Since the Scientific Method (do something in the physical world, come up with a theory that explains it, test the theory to see if it predicts the outcome reliably, show it to others, have them duplicate your results, publish or make known the theory & the evidence for it; build on previously proven theories; repeat) was established, there has been a battle between Science and Religion. This is because Religion is based on two non-scientific elements, namely legend and magic, as well as elements of actual history and (sometimes) worthwhile ethics.
Legend is stories told about things in the past that have little or no support in the historical, archealogical, or other records. Legends may be true in the sense that the lesson they teach is worthwhile and will help us to cope with our world. Legends may be true in the sense that they contain some element of historical truth. Legends may be false in that they claim to be history, when history shows they are bushwah. Even the Legends that are false historically may still be true in the other sense.
Magic is causing a change in the physical world by your belief and your desire, without any physical, explainable, duplicatable connection between that change and your belief or desire. Magical thinking means you explain things by claiming magic is real, magic works, magic is the only or best way to explain them. Examples of magical thinking include prayer, the so-called law of attraction, the so-called success principle, and most of the management fads of Big Business of the past 40 years. Most religions have a core of Ceremonial Magic, where they perform certain rituals to convert the desires and beliefs of their members into a change in the physical world. Many businesses have their own form of ceremonial magic, or standard practices that they do because they want them to work without any good evidence that they result in any production or achievement of any goal.
While there has been much bad blood spilled (literally and otherwise) between science and religion, the effort to reconcile these two world views has never been very successful. There is just too big of a gap between “show me, explain how it works, test your theory & show me again” (science) and “as you think and believe, so the world will be – if you do the right rituals and believe strongly enough” (religion). What has been missing to fill this gap is an underlying philosophical bridge.
The bridge is simple: know that the universe is whimsical. It is chaotic and most of what we perceive as order is simply our brains trying to make sense of the disorder that actually exists. Most people realize this on some level, which is why they turn to other people for answers. We are order-seeking beings, so when science fails to answer all of our questions (or when the scientific answers do not make sense to us), we turn to religion in the hopes that prayer and other magic will provide the answers.
Science can never fully explain the whimsy that is at the core of the universe. It has discovered and proven it with quantum mechanics, but this discovery has not been carried over to nearly all the areas of science that it impacts.
Religion can never give up its legends or its magical thinking and ceremonial magic, as the ethics most religions claim to support are just too difficult for most people to follow consistently — and there is too little left to sustain religion if you remove legends, magic, ceremony and ethics.
The Schrödinger equation shows how the physical world can be changed by the observer – which is one way that science appears to support magic. Add that to quantum mechanics and you get some form of combination or merger between parts of science and parts of religion.
(Some see Discordianism as an outcome of combining cutting-edge scientific theory with non-sectarian religion. Others see it as a joke masquerading as a religion.)
Possibly, the only hope for the long-term survival of both religion and science may be just such a revolutionary merger of both. In light of the ongoing battles between religious groups all over the planet, it appears that such a New Thing may be the best hope for the survival of humanity, as well.