3 Religions Where Science Takes Center Stage
Organized religion is often viewed as inherently at-odds with science. But this is a myth. Many who believe are also able to live a life guided by logic and reason, and followers of almost any faith can contribute meaningfully to the scientific endeavor.
There are a number of religions, however, which hold science with such high regard that the scientific method is essentially a tenet of their beliefs. Here are three of the most pro-science religions:
1. Church of Reality
The Church of Reality espouses a simple doctrine: "If it's real, we believe in it." Based on this principle alone, you may already find yourself at least a member in spirit. The religion refers to itself as "doubt-based" and holds science as the ultimate arbiter of what is real and what isn't. If you'd like to gather other believers and hold your own gathering, the Church of Reality recommends communing over pizza.
2. The Circle of Reason
The Circle of Reason is a belief system which declares rationalism to be the chief conduit of knowledge. Furthermore, it asserts that everyone, both theists and atheists, have the ability and an obligation to use reason when navigating the world.
Followers of the Circle refer to themselves as "methodologists" rather than "worldview proponents."
"We simply espouse more consistently practicing the most basic tenets of reasoning thought and action: Accepting reality, questioning assumptions, and mastering emotionality."
Sounds a bit like becoming a Vulcan... just without the pointy ears.
3. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
In January 2005, 24-year-old Oregon State University graduate student Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education, who at the time was considering whether intelligent design should be taught alongside the theory of evolution in biology classes. In the letter, Henderson expressed dismay, not simply that intelligent design was being considered, but that the method of creationism he ascribed to was not being considered. You see, Henderson adhered to the belief that an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.
Originally intended as satire, Henderson's letter has since inspired what its followers insist is a genuine religion: Pastafarianism. Pastafarians, as many followers call themselves, strongly believe in the scientific method and the findings it produces, with one minor asterisk, that all of it is affected by the Flying Spaghetti Monster's "Noodly Appendage."
If you're willing to concede that possibility, and to occasionally don a pasta strainer, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster might just be the pro-science religion for you!
(Top Image: AP)
Update 1/20: A previous version of this post stated that the Church of Reality was started by author Michael Dowd. That is incorrect. The church was actually founded by Marc Perkel. We apologize for the error.