Before we answer that question it would be best to define the word 'science'.
Science, according to the dictionary is: "knowledge which can be made into
a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general
natural laws, a branch of such knowledge, anything that can be studied
exactly". There are aspects of Buddhism that would not fit into this
definition but the central teachings of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, most
certainly would. Suffering, the First Noble Truth, is an experience that can be
defined, experienced and measured. The Second Noble Truth states that suffering
has a natural cause, craving,which likewise can be defined, experienced and
measured. No attempted is made to explain suffering in terms of a metaphysical
concept or myths. Suffering is ended, according to the Third Noble Truth, not
by relying on upon a supreme being, by faith or by prayers but simply by
removing its cause. This is axiomatic. The Fourth Noble Truth, the way to end
suffering, once again, has nothing to do with metaphysics but depends on
behaving in specific ways. And once again behaviour is open to testing.
Buddhism dispenses with the concept of a supreme being, as does science, and
explains the origins and workings of the universe in terms of natural law. All
of this certainly exhibits a scientific spirit. Once again, the Buddha's
constant advice that we should not blindly believe but rather question,
examine, inquire and rely on our own experience, has a definite scientific ring
to it. He says:
"Do not go by revelation or tradition,do not go by rumour, or the sacred
scriptures, do not go by hearsay or mere logic, do not go by bias towards a
notion or by another person's seeming ability and do not go by the idea 'He is
our teacher'. But when you yourself know that a thing is good, that it is not
blameble, that it is praised by the wise and when practised and observed that
it leads to happiness, then follow that thing."
So we could say that although Buddhism in not entirely scientific, it certainly
has a strong overtone and is certainly more scientific than any other religion.
It is significant that Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of the twentieth
century said of Buddhism:
"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend
a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and
spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience
of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers
this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern
scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."