Yes, science has to be in harmony with religion since we the Jews created Torah-based Religion Judaism for the purpose of discovering the essence of God and His laws. For discovering of anything is science by definition one of the attributes of religion is science.
Religion as science and traditional science differ by research areas.
In religion, the area of research is everything what may help us in discovering the reason for our existence and what we are supposed to do in this life – any theories, hypotheses and even “fantasies” should be researched until they are scientifically disproven. In traditional science, the area of research is how everything what is in existence and what we are doing works.
I have discussed “Science in harmony with God” at numerous Jewish and scientific forums, and I have found many Jews and non-Jews in agreement with this. However, two Jewish (and non-Jewish) groups were in strong disagreement – secular scientists and strictly religious individuals.
Secular scientists contended this statement on the basis of their “there is no God” faith: if God doesn’t exist nothing can be in harmony with it. Furthermore, they contended this statement on the basis of their belief that the humans are just a sophisticated animal species and therefore their relationship with any imaginary supreme being, even if it exists, cannot be God-related special relationships as religion assumes.
Strictly religious individuals struggled with “Science in harmony with God” since they believe our relationships with God are well defined and codified and therefore there is no need for any additional search.
Those who were in agreement with “Science in harmony with God” presented numerous supporting thoughts such as presented below.
- We the humans are not an advanced animal breed since we differ from the animals in a fundamental way. Animals are fighting for survival within the timeframe of their physical lives – we the humans are looking for the reason for our existence. We the humans believe we exist not just for mere physical survival – we exist for doing creative work for the eternity (from a shoe maker to a particle scientist), and this reason for our existence was given to us in the Torah/Bible on Mount Sinai from God the Creator. We have to continue researching the Torah to advance our understanding of the reason for our existence.
- We the humans know we are a sort of supreme power over what is under our control (our children, our businesses, our students, our experimental facilities and animals, our real estate …). If it is so, we have to accept the possibility of us under control of a supreme power above us which is traditionally called God the Creator, and we have to research this possibility.
- We know that our world had been created somehow at the Beginning. We may disagree on the name of the Beginning (Big Bang, Six Days of Creation, etc.) but we agree on the existence of the Beginning and we continue to search for its essence. We may disagree on the name of the Creator (God, Adonai, Nature, Cosmos, Big Bang, etc.) but we agree on its existence and we have to continue searching for what is behind the name.
- We the humans live in two worlds – in the world of the Creator, commonly called God, and in the world of religion. Those two worlds are different. The world of the Creator was formed by the Creator Himself and is governed by the Creator’s laws. The world of religion is made by us the humans and is governed by our human religious authorities. In the world of the Creator, all people are judged by their efforts to continue the Creator’s creative work in building a better world for everybody along the lines of individual interpretation of God’s commandments. In the world of religion, all people are judged by their obedience to prayers and rituals which are considered to be obedience to the Creator Himself. We have to study the difference between those two worlds.
- Not everybody in religion recognizes the religion in harmony with science. It looks like those in religion who perceive religion as a way for discovering God’s universe recognize the religion in harmony with science; those in religion for whom spiritual power over people’s mind is the prime goal are fearful that such harmony may complicate their fight for power.
Not everybody in science recognizes the science in harmony with religion. It looks like those in science who perceive science as a way for discovering the natural world and its laws created by something or somebody called God the Creator recognize the science in harmony with religion; those in science who see in the humans only what they see in the animals – bones, flash, genes, chemical elements, etc. – are not able to realize that the humans are a sort of animal bodies transformed into something principally different by the yet undetectable soul.
We have to research all possible ways for defining the soul and bringing science and religion closer to each other.
All the thoughts above should be convincing enough to consider “Science in harmony with God” as important Torah-based Jewish-identity trait.