Nobody likes to accept the idea of being wrong. To be in error is sometimes so embarrasing that we prefer to evade facing it and we hide in our comfortable world where others who share the same error accept one to another.
For the the saying “two wrongs won’t make a right” we can go farther and say that “millions of wrongs won’t make a truth.”
A common ground for battles in knowledge is found when science appears to contradict some statements found in religious writings and vicerversa.
Since we don’t know for sure which one appeared first in our ancient cultures, the firstborn rights cannot be given neither to science or religion but only the recognition of which one of them can get closer to reality.
While in several circumstances religion can be studied only by comparing the relates of its writings with the archeological discoveries, science is mostly reviewed by the support of facts.
What is a fact? Lets use the Webster’s New World dictionary which defines it as:
1. reality, actuality, certainty, truth, substantiality, palpability, experience, matter, state of things, truth of the matter, the case, not an illusion, fait accompli (French), what really happened, something concrete, what is the case, matter of fact, hard evidence, hard fact, nuda veritas (Latin), verity, naked truth, gospel, certitude, scripture, law, solidity, permanence, basis, physical reality, existence, corporeal existence, state of being, fact of life, what’s what*, straight dope*, bottom line*; see also facts. —
2. [An individual reality] — Syn. circumstance, detail, factor, particular, case, consideration, datum, evidence, point, event, action, deed, happening, occurrence, creation, manifestation, being, entity, experience, affair, act, episode, performance, proceeding, phenomenon, incident, thing done, adventure, transaction, organism, construction, truism, truth, plain fact, accomplishment, accomplished fact, fait accompli (French). — Ant. ERROR, illusion, untruth.
as a matter of fact, — Syn. in reality, in fact, actually, in point of fact; see really 1.
We have lots of interpretations of what applies to the word fact. So, cataloging it in a more ordained method we can use this word with the correspondent subject in play, like “scientific fact”, or “logistic fact”, etc.
Then, a physical fact doesn’t necesarily agree with an algebraic fact and viceversa, so we must be aware to apply the correspondent definition of fact in accord to the subject in play.
Apparently, this kind of action can carry the acceptance of any saying as a fact, because when the noun of the subject is used as an adjective what is considered a fact in one subject it might be considered as false, error, illusion, imagination and similar in another subject.
Another example is that not all the subjects might be found to be in accord to physical reality, like to say that mathematically it may be possible to resolve the Last Theorem of Fermat, but that this theorem x^n+y^n=z^n cannot be ever proven correct by using grains of rice.
We have as well that a religious statute might be correct as a moral principle but the historical events surrounding it might not.
When we apply facts from one subject in a different subject is when controversies are abundant. And today, while religion still exists as a main subject with millions of followers, science is continually used to discredit it.
What about using science to support religion? Are there scientific facts available to confirm some statements of religious writings? Or, can some religious writings be used as confirming historical facts and viceversa?
What are the methods used to cause the discarding of a fact from one subject in base of another?
I guess that several of these so called contradictions are no more than misinterpretations and by reviewing more carefully the facts or statements of the different subjects we might find agreements instead of conflicts.