cannot be measured by any physical means, and cannot be said to act randomly. But that is exactly what the religious, supernaturalist worldview does require. Untestable, unmeasureable, and nonrandom occurrences are commonplace in all supernatural religions and pseudosciences.

Accept the supernatural and the hard work of making and testing theories becomes a pointless enterprise, along with all human-made explanations and meaning. But if we allow such myths to limit the scope and uses of science, we will do so to our own peril and shame.


Please read the original article, I do it no justice.