Dominican University Samonda, Ibadan on Friday 28th January 2022 held a lecture to mark the celebration and legacy of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
The lecture tagged "Religion and Science are Friends" took place at the Tom and Carolyn Walker Hall, Dominican University, Samonda Campus, Ibadan.
The Vice Chancellor Rev Fr. Prof Anthony Akinwale in his opening remarks said "If Freedom is found in truth as the motto of Dominican University professes, We must bear in mind that truth is learnt, when researchers in various provinces of knowledge; researchers in provinces of natural science and religion carry out their conversation in collaboration".
He however said the lecture was used to mark the celebration of the legacy of Saint Thomas Acquinas.
Dominican University Vice Chancellor, Rev Fr. Prof Anthony Akinwale
Professor Akinwale further stated that the topic was necessary based on the current pandemic (COVID19) the whole world is battling with.
The Guest Lecturer Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Akunne while delivering his lecture stressed the belief that people have on religion and science stating that they should ally towards the advancement of society.
Fr Patrick noted that there are two models that were identified in the relationship between religion and science which are the conflict/warfare model and the ally model.
Guest Lecturer, Rev. Fr. Dr. Patrick Akunne
In his words, "There are people who think religion and science occupy disparate universes in human affairs and thus there is no ground for any form of relationship; friendly or hostile"
"Of all the model of religion and science, the conflict model is inequitably the dominant model. Every now and then, situation arises that brings this to the fore".
The Guest lecturer stated the historical conflict that exists between religion and science. He considered the works of notable scientists and their view to both concepts.
Rev Fr Patrick further said that “the conflict and the warfare template between religion and science holds that there is no relationship between the two, they are irreconcilable and there is no cordiality that can exist between them. According to this template, religion and science are rival ways of explaining realities. As a result of this they hustle for the same explanatory space and are perpetually opposed to each other.
"Notable contemporary scholars who promote this template includes; American biologist Jerry coyne among others. These scholars believes that western intellectual issues is characterized by perpetual war between religion and science as two opposing irreconcilable concept"
He further said that the idea that religion and science are locked in perpetual war is not original to these scholars.
"Scholars' point to the duel of John William draper and Andrew Dickson White has been responsible for the entrenchment of the idea that there is a war between religion and science. The political writing of Draper and White set the stage for what we now know as a perpetual conflict between science and religion. According to their writings, Mankind cannot have both religion" and science, mankind must make its choice, and mankind cannot have the both. Mankind has to make its choice.
Dr. Patrick went further to examine the myth between both religion and science quoting some of the historical writing of Peter Harrison and the three reasons he gave for the myth.
"According to Peter Harrison, We can identify cases of conflict between religion and science. Tight situation where scientific theories were rejected based on religious ground. For instances, rejection of evolutionary theory by scientific creationist, the current rejection of the COVID 19 vaccines based on religious ground".
"The fear of the return of religion, some believe that religion cannot go away and it is about to take humanity into a dark age"
"Its irresistible appeal lies in the various spotlights that pick the lone genius against the faceless men or expose the apparent idiocies of flexible institution ultimately suggest the triumph of reason over superstition, of good over evil. This is a comforting and congenial myth that assures us of our cultural and intellectual superiority".
Dr. Patrick also noted that conflict that exists between scientist and religionist is a problem of sobriety of knowledge. He made mention that from the Africa tradition; there is no conflict between religion and science.
The guest lecturer urge scientist all over the world not to neglect religion because of the ethical issues like morality that might arise in the course of their study.
The dignitaries at the event includes: Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Akinwale,OP , Vice Chancellor, Dominican University Ibadan, Prof. Domingo Okorie, Prof. Francis Offor, Prof Issac Ukpokolo, Prof. O. A. Okwilagwe, Prof Jude O. Mbukanma,OP, Prof John Anetor from University College Hospital, UCH Ibadan ,Representatives from NISLT and NISER, Oludare J. Ajayi NIPOST, Ibadan, Oludamilare Ola-Daniels,Institute of Church and Society , Ehindor G. Esohe, Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan. St. Thomas Catholic Church, Agbowo, St Richard's Parish, Agbowo were ably represented and others.