A bird of two wings

 Religion, Science, and Harmony.

Science and religion are humanity's two great methods of improvement, explanation, and advancement.

Science explains things from the ground up. All scientific knowledge is relative. We continue to devise better theories. Gradually, we understand better, until a  Paradigm shift occurs. Then we start our road of minor, yet important improvements in our understanding until a new Paradigm emerges again.

Religion explains things from the top down. All  religious knowledge is relative. We continue to better and better understand our role in the universe. Eventually, a Paradigm shift occurs. A major Prophet, Manifestation, or Buddha gives us a whole new perspective on our role in  the universe.

Neither is in contradiction to the other.

We should not be alarmed that science continues to explain more and more of the previous mysteries. Science pushes back further and further, but beyond, still lies mystery. Just because science discovers and expounds upon Mechanisms, for what we previously found Mysterious, is no cause for alarm.

Likewise with Religion. Just because religion continues to explain previous religious explanations as symbolic, rather than magical or miraculous, is no cause for alarm. Beyond lies mystery.

And what of when Religion and Science meet, at a Primal Cause, if they ever do? No cause for alarm. That is what it is all about. We humans have always looked around us and seen beauty, harmony, and glory, thus we believe in Meaning. Our quest to understand that Meaning is carried forward on a Bird with two wings, religion and science. And we have faith in Meaning.

 So, I am not alarmed that science explains so much more than it did with Mechanisms like evolution. Neither am I upset that we now understand that what we formerly thought of as religious miracles, we now know are symbolic truths, not literal miracles.

It sort of has to be this way. Science, being an analytical, bottom up approach to understanding, will continually explain more of the Mechanisms by which we have come to be where we are. Religion, being a top down, big-picture explanation of all-that-there-is, based on our best current understandings and religious paradigms, will always provide symbolic explanations for those things that we are not yet currently capable of understanding mechanistically (scientifically).

Thus, we now know that almost all of the previous "miracles" of previous religious paradigms are understandable Mechanistically, but it is the symbolism that counts. For instance, the Garden of Eden, Creation, Noah's flood, and even the Resurrection of Christ, if understood literally, would violate known scientific laws, thus they are symbolic, according to Baha'u'llah.

I have no doubt at all that what few items we currently still consider "miraculous" , will be understood symbolically instead in future Eras. For us to insist that "our" miracles (those fantastic, physical-law-breaking stories told by the Manifestation of our time), are truly miracles and not to be understood symbolically, is as foolish as the Christians who for two thousand years considered anyone who did not believe in the literal, physical, bodily resurrection of Christ, to be heretics. Can we not, in heaven's name, avoid making this exact same error? Even after Baha'u'llah gave us the Kitab-I-Iqan?

Also, it is obvious that while each Manifestation brings in a whole new Era and whole new religious Paradigm, it is still absolutely necessary to progressively evolve our religious understandings within each Manifestation's Era. Otherwise we are doomed to repeat the excesses of the previous religious dispensations, where for instance the Inquisition held back the progress of science. We must not freeze our religion into a block of ice, where no new thought can be thought (or expressed).

Eventually, perhaps, in some very far off era, religion and science will meet and our 'descendents' will understand science and religion as one. But that is so far off as to be meaningless for us today.

Still, it seems to me that, as we look around us, we see a reality of great beauty and complexity and we rightfully have faith in Meaning.

Everything is unique in existence. That is, every phenomenon we can think of, is rich in entanglements with so many other phenomena as to be absolutely unique; it can not be equated to any other phenomenon. This was always visibly true. But now we see in quantum physics that every qubit of information in the universe is ultimately entangled with many other qubits of information. Thus, one sub-particle of one atom in your physical body or brain, is quantumly entangled with many other, perhaps an infinite number of other sub-particles of other atoms both near and far, some perhaps on the other ends of the known universe. That is, maybe the particle in your body was formed in a stellar explosion near the big bang as a twin particle to one now zillions of light years away. Or perhaps they merely shared an energetic relationship billions of years ago. Now, one affects the other, instantaneously, at a distance of light years. Multiply this by many, perhaps an infinite number of quantum entanglements, for each of the many (almost infinite) sub-particles of the many atoms of your body.

Of course, this is merely fine-grained entanglement. What of the many molecules that have enteracted with the molecules in your body across the ages and ages of previous time?

And, on the next higher level of integration, what of the genetic history of interactions you share with, say, an earthworm outside your window in the ground? These histories are unique, and if the quantum histories of sub-particles are as surprisingly significant as quantum physics is discovering they are, how much more significant are the higher level integration interactions and histories?

And it goes higher, of course. What of the human histories, genetic and mental? Dare I say, spiritual?

So, in the contingent world, every tiny phenomena is unique and special, as are the higher level integrations, such as you.

But, still, I share an affinity for Plato. For, in the non-contingent world, there must exist prototypes, symbols, perfect exemplars. For as Baha'u'llah tells us the contingent world exists, with all of its life histories of religions, societies, people, genes, ideas, molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles quantumly entangled; then must not a non-contingent world also exist? We may not be able to understand it ever, even symbolically, but it must exist in perfection of some kind, away from our temporal world.

Perhaps these are another two wings of one greater bird, the contingent wing and the non-contingent wing; the nominalist wing and the Platonic wing.