A quote from a newspaper column by Michael Zimmerman of the Clergy Letter Project:
Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.I recently got into a discussion in another blog about this question of the different roles of science and religion. A fellow interlocutor took a position not uncommon among atheists that purported that religion and science both attempt to explain the same basic "reality", with one using the proper means of trial and error and empirical evidence and the other using blind faith and unsupported assertions. I disagreed, suggesting instead the following:
Science can observe the ''what", but makes no statements about the "why'". That's where religion comes in.Science and religion addresses wholly different orders of reality. Science looks at observable behavior in the physical world, while religion offers a deeper framework with which humans can ascribe meaning the selfsame world that science investigates. Fundamentalist religion notoriously confuses the matter by literalizing myths and thus confusing religious claims with scientific ones, but they aren't the only ones who commit this fallacy that assumes that both science and religion deal with the same questions about "reality". Many militant atheists also make the same assumption. But religion is at its root about meaning and transformation, not about making scientific explanations of physical phenomena. The two serve, or at least should serve, different functions.