"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual...The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
– Carl Sagan
Close to 100 scientists and religious community members gathered in Geffen Auditorium this past Monday night to hear evidence from Dr. Fazale “Fuz” Rana describing the logical intimacy of science and religion. Listeners embraced the challenge of identifying their own beliefs and were encouraged to evaluate the framework through which they orientate their lives. Although I cannot do justice to the complexity of arguments in this summary, I hope to mirror the theme of the presentation and challenge all readers with the question, “Are science and religion mutually exclusive?” Intentionally, many of us have discrete answers arising from years of experience reconciling each space. However, I ask you to read the first sentence of this post again and consider your reflexive interpretation of the phrase “scientists and religious community members.” Did you originally perceive this to describe unique individuals in attendance with competing viewpoints, people who identify singularly with science or religion yet inform their worldview with the other, or a single group of people unified in their beliefs. I believe our response is indicative of our current perspective. Much like being a “father and husband” does not preclude one from the other, Dr. Rana proposes being a scientist and believer are entirely complementary foundations granted by God.