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Mark Moore
07-14-2014, 01:29 AM
Is there a specific term for such a concept? A Google search has come up with pages where people argue for the idea that science and religion/God can coexist, but I can't find a specific word for this concept.

If one doesn't exist, is there a historical saint that advocated such a belief or was involved in a science of some sort?

veinglory
07-14-2014, 01:32 AM
I guess it depends on what model of coexistence you mean? They obviously both exist, the debate is on how they should interact. Secularism and theocracy being the main options.

cmhbob
07-14-2014, 01:39 AM
You might try checking out The Biologos Foundation. Wiki
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_BioLogos_Foundation)

The BioLogos Foundation is a Christian advocacy group established by Francis Collins in 2007. BioLogos aims to contribute to the discussion on the relationship between science and religion and emphasize a compatibility between science and Christian faith.

Website (http://biologos.org/)

You might be looking for the term "theistic evolution," which Biologos espouses. I like the idea, myself. The Bible was never meant to be a science book (said the husband of an evangelical pastor).

Mark Moore
07-14-2014, 01:40 AM
I guess it depends on what model of coexistence you mean? They obviously both exist, the debate is on how they should interact. Secularism and theocracy being the main options.

I mean, like, the idea that both are equally true - basically, that God is the ultimate scientist.

Mark Moore
07-14-2014, 01:51 AM
You might try checking out The Biologos Foundation. Wiki
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_BioLogos_Foundation)

Website (http://biologos.org/)

You might be looking for the term "theistic evolution," which Biologos espouses. I like the idea, myself. The Bible was never meant to be a science book (said the husband of an evangelical pastor).

That's certainly interesting, and it'll give me some ideas to use in one of my series (in which I've already mentioned the concept of theistic evolution, albeit not by name). I have a secret society in my story, and so far it lacks a name. It's definitely old, so I'll have to look through Wikipedia's article to find a sufficiently old proponent of the idea that the society can be named after. In my story, though, the religious component is not at all Christian, so naming it after a saint or priest or someone similar would be inaccurate.

Thanks! :)

Dennis E. Taylor
07-14-2014, 03:15 AM
How about deosophy or deology? Online dictionary came up blank on both, so they're available.

TheNighSwan
07-14-2014, 03:21 AM
Keep in mind that it's actually the idea that religion and science cannot coexist which is novel, recent and unusual — in most places and through most of human history, there is little evidence of systemic conflict between religion and science — although popular representations of the past nowadays tend to be made within the religion-science conflict prism, but these representations are generally strongly biased and inaccurate, and do not reflect the actual attitude of religion toward science that prevailed in past periods.

T Robinson
07-14-2014, 05:10 AM
Make it up. I "think" most of early scientific endeavor was indeed financed by the Church. It was for their own reasons, such as control, in my opinion.

Is your story set in modern times, but started long ago? If they are secret, they just need a name among themselves or something they use as a front. It depends on how much they interact with others. Suggestions:

Descendants of Bacon (or whoever the founder was)
Society for Theological Innovation
Philosophers of Analytical Logic

or if the front is a long lasting corporation or foundation that provides the bulk of their funding, it could be anything.

The Foundation for Scientific Theologia

Maybe something will spark. HTH

veinglory
07-14-2014, 05:24 AM
I never encountered the idea that they were in conflict until after I moved to the US. In the absence of fundamentalist Biblical literalism, they are not difficult to reconcile. I personally favor Gould's argument of non-overlapping magisteria.

Dennis E. Taylor
07-14-2014, 05:28 AM
You might also want to read up on Gnosticism, especially aspects of dualism. I think there's enough wiggle-room in the history that you could make it predate Christianity and take the stance that the current belief that Gnosticism is a Christian sect was just early church propagandizing.

Mark Moore
07-14-2014, 05:43 AM
Is your story set in modern times, but started long ago? If they are secret, they just need a name among themselves or something they use as a front. It depends on how much they interact with others.

The main story is set in modern times, but there might occasionally be glimpses of the past. It's set in a vaguely Lovecraftian (though probably more accurately Derlethian) universe. Without giving too much away, some ancient gods and other nasties are about to break out of an ancient prison, and this society has been anticipating this and trying to develop ways to defeat these entities. While the main defense will be three magical girls, the society is developing various tech, including guns, bombs, and mecha, to try to fight these things as well. This R&D would have to be done through various connected organizations for ostensibly legit purposes (military use, a new type of sport, etc.) in order to maintain secrecy. This use of science as a way to kill demons is where the religion/science mesh comes in.

benbenberi
07-15-2014, 03:32 AM
"Normal"? Science and religion have only rarely come into overt conflict, and even more rarely has the conflict persisted for any length of time. Throughout most of history, in most societies where science and religion are even identifiable as separate things, they have been closely allied and often mutually supportive. There's nothing necessarily incompatible between them.

robjvargas
07-15-2014, 04:32 AM
Common sense?

Seriously. The conflict between the two seems to have harmed both sides. IMO, of course.

Cath
07-15-2014, 04:52 AM
We're not in P&CE folks. Let's keep opinion out of this as much as possible please.

TheNighSwan
07-15-2014, 03:33 PM
This is less a matter of opinion and more a matter of consensus among mainstream historians really —you'll find very few serious scholars (if any) that still consider the "conflict thesis" valid.

King Neptune
07-15-2014, 05:48 PM
Until a few hundred years ago Philosophy included both religion and the sciences.

veinglory
07-15-2014, 06:22 PM
Just put the Jesuits in charge, they'll sort it out.

robjvargas
07-15-2014, 07:32 PM
Until a few hundred years ago Philosophy included both religion and the sciences.

That's a very good point.

It occurs to me, though, that a few hundred years ago religion was the only avenue to many answers that science has now explained.

King Neptune
07-15-2014, 11:48 PM
It occurs to me, though, that a few hundred years ago religion was the only avenue to many answers that science has now explained.

That was pre-enlightenment. A1fter the Enlightenment everything changed, but the Enlightenment era coincided with the division of Philosophy into the Arts and the Sciences.

Thuro
07-16-2014, 12:07 AM
I mean, like, the idea that both are equally true - basically, that God is the ultimate scientist.

Pretty much how I see it.

Brett Marie
07-16-2014, 12:29 AM
Try 'Non-overlapping Magisteria.' Stephen Jay Gould, the famous scientist/philosopher/lifelong-Yankee-fan, wrote a great column about this idea. You can read it here (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html).

Debbie V
07-16-2014, 02:06 AM
Steven (Stephen?) Jay Gould wrote a wonderful essay on this for Natural History magazine some time ago. Perhaps you can find it somewhere and see what terms he used.

blacbird
07-16-2014, 12:34 PM
Warfare.

caw

JimmyB27
07-16-2014, 01:52 PM
Cognitive dissonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance)

Cath
07-16-2014, 10:17 PM
Remember to respect that other people may have views or beliefs that contradict your own, folks. Many people live happily with both science and religion.

The OP asked if there was an appropriate term used to describe this. If you can't provide a factual answer, please don't reply at all.

Cyia
07-16-2014, 10:47 PM
If one doesn't exist, is there a historical saint that advocated such a belief or was involved in a science of some sort?


St. Luke was a doctor. I'm not sure if that would work for what you need, but it's a start. Maybe you could check into any orders named for him and see if they've got collective terms for their adherents?

benbenberi
07-17-2014, 03:08 AM
If one doesn't exist, is there a historical saint that advocated such a belief or was involved in a science of some sort?

Many of the leading scientists of medieval & early modern Europe were men of the Church. See this very long list with links on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric-scientists). Some of them became saints. Some of the best known include:

Albertus Magnus (patron saint of scientists)
Roger Bacon
Benedetto Castelli
Nicholas Copernicus
Robert Grosseteste
Nicolas of Cusa
William of Ockham
Pope Sylvester II (Gerbert d'Aurillac)


St. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers, but he was not one himself.

The Jesuit order, founded in the 16c, placed a particularly high value on education and science, and produced many important scientists over the centuries.

Realspiritik
07-18-2014, 06:13 PM
The main story is set in modern times, but there might occasionally be glimpses of the past. It's set in a vaguely Lovecraftian (though probably more accurately Derlethian) universe. Without giving too much away, some ancient gods and other nasties are about to break out of an ancient prison, and this society has been anticipating this and trying to develop ways to defeat these entities. While the main defense will be three magical girls, the society is developing various tech, including guns, bombs, and mecha, to try to fight these things as well. This R&D would have to be done through various connected organizations for ostensibly legit purposes (military use, a new type of sport, etc.) in order to maintain secrecy. This use of science as a way to kill demons is where the religion/science mesh comes in.

Don't know if you still need some help with this, but here goes.

It's interesting how much our ideas about the relationship between God and science have changed over the centuries. The Greek word "philosophy" once meant "love of wisdom," and the concept of wisdom in the ancient world almost always included both God and science (with the exception of a few early atheists, who were definitely not the norm!). So "philosophy" in its original sense is a term you could use. Aristotle was a philosopher in this sense -- a man who was trying to unify religious and scientific thought as "wisdom" (or "metaphysics," a term coined by later writers in reference to some of Aristotle's writings.) Aristotle heavily influenced Thomas of Aquinas and the Scholastic theologians of the Middle Ages.

Another good example of such a philosopher is Philo, who is less well known today than Aristotle, but who wrote scads of material in the 1st century CE.

Another term you could look at is "natural theology," which has also come and gone more than once over the centuries. Natural theology tries to give preeminence to reason and science in contrast to pure revelation. There have been a number of offshoots from this line of thinking (eg. Deism).

The term "Gnosticism" was mentioned above, but actually this term would be a very poor choice for the idea of "God and science" blending together, since Gnosticism is a line of speculative thought based solely on "revelation," not science. (Gnosticism does believe in evil entities, however, so from that point of view it could be useful for your story.)

Finally, just to keep all the terms clear . . . the scenario you're describing here (with a secret society devoted to finding ways to kill demons) would most properly fall under the category of apocalypticism, which has a long and ancient pedigree. (The book called Revelation in the New Testament is a famous example of ancient apocalyptic literature.)

People these days tend to think of apocalyptic literature as being a form of pure, imaginative, apologetic "revelation," but when you look at the material closely, it's an expression of an underlying faith in the laws that govern the universe. Although many of us no longer agree with this good-versus-evil paradigm to explain the laws of cause and effect in the universe, nonetheless, to the apocalyptic visionary's eyes, it's all about the relationship of God to natural science -- and getting ready for "the big day" when God finally invokes all those nifty "final effect" clauses.

Hope this helps. P.S. In case you couldn't tell, I do academic research in this area and have a degree in theological studies.

Jen

Mark Moore
07-19-2014, 04:58 AM
Thanks, benbenberi and Jen! I'm going to have to look into all of that. I don't have to name the society yet in the first story, although I'd like to hint at it.

I'm a tiny bit familiar with Gnosticism (my friend once gave me a copy of "The Nag Hammadi Library").

I should clarify that my deities are not purely evil. They are opposed to three other deities and simply have no regard for humans. It's closer to cosmic indifferentism.

Phyllo
07-19-2014, 08:11 AM
OK, having only skimmed the preceding posts, I risk coming out of left field, but .... it seems that science (which is a hell of a broad term encompassing the study of both the natural and physical world), would have only recently come into a fundamental conflict with god/theism. That happened with the introduction of our modern theory of evolution. Up until natural selection theory (first postulated by Darwin and Alfred Wallace in 1858), it had been widely accepted that God not only created the world, but all the known species on the planet. Natural selection inherently contradicted that. Yet even that didn't create a huge fuss in the Church of England at the time. It became an incendiary theory upon publication of Darwin's book on the Descent of Man (1870?), which argued that natural selection applied to humans (a fact he'd deliberately omitted in The Origin of Species).

So I believe this is truly only a recent conflict. The cute part, however, is that the co-discoverer of natural selection theory, Wallace, later became an adherent of spiritualism. As such, he reconciled evolutionary theory with the existence of an afterlife by embracing the concept of "intelligent design."

Intelligent design may or may not be what you're after -- some see it as the balance or co-existence of science (i.e., evolution) and theology. However, to me, it's more of a half-way house between the two.

Quentin Nokov
07-19-2014, 09:48 PM
I mean, like, the idea that both are equally true - basically, that God is the ultimate scientist.

Why does there need to be a specific religion on this? I'm Christain and I believe that God is the ultimate scientist. He's a law-giver and a law-abider. The laws of the universe--down to the quantum level--have to be abided by but--like a magician--he can set the stage, adjust the lighting, and perform the miracle he wishes to perform without ignoring the laws of psychics and other such things. He controls the universe, but that doesn't mean he breaks laws.

I don't think you need a specific religion that teaches this. As the author you can have your characters thinks this or a minister teach it in his church.

As far as defeating demons, I always thought black-holes would be interesting prison cells for demons. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but a religious group can't defeat demons. Demons are spirit beings; they can't be harmed by humans. You would have to fight the demons with another spirit entity--or--in Christianity, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is for evil to destroy evil. So you could have two demon factions fighting each other, but as far as humans are concerned--even with science--I don't know how you could destroy a spirit. the Spirit is given to individuals by God; to try and take someone's eternal spirit away would still be murder methinks.

I don't know; your idea doesn't sound very plausible. You said it was in a modern-day setting, right? In a fictionalized setting, perhaps you could get away with more and then create your own 'religion' for the story.

Mark Moore
07-22-2014, 09:46 PM
Why does there need to be a specific religion on this?


I don't think you need a specific religion that teaches this.


Sorry to burst any bubbles, but a religious group can't defeat demons.

I'm not using a religion. I'm using a secular secret society that has access to rare texts that give a much different history of the universe and the deities within it.

But I do want to choose a historical figure - whether Christian or otherwise - to name the society after.


Demons are spirit beings; they can't be harmed by humans.

They can if they're attacking in a physical form.


You would have to fight the demons with another spirit entity

The society will have three young women in their employ that are granted powers from three (relatively) benevolent deities to combat the rest. They're the main defense/offense. It's just that the society also wants to use its other members to combat some of the "small fry" with some kind of weaponry.


So you could have two demon factions fighting each other, but as far as humans are concerned--even with science--I don't know how you could destroy a spirit.

They're not seeking to destroy the spirits, simply disembody them and prevent them from possessing any living creatures, so the three "good" deities can imprison them properly.