The tension between the religious and scientific communities continues to increase and that tension has manifested itself in a variety of overt, but also subtle ways. While it may not be immediately apparent by the rhetorical emanating from their leadership over the last century, the religious and scientific communities have far more in common than we are made to believe. Both communities have stated goals to seek and find truth, and both have fundamental flaws bought on by their prejudice which impeded their goals. Sadly, it sees as though both sides believe they are in conflict with one another and, of even more significance, they believe they must defeat the other for its survival.
These communities are no different than any other organization and their behavior is actually classic organizational behavior. As organizations and communities become prosperous, they often succumb to the temptation to forget their original purpose and their focus shifts to protecting the existence of the organization at all cost. Also, indicative of a trait common to organizations, the members of religious and scientific communities do not feel nearly at odds with one another as their leadership seems to feel. Is this tension necessary? Has it been ever present? Have these two communities ever been in harmony?
There was a brief period of time in which science and religion were in harmony. The time period just happens to coincide with the end of a dark time in history and the emergence of a new country which is clearly stated as its purpose – to provide a sovereign place in which individuals are free to live and pursue happiness. The assumption of that purpose is that individuals who find truth will be happy as they are blessed with the knowledge of truth.
An interesting irony of that assumption is that it must first be assumed that there is an absolute truth to be found and that the truth exists beyond human input. In short, it asserts that mankind is not the completion of the evolution of life. Moreover, it assures that mankind is merely a significant player, and that something or someone much bigger than us (let's call that truth) requires discovery. The brief alliance of science and religion coincided with the establishment of the United States of America and all three factions of human civilization (government, science, and religion) aligned under a single philosophy – that when people are left free, they seek to govern themselves honorably and seek to discover truth about this natural world and any supernatural world. They were aligned in the philosophy that there existed good and evil; and science, religion, and government were equally capable of both.
It can not be overstated that the environment which led to this unique period of history, one in which science, religion, and government seemed to be in perfect fashion with one another, was not an accident. It was by design. One thing the founding fathers understood well was the purpose of organizations, and, by extension, their …