Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

What is the relationship between religion/supernatural and science?

It could be conflict.  One opposes the other and you must align with one of them.

It could be independence - one refers to one kind of truth and the other to another.

It could be collaboration - this would be the preferred one for religion where science helps support religious claims and religion cherishes science.

Capra wrote, "Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science but man needs both."  But does it follow that man can have both?  A slave cannot have two masters.

Stephen Jay Gould argued that there is no conflict between real religion and real science. There is no overlap, according to him, between the authorities of science and religion. There is a Non-Overlapping Magisteria or NOMA.
He interpreted religion though as being about values not facts.  So NOMA is not about religion so much as his understanding of what a religion is.  Many religions do not accept that they are just about moral values.  They say they are more than just philosophies.

Religions like Hare Krishna are dismissed as being real religions for Prabhupada was clear in the book, Life Comes from Life, that scientists are thieves from God.  The Mormon faith, Scientology, Urantia and others are clear that they have a lot to say about science and their books do the science for them.

Another problem is that there is no science.  Science is one word for a whole conundrum of sciences.  A scientist need not be a scientist where psychology or medicine is concerned.  Science consists of several branches. Darwinian evolution is one. Struggle is another for survival of the fittest is true whether evolution is true or not. Cosmology is another and it contradicts the tidy vision of the Bible as to how all things began and basically says that violence and luck got us to where we are and that only happened because we are an unimaginable distance from the beginning of time. The Bible gives the impression that Adam and Eve did not live many millions of years ago. The Bible certainly implies that there were no dinosaurs on earth when Adam and Eve lived.  Thus for the likes of Gould and the Christians to glibly say science and religion fit is breathtaking in its arrogance.  It thwarts the huge need to conduct colossal research.  It is a matter for research and experimentation and cross-checking not opinion.

NOMA encourages and opens the door to thinking that evolution is guided to effect progress.  Humans want to think they are worth the horrible terrible endless suffering and blood that led to us being here today.  Science says that if we had no appeared something maybe better or a bit worse might have appeared in our place. Perhaps it would be a planet of apes like in the films. We are not here as a result of progress. It is random forces that just happened to work out in our favour. Other creatures in the world would not see us as progress but as anything but. The idea of survival of the fittest looks like it promotes progress but it does not.  Evolution is not about progress.  A stone falling in the pond making a nice pattern is not about making nice patterns.  To say evolution really is evolution as in progress is to say it is about promoting the best and weeding out the non-best. That hardly fits any ethic that encourages us to love and so it cannot fit or arise from a God of love. NOMA is stupid.  NOMA does not know what science is so it cannot say science and religion fit.

Reason is science. Science is reason.  Reason is basically if a then not b. Science does everything with that principle. Just seeing that your tea is cold not hot is science. Your body is the machine you do the experiment with. The computer in your head is what is assessing and interpreting and understand the experiment.  Science at its core goes back to all that.  Science is about what can be tested to see if it is there.  Then it thinks about it.  So reason is based on natural things.  Metaphysical reasoning is not reasoning at all. There is no test to see if a being without parts or material components or a body can exist.  NOMA is an outrage for ignoring these truths.
NOMA orders religion to keep out of science and not be stating facts.  NOMA is then not as tolerant of religion as it tries to look.
It orders science not to claim it can refute the idea that an intelligent power is needed to explain the seeming design in the universe.
Gould says that religion is about the why or the purpose of existence and not about the how. But in science, all whys do not demand an answer. You do not ask why a leaf cannot talk to you.
The most repulsive thing about NOMA is how fundamentalists use it but don't tell their flocks the whole story. Catholics have taken Gould out of context to argue that Catholicism and science fit each other and compliment each other. But Catholicism is not about mere values. It insists for example that it is a fact that Mary had a baby without a man being involved.

The Catholic Church however says NOMA is wrong and that the correct view is that religion and science go hand in hand. In other words, a non-religious scientist is not a scientist at all. A non-scientific or ignorant person of religious faith is not a person of religious faith at all. It is obvious that it is absurd to say the two fields belong together. You cannot expect everybody to be a scientist. Saints do not read science manuals but holy books. It redefines religion as being science from another angle that is married to “normal” science.
NOMA claims to keep science out of religion. It does not. To say that science cannot refute a hiding creator God is not keeping science out of religion. It is involving theology.
Science and religion agree that mathematics is valid.
The doctrine of God as understood by Christianity contradicts sets. God has all power and indeed is all power. Imagine an object that represents all power. There is no creation. Here it is.
But if creation takes place and it is not made of this power but by it you get
O and a new object representing the universe O
But that contradicts O being all power. The new object is also power but not that power.
Theologians would put O inside O but that would mean the creation is a part of God. It does not work.
NOMA is total nonsense.
Gould an unbeliever should have known better. Or did he lie in order to help religion cease to be so hostile to science?
Ignoring God is more atheistic than denial of God
Science is based on the idea that from nothing nothing comes. Religion says nothing comes from nothing but God can make something come from nothing. Science cannot test how the universe came to be for you cannot test nothing to make sure it is nothing. Science does not deal with the question of creation by God in that sense. Ignoring God is more anti God than denying God’s existence. Denying God means you have looked at the question and thus honoured the idea of God enough to do that. Ignoring God is thus in a real sense more atheistic than denying God would be. It is more hostile in a sense too. Religion would state that to ignore a being that by definition should not be ignored if he exists is hostile.
If you ignore God you are effectively denying him or that he matters. A God that cannot matter to you is not God to you. Atheism would be stronger if more people ignored God and the God question. Ignoring often is more contagious than denying.
NOMA is applied mostly to God but there is more to religion than just God.  And there is more to God than just God.  What if God really wrote the Bible to be his word for us for all time?  You cannot just talk about religion being values as in kindness or whatever when the Bible God says it is kindness to believe what he has in the Bible and to urge others to believe it?

Man made religion

Notice how NOMA demands that science should do its work and let it filter through religion. That only leads to religion interpreting and revising the work of science.

If religion is only man-made or if too many religions are man-made then NOMA tries to protect the men who invent the religions from refutation.  That is intrinsically bad.

Some say science and religion have different jobs. They claim, "Science cannot tell us everything - it only helps us discover a part of reality. There is more to reality than what is discovered by science for there are things that will never be discovered. Religion is supposed to help make science intelligible. It helps work out things about reality that science cannot work out."

Christianity says that faith in the Christian religion and in the doctrines and truths God has revealed is not natural and is a gift from God. This recognises that the religion of God has to come from God and not man for man errs and the religions he creates could turn nasty or mislead people. A man-made religion is an oxymoron. It can have no binding force. Would you really think you should say abracadabra every day five times just because some man says so? Whatever does not bind or obligate in reality is not a religion though it may be a semblance of one. Religion is in reality the experience of your faith as a gift from a supernatural power that tells you the truth and only the truth and demands obedience. Anything else is fake religion for it is deliberately man-made. It would be terrible if we thought we shouldn’t challenge it or criticise it constructively. Anything human is dangerous if it is made sacred or sacrosanct. In short, if man made it, fault it where it should be faulted.
So if real religion is a revelation that is between you and God and nobody else then clearly a lot of what passes for religion actually is not. Only the individual or God can know if a person really is religious or not. This would mean that we may talk about the relationship between science and religious theory but not science and religion. But let us forget this point to proceed and work out what happens if it is about science and religion.

NOMA assumes that nothing is relevant to science unless it can test it and experiment.  Why something rather than nothing if it is about how things exist is relevant to science even if science cannot experiment on it.  The claim that a certain liquid cures cancer is still relevant to science and still speaks to science even if the liquid is disposed of forever so science cannot get to it. You need more than experimentability to make something scientific or relevant to science.


God being creator means all that exists depends totally on him.

It is said by the Catholic Church that science only detects what is material and God by definition is not a material being so it is a mistake to think God doesn’t exist or at least probably does not exist because science hasn’t detected him. This argument supposes science is not religion and religion is not science.  But some religions argue that as all truth comes from God maths and science are religious even if they don't know it. So the argument is a deliberate lie and does not fit the doctrine of a creator God who is the origin of all truth. 

The doctrine of God says that he is not a thing that can be detected like a marble can be but the most important thing is that God is activity. God then can be detected indirectly. We need to be careful and realise that direct and indirect can be equally important. We need to watch that we don’t see an indirect cause as always being lesser than a direct one. Thus the Church is fibbing. Science does oppose God in the sense that it denies any need for him for it does not see any activity that could be his or any need for it.  What more denial is needed?

If science says that religion is a separate matter it does not follow that religion will say the same.  Indeed religion cannot.


Jesus put science ahead of spirituality in John 3:12. " If I have spoken to you about earthly things, and you believe not: how will you believe, if I shall speak to you concerning heavenly things?  For once he made a little sense.  NOMA’s doctrine that science and religion are totally separate and therefore and not contradict each other is illogical. Two disciplines being separate and does not mean they are non-contradictory.  Just because science cannot answer a question doesn’t mean religion can.  It does not mean that science will not answer the question one day.  The science that reaches us may have no answer but maybe science has found the answer and the word has not circulated well yet.  Not all answers are really answers.  An answer by religion or superstition is best seen as a suggestion not an answer.  Religious or not, a real answer will be granted by evidence and nothing else.  It is not about opinion or guesses.

Science tries to avoid faith and repose on hard facts.  It thinks about things in a hard untrusting way.  Thus a God who sets up science does not want a relationship with us.  No God would misdirect.  If science has faith after all then that is in spite of itself.  There is faith involved in science than religion or spiritual trust in God for it does not endorse faith in magic/miracle supernatural.   Science has to work using mathematical sets and maths is no good if there could be a hidden magical interference.

NOMA is just popular for religious ideology needs it to be.  It is not popular because it has any intellectual merit.