Man is inherently curious. He might have developed this curiosity through evolution. There are observations which indicate that other animals also possess certain level of curiosity & inquisitiveness, but may not be to the same degree as man. Curiosity has to go hand in hand with intelligence to be able to answer questions, and most of the animals do not have the intelligence to allow them to answer their queries the way our minds do.
Science is a tool developed by man that attempts to answer the queries of an inquisitive man. Though it does not necessarily answer all the questions a man can think of, it tries its best to come up with a logical explanation for some of the questions. ‘What is logical?’ one may ask. It is usually a method of reasoning that is agreed by many people to be a valid reasoning which when applied to a problem by almost anyone will lead to almost similar conclusion.
Science’s answers to the queries of this curious man have been thoroughly checked and corrected through time; mainly because all observations, hypothesis and theories, corrections, flaws, and reasoning were recorded for progeny. To a great extent this ‘ability to record’ has helped mankind reach this level of science. And the rapid progress in technology in the last century can be attributed to this mass transfer of acquired knowledge to every curious mind. No more people have to wait for another
Somehow we are at a much better stage compared to any of our ancestors in answering the mysteries of Universe just because we came late and have access to wealth of information and associated theories that explain the observations. Now, we can explain the phenomenon of celestial objects, their orbits, the birth and death of stars, the mechanics of atoms, the attractive forces between bodies, the propagation of waves through space, and so many more in the areas of biology, geology, mathematics, etc.
It does not however mean that we know everything. This tends to a discussion wherein one would like to know whether we can ever know 'Everything'. Somehow, the same science cannot answer that question with confidence.
[Knowing 'Everything' is the ability to explain every phenomenon that happened or shall happen with the tools of man, say, science]
This leads to three possibilities:
- May be we can know Everything but it might take infinite time.
- May be we can know Everything in a finite time (in near future?).
- May be we can never know Everything because our intelligence is incapable of knowing it.
However, our quest continues. I think we are an optimist species. While an optimist strives on in his pursuit a pessimist comes up with an excuse to get out of the race. Our optimism in quest for knowledge has led us cross many obstacles posed by orthodox theologians who were not ready to accept any quest into the ultimate truth.
The interesting aspect about our science is its answers to questions like:
How did earth form? How did man evolve? How do the planets move? How do the atoms collide? How does a plant grow?
When did the Universe come into existence? When shall sun burn out? When do atoms decay?
What happens when stars explode? What brought an end to dinosaurs? What made man move to different continents?
but when it comes to answering ‘Why?” it fails considerably.
Why did Universe come into existence? Why should life exist on the third planet in a particular solar system? Why are we the way we are? Why can't we be something else? Why do we have enough intelligence to ask why?
There are so many 'Why's that science cannot answer. And most probably it can never answer them. But a theologian had always answered these even before they were asked. He attributed everything to God. His explanations include the creation of the Universe, the Man, the stars and almost everything. He will explain why we are the way we are, and what will happen to us after death and for eternity. He explains the stars, the planets, the eclipses, and almost everything as divine intervention. Science allows one to ask questions for which it does not have answers while religion and theology answers questions that you have not even asked. This is one area science may never dominate.
And hence there is always room for theology in Mankind thanks to ever elusive ‘Why’!