Science relies purely on the collection and analyzing of data and facts and then developing theories around them.
Religion relies on faith and a personal belief system in an unseen entity or supreme being.
One could argue that the Biblical story of Adam and Eve taking a bite from the apple from God's "forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil" foretold of a time when humans would have the capacity to collect and analyze data and facts ("good" and "evil" knowledge), then develop theories/hypotheses around them for some purpose that could, ultimately determine our survival or our demise.
It seems that we, as a human species, have travelled from the time of humanity's first bite of the apple to today's massive technological data collection and analytics capabilities. We have the ability to undertake:
- descriptive analytics (answer what happened)
- diagnostic analytics (why it happened)
- predictive analytics (what may happen)
- prescriptive analytics (what we should do)
What we will do with all of that data, and for what purpose, remains a mystery, so far, and whether or not it will benefit humankind remains to be seen. More importantly, who will make those decisions is in question, i.e., humans or artificial intelligence. This is happening right now as Facebook is developing artificial intelligence (algorithms) to determine what data is considered acceptable on their social media platform. Additionally, algorithmic institutional trading in the markets has been widely implemented for awhile, now. As well, intelligence agencies have been gathering and analyzing data for years.
So, really, it's not a question of whether or not science and religion can mix, but it raises a question as to which came first...and leaves me wondering how can they be blended to most beneficially enrich our lives, collectively. It seems to me that if artificial intelligence ends up making those decisions, there would be no room for such blending and our current enjoyment of "free will" becomes extinct.
At what point does artificial intelligence take over? It begins the day we first cede our power to it.
Time is of the essence in figuring out these answers before irreversible mistakes are made and it's too late for the survival of the human race.