‘Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.’ (Jonathan Sacks).

I have now found the full quotation, from a piece he wrote in the Times: ‘There is a difference between science and religion. Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation. Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. They are different intellectual enterprises. They even occupy different hemispheres of the brain. Science – linear, atomistic, analytical – is a typical left-brain activity. Religion – integrative, holistic, relational – is supremely a work of the right-brain.’

The whole article is here:



22 thoughts on “SCIENCE AND RELIGION

  1. Hmm. Religion has been both a path to truth and enlightenment but also an authoritarian force to prevent discovery.
    As ever, I always find a distinction between organised religion and spirituality.
    Full marks to the marvellous Einstein and his philosophical outlook – Top Bloke!


    1. There are definitely distinctions to be made. Organised religion can be a horrible thing. I would distinguish between that and faith.

      For me Einstein’s quote points up one of the weaknesses of western rational thinking, where we have learnt to think in terms of ‘either … or’ when so often the truth is more to be found in ‘both … and … and a lot more besides’ !


  2. “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)”

    “If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism”


  3. I heard a comment on this very recently. I am not a pure scientist and therefore am not in a position to comment on how pure science scientist might feel about this proposition per se. My hunch is that they would reflect the variations in society on the topic of beliefs.


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