I believe that science and hinduism are not that different and not at all contradictory.
But it must be said that in order to see the similarities, it is needed to dive deep into Hinduism and Hindu beliefs. Some of the Hinduism philosophies here has been following the Advaita Vedanta stance and some others the Achithyabedhabheda stance, some the Dvaita stance. It is mainly to highlight the similarities in observations, although conclusions vary.
Here are some examples in plain English to support my point:
Science: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Matter can be decomposed into energy as per E=mc2 which means energy is present in matter as well
Hinduism: God is without beginning nor end (i.e) He was neither created nor destroyed, He takes various forms and is present in everything, including his creation (matter)?
Science: Every matter exhibits properties as a particle and as a wave. In fact it simultaneously exhibits properties of both particle (something that can be seen/touched/heard/felt or smelt) and wave-nature (something which cannot be directly seen/touched/heard/felt or smelt but which can be perceived through existence of a 'medium' (in case of mechanical waves) or a 'field' (in case of electromagnetic waves).
Hinduism: There is both a form nature and a formless nature to every being, the form nature refers to the physical body, which can be perceived by the senses and the formless nature refers to the mind, which can be perceived through the body.
Science: Vacuum is not empty, but is filled with some kind of radition (cosmic microwave background, which is believed to be present since the Big Bang), energy (dark energy) or some kind of particles (vacuum state, a set of particles coming in and out of existence) Wiki1,Wiki2,Wiki3. Hinduism: The cosmic sound (or vibration) Om fills all of existence and it is the back-bone of all creation.
Science: All of the objects in the observable universe are controlled by the three laws of motion. The first law is that of inertia (or inability to change its own state of rest or motion), the second law deals with acceleration under influence of force and the third law deals with action-reaction balance.
Hinduism: All of existence is under control of the three gunas (or tendencies)? The first is that of Tamas (kind of laziness or lethargy, unwillingness to change one's present state), the second is that of Rajas (kind of excitation or passionate activity under influence of tendencies and desires, equivalent to acceleration under force), the third is that of Sattva (the state of non-judgement, purity, or balanced state of mind)?
Science: All matter in the universe was formed from a single point, which expanded into the various masses and energies that are present today. This is the most accepted view of creation called the Big Bang. Without this assumption several scientific postulates made are simply invalid.
Hinduism: Initially there was only One. The One became two and the two became many. This One is God (called Vishnu by Vaishnavas, Shiva by Shaivas and Brahman by Vedantis). All of creation was formed from Him and are thus pervaded by Him. This point of origin is God.
BUT What about evolution?
According to Hinduism, the avatars of Lord Vishnu beliefs:
- Matsya (Fish) AQUATIC
- Kurma (Tortoise) AMPHIBIOUS
- Varaha (Boar) LAND ANIMAL
- Narahari (Half-man half-lion) PRE-EVOLVED HUMAN BEINGS (missing link to evolution??)
- Vamana (Dwarf human) EARLY HUMANs
- Parasurama (Axe weilder, Kshatriya slayer, super powered) NOMADIC HUMANS
- Rama (Ideal man) HUMANs
- Krishna (super-powered and all-knowing, embodiment of love and beauty) (FUTURE/GOAL of Human life?)
NOTE: In no way am I trying to compare Lord Rama to our current Humans or Lord Parashurama to Nomadic humans. But I am merely trying to point toward the similarity between beliefs and the possible inner meanings behind our beliefs, that there is more to Hinduism than what people observe normally.
There are many more examples in which Science and Hinduism cross-over and speak of same things. However it is necessary to dive deep into both religion and science in order to understand their relationship. My own personal opinion is that religion is the fullness of science. Where science uses techniques of observation and experimentation to understand the unapparent from the apparent (kind of a top down approach, which does give rise to lot of unsolved problems), religion uses techniques of inquiry and practice to understand the apparent from usage of unapparent (kind of a bottom-up approach).
Therefore if I am a scientist, should I accept what Hinduism says? If I am a Hindu should I accept what Science says? There is no need to accept without understanding, the only answer to this question is to first understand Hinduism and then decide to accept it or not, similar with science.