Thought for the Day


   Religion, Science & God


The universe has evoked either one of two responses in us humans: Fear of the unknown and awe, or a determination to find out more about the universe and how it works. From the first was born a belief in a God, which ultimately took form in the great religions of the world and from the second rose the long tradition of dispassionate scientific inquiry.

Most traditional religions assert that God is the ultimate Truth, while science, without admitting the existence of any personal God, claims that its motive force is the quest for Truth. Science and religion seldom see eye-to-eye; this is partly because science has played a big role in enhancing our material comforts. Science as an instrument purely for the acquisition of knowledge can not only be intellectually invigorating but can also eloquently justify the existence of an intelligent Creative Principle in the universe.

Isaac Newton had invited a scientist-friend of his, a man who professed atheism, to dine with him. Seeking to corner his friend with his own arguments, Newton placed a model of the solar system on his table and invited his friend to view it. The guest exclaimed, “What marvelous craftsmanship! Who fashioned this exquisite model?” Newton replied casually, “This model has no maker; it materialised from nothing”. Disbelief writ large on his face, the friend asked , “What do you mean?” To this Newton smilingly replied, “How can you, my friend, insist that this model has to have a maker, while vehemently denying the existence of a divine Creator?”

If the practice of science is looked upon merely as an exercise of the faculty of reason with an eye on temporal material gains, it falls woefully short of its expectations as an instrument of knowledge. On the contrary, if it is regarded as a tool that probes the working of the external and internal world; if science can help us understand why we’re here and how this whole cosmos came about ;if with a scientific approach we can get closer to probing the mind of God- then it would more than fulfill its self-professed role of illuminating the human mind. Science would also then serve as something that invokes and inspires faith in God. In fact, science can even reinforce our faith in a Supreme Being. Physics and metaphysics are but the two sides of the same coin. Science has the power to ennoble us as much as religion can.

While the truly pious person loves God with his heart, a truly dedicated scientist loves God with his mind.

- Nelliah Hariharan