I seem to have read and listened to a number of things in the 'Science vs. Religion' debate recently. Are they compatible? Are they complimentary? Are they 'non-overlapping magisteria'?
Reflecting on these questions I have come to the following conclusions:
- Science and religion must be compatible if and only if we live in a universe with a supernatural component, that is, if there is a God.
- Science and religion must be incompatible if and only if we live in a universe with no supernatural components, that is, if there is no God.
So, fundamentally, believers in any religion can come around to believing that religion and science are compatible and complimentary - because their world view requires this. However, materialistic 'hard line' atheists will, if they think logically, come to the conclusion that religion and science are incompatible - their worldview requires this.
The answer to the question is therefore: it depends who you are and what you believe.
This is not very useful. To me it looks like we're asking the wrong question here. The question is not are science and religion compatible, the essential question is this: Is there a God? If you can answer that question, then the other question is solved along with it.