Lady terrestris flew past me this morning in all her fluffy majesty, hunting for a place to call home no doubt; the first bumble bee I’ve seen this year. Heralds of spring & summer, pollinator of many, producer of a delicious delicacy, and major player in nature’s hierarchy; the bee is a species we should all be ensuring the life of.
One of the most important things, before any discussion is undertaken, is to define your subject. (Socrates)
So… Religion The (Oxford) dictionary states: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods:ideas about the relationship between science and religion.
A particular system of faith and worship. Wikipedia states: Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.
Science The (Oxford) dictionary states: The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:the world of science and technology. Wikipedia states: Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
They really are quite bland definitions for two that are so often declared as being diametrically opposed! Yet deeper definitions could be considered subjective, as there can be little that is more personal than someone’s faith.
Perhaps, if we simply state that science and religion both start with a doubt that the obvious is all there is, then we could agree that imagination must invent what might lie behind the obvious.
If we accept that, then we accept that science and religion do start with the same thought.
It is only when imagination develops into reason, that the two begin to branch out; and it is that fork in the road that causes so much argument.
Yet this discord is not just between science and religion; instead it is amplified by numerous disciplines of science (arguing with each other) and numerous faiths (also arguing with each other).
It’s time we all stopped and really took a look around us.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity.
The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. Fighting is useless. Suicide.
His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
One is science and looks from the outside in, one is religion and looks from the inside out; but essentially they both say the same thing… We are what we have to save ourselves.
the earth were only a
few feet in diameter, floating a
few feet above a field somewhere,
people would come from everywhere to
marvel at it. People would walk around it
marvelling at its big pools of water, its little
pools and the water flowing between the pools.
People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the
holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin
layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in
the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures
walking around the surface of the ball, and in the water.
The people would declare it precious because it was the
only one and they would protect it so that it would not
be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder
known, and people would come to behold it, to be
healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and
wonder how it could be. People would love it,
and defend it with their lives, because they
would some how know that their lives,
their own roundness, could be nothing
without it. If the earth were
only a few feet in