I was recently asked for my opinion as to whether science is a religion. At first, it would seem that the answer is such an obvious “no” that it would go without need of a response. However, it is interesting that so often is the case that when science is discussed in casual conversation that somehow philosophical opinions are presented. The result often ends up being a debate concerning religious beliefs. This being the case, is science so philosophical that it could be considered a religion?
I am pro science. I do not consider science to be related to religion. The debates concerning science might very well be religious in nature. These discussions usually express various philosophical contemplations concerning cosmology and the origin of life. I would see such musings as abandonment from science.
Science is the methodical acquisition of knowledge through observation, falsifiable hypothesis, experimentation, and the peer-reviewed publishing of the empirical results in science journals. As such, science is based upon empiricism and naturalism. Ideally, science should be entirely neutral, objective, and free from any bias concern social ideologies. However, since the scientific community is essentially a social group, science does occasionally favor various special interests, http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41006.
There are some atheists like Richard Dawkins who do science a great disservice by drawing overreaching interpretations of scientific data to justify their position. These atheists in the scientific community do not reflect the views of mainstream scientists, http://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/2464/.
The scientific fields of cosmology and molecular biology are explored to answer questions concerning the origins of the universe and life. Theories and conjectures are provided to explain the knowledge. However, imposing dogma as to philosophical contemplations concerning the supernatural is beyond the scope of science, which is couched in empiricism and naturalism. I think the question is related not to science, but to these kinds of discussions that debate these issues. These are philosophical arguments, and so, yes, there is a tendency to add religious beliefs to the conversation.
While I would not connect science with religion, science is inherently in and of itself a philosophy. Consider,
According to Hawking, scientific theories are only models. In a quantum world, everything is an illusion, and there is no such thing as reality. In his book, Grand Design, Hawking promotes the philosophy of value relativism, and bases that belief upon scientific knowledge. But, even in this example, I am short of a comment from Hawking, but I would expect him to admit that his book is couched in philosophy as opposed to being scientific. While cosmology is a science, it relies heavily on theoretical physics, which is very much philosophical in nature.
Then, there’s the theory of evolution. There are people that interpret the empirical data as evidence in support of the theory of evolution in such a manner that they base their world view and belief system on their philosophical conclusions based on Darwinism. This is the basis of secular humanism and atheism. It is important to note that atheism is not a religion. Atheism is however, a philosophical ideology.
For more information on why Intelligent Design is science, please visit the Facebook discussion Board here, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140995135944096&v=wall.