Relationship between Science and Religious Education

This week in Irish schools it is science week. Schools all over the country are embracing this by inviting science groups in for science fun days filled with experiments and active learning. I thought this would be a good week to talk about the relationship between science and religion in my non-exam RE classes.The relationship between science and religion has changed in recent years. Once both subjects were seen to be in conflict with one another but today it is recognised that they can work together and be compatible. Students were open to this idea in my school and they understood the importance of taking the subject in its context. God-and-scientist

One student aged 14 said ‘Science is about the brain but religion and faith is about the heart’. Another 16 said ‘Science explains how we live physically but religion tells us what we should do with our lives in order to make them good.’

While planning for these lessons I came across the following resources that I was able to draw from and incorporate in my class.

  1. The BBC Bitesize website has an excellent collection of short video clips on science and religion how they differ and cooperate. Bitesize
  2. Faraday schools is a website set up for teachers teaching  religion and science. It is filled with lesson ideas, video clips, worksheets and discussion topics that are excellent for the RE classroom. What I really like about this website is that it draws from lots of different religious backgrounds.
  3. The National Centre for Science Education has a section devoted to science and religion which includes opinions from religious people and scientists on the relationship between the both and their personal opinions. This website while a good resource for the teacher might be a bit heavy for students. It is very academic in style and I would recommend it to a teacher researching the topic. Although some of the information could be simplified in a powerpoint for students.

The internet is filled with resources for this topic but as a starting point the three links above are the place to go. Half way through the week this topic has been a success with all of the groups I have started it with and I am looking forward to the feedback students will give on Friday when we conclude our discussions.