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Integrating the truths of religion and science at Unitarian service

By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

On Sunday, Feb. 16, Jean Strahlendorf will present a talk that explores an approach to integrate religion and science.

It has been stated that there is arguably no more important and pressing topic than the relation of science and religion in the modern world.

Science is clearly one of the most profound methods that humans have devised for discovering truth, while religion remains the single greatest force for generating meaning.

It appears that when Galileo employed precision measurements to map the universe, the age of modern science was begun (around 1600); an age that would be deeply antagonistic to established religion. Although the early scientists were true believers of the church, the introduction of the scientific method would effectively erode the central tenets and dogmas of the church.

We are confronted with a clash of the titans; the practices of science and religion represent a strange and grotesque coexistence emphasizing fact versus meaning, truth versus wisdom. If a merger is to be found, both religion and science must give a little without deforming themselves so as to make themselves unrecognizable.

Science must recognize that its own method needs to rest not only on sensory experiences, but expand to experience in general, a broad conception already accepted in the disciplines ranging from logic to mathematics.

Accordingly, we must ask religion to consider the cognitive content and the validity of its religious claims. On this Sunday, we will examine if there is a genuine spiritual science and, if so, what does it disclose, what does it tell us, and if it can be verified.

Jean Strahlendorf is a professor emeritus at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in the Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics. She was engaged in scientific research and taught integrated neuroscience and neuropharmacology to medical students. She currently serves on the Unitarian Universalist worship committee and is involved in programs that promote social justice.

We have a children’s spiritual educational program and encourage families with children to join us for our Sunday service. Our children’s religious programs teach our Unitarian Universalist heritage, ethical living, moral precepts to love your neighbor, work for a better world and to search for truth with an open mind. Arts and crafts projects are utilized to illustrate these principles.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign.

All are welcome.

This story was posted on February 13, 2014.