I will begin with an immediate disclaimer of sorts: These two entities which find themselves often at odds are built for entirely different reasons. Science exists to understand the universe, to explain everything from the smallest particle to the largest star cluster. It provides the foundation for every consumer electronic, ever shred of medical advance, and both positive and negative nearly every facet of our modern lives is shaped by science.
Faith conversely is a system of guidance, it is designed to control the masses and to theoretically lead them down a path of subservience. Is this a positive thing? In theory it would seem to be, it is an evolutionary inevitability that stems from the theoretical necessity of guidance in order to minimize the negative destructive forces of the whole. Few people want to be murdered by one another and so faith was spawned to give an extra layer of protection to that, in order to hopefully place those who did not mind such a fate in a state that would leave them at least neutrally existent instead of negatively.
I have stated before that a system of optimism would work just as well, but this is not the place for me to decompile the framework of faith. It is instead to explain, when debating issues of both, where faith has the infinitely higher position.
Science is not a system of faith, things do not become true merely because humans believe them to be. It is a system of discovery, we unlock realities that have been around since long before we existed. There is no room for faith in science as far as the field itself is concerned, stopping at any point during research to pawn a mechanic off on “because” is infinitely hurtful to the field. However this also means that an entity must have some level of understanding about the field in order to educate or defend it. Not that it should ever require defending (as again it is merely examining things that are true, not changing the truth).
Faith however is a system of…well faith. You could call it religion but I do think on the smaller scale most people are not religious they are merely faithful. Semantics aside it is a system that requires little to no research. This provides it with a very powerful foundation in terms of defense or education. You needn’t be consistent because all the texts are a matter of interpretation, stories that no longer jive with the modern society can merely be ignored. “Facts” of life provided by the texts that are debunked can be pointed to as translation errors or irrelevant data scribed in a moment of weakness.
Again, these systems should never be at odds with one another. There is never a time where faith should come into play as an alternative for science. This is because at no time is there ever a reason that science would take the place of faith and never a time when faith should take the place of science. Faith should never be taught in the classrooms and there is no reason for science to be taught in the churches (unless that church is also a school I suppose). However anytime the two do clash the power will always be on the side of Faith, because it requires no research.
Whereas a scientist will require knowledge of the field they are discussing in order to talk about it, a person of faith will merely need to say “God did it.” or point out that if we do not already know then we will never know. Since neither of these things can be disproven (nor should they ever need to be) they end up becoming the end of the discussion. The discussion could only earnestly take place if both parties understood to the full extent the material of the other side, since this is rarely the case (you will not find many anti-evolutionists who are using talking points that are younger than I am) we are left in a point of stagnation in terms of discussion.
But why? Why does faith feel the necessity to impose upon science? It returns to a previous point about control, there is an illusion that the advancement of science and reason in society will weaken the grasp of faith and the larger institutions. Erroneously this is also said to lead to chaos and war, ignoring the fact that much of that could not exist if the average person believed that they didn’t have a better gig on the other side of life. But again I digress. There is a belief that science is coming for the churches, as if it would want to. Since science has no place in the guidance of morality or philosophy there can never be a time when the structure would find itself storming like the Galactic Empire into the hallowed walls of faith.
The problem I feel is that science is treated as a belief system by those who oppose it. This is fundamentally untrue, there is no belief structure within science. An idea is presented, it is tested, if it succeeds it is tested further, if it fails it is shelved for future theories. This process never ends, all information is further refined over generations with the ultimate goal of fully understanding the universe. Through science inevitably we find tools that will ease our lives and tools that will make them worse, but this is not because of science itself, it is from the entities that attempt to govern it from the outside. Militaries and corporations whose leadership (statistically) know much of faith but little to nothing about science. They feel that a neutron bomb or genetically altered animals are the path to their greatest desires and unfortunately those hired by them do the job they are paid to do.
This has nothing to do with science as a thing. All entities, even faith, become dark and dirty when they are run by the dark and dirty.
However I think, that until this becomes a more well known thing we will forever be in an unnecessary struggle between two entities that should never be at odds, nor should these entities even be in discussion. There are no topics which they each need to be present for so I can see little to no reason why they’d both be presently debating.
Faith does not need any of it’s empirical beliefs to remain existent for the overall structure to survive. Many many times over the last 2 thousand yeas they have been routinely debunked and yet remain as strong as ever. It would seem wise to let science do the science, and let faith do the faith. I can assure anyone on the latter side that the former has less than no interest in their domain.
Indeed a negative interest, if such a thing is possible. In all debates that will come until that point is made we will see Faith infinitely more effective than science, because as a quote that caused me to chuckle for a bit said “Science is Hard :X.” In relative terms to it’s “competition” that is true in a nearly astronomical way.
I will end with a quote from a recent infatuation of mine (Civilization V):
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance. Socrates, from Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers
Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC)