Jerry Coyne’s New Book, ‘Faith vs. Fact,’ says Religion and Science Can’t Be Compatible
- By Alison Lesley --
- 07 Jul 2015 --
In his new book, Jerry Coyne has enumerated several instances proving that religion and science can never co-exist.
The never-ending conflicts between religious and scientific thoughts have been existing for centuries now. But as science advances, discovers, and tries to explain in detail certain aspects of life which religion failed to do so (other than pointing the reasons to God’s will), religion slowly loses its “appeal” to the people.
Several religious groups and leaders, including the recent Popes of the Catholic Church are modernizing their teachings and trying to make religion become compatible with science. And such efforts are slowly gaining momentum and acceptance. But according to the award-winning author and evolutionary biologist, Jerry A. Coyne, these efforts aiming to let religion coexist with science will eventually fail.
I don't believe people who say science and religion can't coexist. Unless you try to use one to discredit the other.
— King TeeJus (@TJesterr) January 18, 2015
As a full-pledged scientist, Coyne firmly believes that science has better set of tools to investigate, study, and explain certain life facts while religion on the other hand is susceptible to giving untestable, misleading, and conflicting thoughts. He added that science is favorable because of its dynamic nature. It can grow, add-in new theories or concepts, and can correct its historical mistakes. This is in contrast with religions that tend to have dogmatic teachings.
Cases in Point
In his recent book Faith vs. Fact, Jerry Coyne has enumerated several instances proving that religion and science can never co-exist.
The beginning and end of life
Probably the oldest debate between science and religion is the origins and the potential end of life. Based on biblical teachings, life was created by God including the sun, moon, stars, and the planet we live in. But based on scientific studies and actual proof, the universe and all its components were formed by cosmic forces and activities billions of years ago and life on earth, including humans, are essentially products of evolution.
On the issue of the “end of the world”, Coyne pointed that it will occur when the sun eventually drains out of energy and not according to specific prophecies of certain religions.
Environmental issues: particularly climate change
Another area cited by Coyne in his book is on environmental issues. Politicians who are considered to be “religious” tend to deny the growing concern on climate change. According to religion, God has his own ways of taking care of the environment and won’t let its destruction happen. This is in contrast with actual scientific studies that global warming and climate change are in fact alarming realities.
Religion interferes badly with medical decisions
Coyne illustrated in his book why religion can interfere negatively with the medical field which is basically backed by solid scientific studies and facts. There are several medical procedures or treatments which can obviously save lives but are considered unacceptable in religion. For example, dismemberment of certain body parts may save tumor or cancer patients but some patients or their relatives set aside this option because of their religion or beliefs.
Faith vs Fact author Jerry Coyne at #AspenIdeas: The most religious countries have most income inequality: pic.twitter.com/Fo26UrimFW
— Patrick Goldstein (@patrickbigpix) July 3, 2015
In the end the author did not totally discount the contributions or value of religion. Religion can help people be more optimistic, hopeful, and do good deeds. But he insists that the harm religion causes still outweighs the benefits. That is, people and leaders may act in a negative or even in dangerous manner because of their beliefs or religion compared to doing things the scientific way.