A Tale of Two Lives


Science and religion, while they both have contrasting world views, continue to influence people’s hearts and minds (Photo by geralt via Pixabay under the Creative Commons).

Two contrasting, powerful ideologies–science and religion–have influenced our world throughout human history. In fact, two men who passed away in 2018 embodied the stark differences between such ideologies. Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist who represented the rational, calculating side of science. On the other end of the spectrum, Billy Graham was an American Christian evangelist who symbolized the warm, trusting side of religion. Despite their differences, both key figures left behind a lasting impact in people’s hearts and minds.

“When [Stephen Hawking] was diagnosed [with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis], he still continued his work even though he went into it with the frame of mind that he might not live long enough to find the answers. [Stephen Hawking symbolized] the idea of pursuing things even when you might not be able to find an answer,” says student teacher Erin Langford.

Stephen Hawking was not the only one who inspired and symbolized something for people. Billy Graham was also a motivational figure in the lives of many.

“Billy Graham [was] probably the most well-known influential Christian leader of our generation. He was the type of person that gives credibility to religious people because it was very obvious that he cared about everyone,” says mathematics teacher Mike Diener.

Genuine faith in religion often brings about a positive outlook on life and a sense of comfort to those who choose to place their confidence in it.

“I did most of my hospital training in New Orleans, [where] I worked in a pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit. That’s when I’ve seen people actively dying. Science is operating the body when, truly, the body is meant to go through [the] stage of death. As a Christian, [I believe] that path of death is simply a gateway to heaven and God…[Religion] brings a sense of peace, guidance, comfort, and love,” says school nurse Kim Gassner.

However, not everyone agrees with religion; rather, they turn to science for answers in the grand scheme of life.

“I believe that science is the answer [to life] because it can be proven. With religion, memories and recollections of what happened can become warped over time…People believe whatever they want to believe in. You can’t change the way people think; you can only change the way they view things,” says junior Maggie McNeeley.

Perhaps these two magnificent perspectives of our world and lives can coexist without the seemingly endless struggle usually associated with them.

“I believe all truth is truth, regardless of how we feel or believe about it. If religion is pursuing truth, and science is pursuing truth, and if there is truth to be found, then they should be able to work together,” says Diener.

Furthermore, science and religion do not have to attempt to undermine the other’s arguments or beliefs in the futile debate.

“[Science and religion] shouldn’t work against each other. Religion is not meant to negate science, and it shouldn’t be the other way around either,” says senior Caroline Frady.

These two cherished views, while they appear to be polar opposites, may be able to thrive together one day and give people a sense of both hope and reason.

“In the world we’re living in today, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. Even though we’re making great strides in science, there is still the unknown. Religion tells us we’re not meant to know everything. When I think of religion, I think of faith, which is believing in something you can’t prove. When I think of science, [it] is based off the things we can prove. I believe the things we can and cannot prove can coexist,” says Langford.