What sorts of questions do science and religion try to answer?

Science and religion often try to answer questions on similar topics. Medical scientists will try to answer the question 'How can cancer be cured?'

Religious people may ask questions such as:

  • Why do some people develop cancer?
  • Why does a loving God allow people to develop cancer?

These are more philosophical questions, using moral and religious truths that cannot be proved scientifically.

Some religious people are scientists and some scientists have a religious faith. Other scientists are agnostic and some are atheist.

There are some questions that cannot be fully answered using scientific methods. Some may decide to rely on faith to find the answer to a question if the answer cannot be proved scientifically. One such question concerns the existence of God.

Science and religion need not be in opposition to each other. For many people they may even complement each other.

It is important not to mix up the meanings of the following:

  • evidence and proof
  • certainty, doubt and probability

For example, many people see interpretations as fact rather than opinions.

Where there is doubt, something can be possible or probable - depending on how likely it is to be correct. It is important to use the right word so that meaning is clear and dialogue meaningful.