The first time I really sat down and thought about the relationship between science and religion was after watching Ron Howard’s commentary on the book-based movie “Angels and Demons.” He said “We are all just trying to understand the universe,” and he’s right. This longing to understand the universe is what made the 14th Dalai Lama vow that his spirituality and respect for science would never be at odds with each other. It is also the reason that Albert Einstein extensively studied the life of Gandhi, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time.
Our shared interest in understanding the universe can serve as a vital tool for promoting peace and acceptance. I recently watched a satellite interview of Pope Benedict XVI and the International Space Station crew. The Pope’s first question was “how can science affect peace?” The crew responded that when you understand how fragile and beautiful the planet is you have a new-found appreciation for all inhabitants of the earth. The Pope then acknowledged that scientific exploration is an adventure of the human spirit; one that instills hope and appreciation for all mankind.
Well my friends, you heard it from the Pope himself. Not only are science and religion compatible, but when used together they can create a powerful force that promotes peace and acceptance.