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The Whale Rider: Religious and Scientific Truths

Religious truths are based on Biblical teachings to reveal the truth and sanctity. Conversely, scientific truths are based on reason, evidence, and empiricism. In chapter ten page 66, the author asserts Jeff left his home due to the power games between ambition among parents and children (Witi, 2005, p. 66). He therefore believed being far away from the family would award him an opportunity to grow and develop into a strong and independent person. However, he had to return home to assist his parents run the plantation. This affirms religious teachings encouraging children to respect and obey their parents. However, it also supports scientific truths as Jeff’s decision to return home is proof, evidence, and reason to show love for his parents (Witi, 2005).

Australia and Papua New Guinea were also different regions for a Maori to grow up. Both regions encourage and support a Maori to gain personal understanding to accomplish tasks assigned. They also motivated a Maori to mature and undertake the right actions at the right time and place. In page 70, the author asserts it was a sign of respect. Both religious and scientific truths believe in respect. However, religious truths base their facts on the Bible while scientific on reason and evidence. Ultimately, a Maori was able to show and prove respect can be achieved on religious and scientific concepts (Witi, 2005).

In chapter thirteen in page 92, Koro Apirana throws a stone into the ocean and requests one of the boys to retrieve it. None of the boys succeeded in retrieving the tone as the water depths in the ocean were deep. Thus, the boys religiously and scientifically believed they could not retrieve the stone. However, Kahu, Rawiri, and Nanny Flowers believe they can retrieve the stone. With anticipation, Kahu dives into the ocean. The three therefore apply religious and scientific truths and believes to reason how to find the stone. Thus, the book aims to affirm religious and scientific truths can be applied to understand the universe (Ebert, 2003).


Ebert, R. (2003). Whale Rider: Review, Chicago Sun Times.

Witi, I. (2005). The Whale Rider, Harcourt Education Limited.