Ask Ethan #47: Do Science and Religion have to be at odds? (Synopsis)

“Ignorance is hardly unusual, Miss Davar. The longer I live, the more I come to realize that it is the natural state of the human mind. There are many who will strive to defend its sanctity and then expect you to be impressed with their efforts.” –Brandon Sanderson

At the risk of inflaming everyone who doesn’t think exactly like I do — which is quite likely to literally be everyone who reads this — sometimes I get a submission for Ask Ethan that I think is far too important to not address. And this week’s entry, from Jonathan Hasey, really resonated with me.

Image credit: Randall Munroe of xkcd, via http://xkcd.com/979/.
Image credit: Randall Munroe of xkcd, via http://xkcd.com/979/.

It’s the question of whether science and religion need to conflict with one another, or more generally, about how we gain, gather and choose what type of information we most value in this world. It’s something we all deal with and struggle with every day, particularly when we’re faced with the complexity of all human experience.

Image credit: University of Nottingham, via http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/research/mathematical-physics/quantum-gravity.aspx.
Image credit: University of Nottingham, via http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/research/mathematical-physics/quantum-gravity.aspx.

I’m sure you’ll have plenty to say (so come back here and weigh in), but go ahead and read my take on whether science and religion need to conflict.