Science vs. Religion by Jeannie Dai

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THE GREAT DEBATE
What is it?

Religion, a touchy subject to the majority of the world’s population. A large chunk of the novels being mentioned on this site incorporate the monotheistic faith of Christianity. Surprisingly, even religion has to do with science. Albert Einstein had said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Einstein himself is a deeply religious scientist although many people believe that to follow science entirely is to distance away from your faith. This renowned scientist was a believer of a god (though not the Christian God), not one who controlled and decided the fate of humans but rather Spinoza's God who “reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists”. If Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientist in history believes in a form of God, there must be a relationship between religion and science!

What is the purpose?
Well a plausible reason why authors incorporate religion into their works would be relating to morals. For example, a deeply religious scientist may want to achieve a scientific discovery that is not ethical. This may cause conflict within oneself and hinder the scientist from accomplishing his or her goal. This can someone create the essence of irony if the scientist goes through with his or her plans towards the scientific discovery. On the other hand someone who is atheist may be having a battle with a religious group. There are many possibilities.

What has been done?
Often there is a debate between religion and science. Things written in the Bible seems too miraculous to be true for non-Christians although even the Catholic Church has accepted that the Earth is a lot more than just two thousand years old. A large debate that is going out between religion and science is Creationism and Darwinism. Creationism is the belief that the world and everything on and in it are the creation of a form of a deity whereas Darwinism is the belief that all species of organisms evolve and adapt through natural selection. The question is, which theory is right?  A group called Intelligent Design stepped forward with a statement saying that there are gaps in Darwin’s theory of evolution and that it is not yet a fact. They support the opinion that life on Earth was the creation of an “unidentified intelligent force ,“ and that “natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.” However, those who argue against this statement question the validity of it. Some of these people would be biology teachers who have refused to read a questionable statement to the class. Even locals and others say that Intelligent Design is Creationism. Currently the belief of Creationism has been taken out of textbooks however there are many who are working hard to add them back in.



RELATION TO LITERATURE

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Frankenstein
There are many religious references in the novel of Frankenstein. For instance, Victor Frankenstein’s ambition and his achievement of creating life can be referred to the story of Adam and Eve. Creating life itself is an act against God as Frankenstein is trying to do something that should be left to God alone. The reference of Satan to symbolize the creation’s behavior also alludes to how Satan had defied his creator.

The Island of Dr. Moreau
Dr. Moreau plays the role of ‘god’ as he tries to control the natural instincts of animals and to also transform them into the perfect human. As the Christian God is said to have created every being in His own image, hence the Christian saying ‘Everyone is made in the image of God’, Dr. Moreau tries to achieve the perfection that he sees in his own mind only to fail miserably.

Dr. Faustus
Faustus himself had attempted to look towards theology as a pathway to fame. However, as he flips through the Bible, he immediately decides that theology shows his intentions as sin before he is able to read that God will forgive him through Reconciliation. Faustus sells his soul to Satan and eventually wanders too far on the road to hell where he cannot be forgiven anymore.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
There is a reference Satan at the beginning of the work where Mr. Hyde is compared to Satan. He is also compared to a human ’Juggernaut;, which is a term used for the Hindu god called Lord Kishna. Dr. Jekyll himself makes charities and performs religious services as an act of redemption for the deeds that he has done. At a certain part of the work, Mr. Utterson also attempts to theologically educate himself.

The House of the Scorpion
 The House of the Scorpion incorporates religion by showing that clones are not ethical. Matt, the clone, is rejected by the Church and is rudely kicked out of a mass. The novel also mentions that the difference between clones and humans is that humans have souls while clones do not. However, religion acts as a source of relief as Matt’s close friend Maria as she tries to comfort him with the teachings of Saint Francis since he had preached to animals for he believed that they had small souls that were able to develop into larger ones.


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I believe the picture speaks for itself

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • “Imagery and Symbolism” Religion and Mythology. 2010:n.p. Web. 28 May 2010. <http://www.crossref-it.info/textguid e/Frankenstein/7/391>
  • “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Religion Quotes. 2010: n.p. Web 28 May 2010. <http://www.shmoop. com/jekyll-and-hyde/religion-quotes.html>
  • “On Truth & Reality” Albert Einstein: God, Religion & Theology. 2010: n.p. Web 29 May 2010. <http://www.spaceandm otion.com/albert-einstein-god-religion-theology.htm>