Science in Spite of Its Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Geneticists have been trying to unearth so-called founder mutations: one original genetic mutation that subsequently caused generations of people to carry and/or suffer from a serious illness like sickle cell anemia. Unlike many other mutations, founder mutations can be traced to one original ancestor. The discovery and study of founder mutations allows anthropologists to research the general patterns of human migration, providing a more complete understanding of history. Religion views genetic mutations in a different light. Many fundamentalist Christians, for example, might propose that disease is God-given. Yet if Mary Schweizer, an Evangelical Christian scientist, can unite religion with science then anyone can. Her devotion to fundamental Christian thought is not at odds with her scientific endeavors, according to Yeoman. In fact, Schweizer views science as a spiritual endeavor, as a means to discover the meaning of life, death, and seeming anomalies. Religion and science share common goals and objectives even when their theoretical underpinnings are in conflict with one another.

The "mystery man of Stonehenge" raises key questions about the origin of human religion and civilization. His grave is largely an anomaly, according to archaeologists, because of his relative wealth and mastery of metallurgy. However, the Amesbury Archer can also teach archaeologists and historians more about the purpose of Stonehenge. Stonehenge, one of the most mysterious ancient structures on Earth, has been a playground for New Age thinkers as well as for anyone fascinated by ancient cultures. The megaliths were erected from stone that must have been dragged a nearly impossible distance away and thus the construction of Stonehenge is an enigma not unlike that of the Egyptian pyramids. Moreover, the purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery because it may have been used for astronomical or religious functions. Scientists hope the Amesbury Archer can unlock at least a few of Stonehenge's secrets, even while New Agers continue to come up with Stonehenge theories of their own.

Religion and science are not always at odds; in fact, sometimes religion and science work together. Like warring siblings, religion and science come from the same stock: curiosity and a desire to make sense of the world. Their approaches differ widely. Religion sometimes demands blind acceptance or devotion, which science rarely if ever does. Sometimes religion and science are so at odds as to be mutually destructive such as the fundamentalist Islamic dislike for anthropomorphic images and mistrust of ancient artifacts like the giant Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban. Many ancient artifacts including those looted from the Iraq Museum during the war are themselves religious in nature and ironically are used almost exclusively now by scientists hoping to figure out the answers to the same questions asked thousands of years ago.

Works Cited

Atwood, Roger. "The Story of the Iraq Museum."

Davies, Paul. "That Mysterious Flow."

Drayna, Dennis. "Founder Mutations."

Stone, Richard. "Mystery Man of Stonehenge."

Yeoman, Barry. "Schweitzer's Dangerous Discovery."

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