Why religion thrived where science failed.

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Discussion by: 80science80

The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive. Humans have a pack mentality. We believe there's safety in numbers. That's how we've evolved. Religion caters to our sense of  belonging, science doesn't sadly.

Science has always been exclusive. If you can't understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community. Whereas, religion has always been inclusive. For the masters and the slaves, for the lords and the serfs, God has been ever present. Because religion doesn't care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.

Science has a lot learn from religion. For starters, science needs to build church like places for people to congregate and discuss science. Science needs to build schools for children and adults that teach science so its easy to understand. If you want to capture peoples imagination make science understandable. More importantly, make science free. That's the beauty of religion, it doesn't cost a cent.

Science will never conquer religion until science changes its strategy. Who dares to lead the science revolution?

 

52 COMMENTS

  1. religion, it doesn’t cost a cent

    Not so sure about that one……

    Also, if you try to “conquer” religion, you may end up spending a lot of effort on the conquering which could have been invested in making science the more attractive proposition.

    But in all I think you’d like to see more places like this? (Dutch):
    http://volkssterrenwachtorion.nl

    Me too :-)

  2. More importantly, make science free. That’s the beauty of religion, it doesn’t cost a cent.

    Huh. That is the whole purpose of religion, to raise money from the conned.

    We do have “science churches”, but not enough, e.g. the Exploratorium in SF, and the Science Center in Vancouver. One place it is happening is Youtube where people can make short videos on science topics and donate them to the world.

  3. This is a really confused comment. I do hope it’s not another drive by. Here are some thoughts:

    Science has always been exclusive. If you can’t understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community.

    If you can’t understand science you can’t understand science. Tough. I can’t fly the space shuttle. People have different aptitudes and different amounts of time to spend learning. But everybody should be able to understand the scientific method and recognise, through the technology around them, that it works.

    More importantly, make science free.

    How is it not free ? There is more free, good science on the internet that you can read in ten thousand lifetimes. If you are qualified to understand the technical literature then most likely you work at an institution that subscribes to the technical journals. Or at least enough of them for you to get the work. If you want to keep up with the latest physics and mathematics most of it is here.

    Science will never conquer religion until science changes its strategy.

    It’s not trying to. What by the way is “science” in this sentence?

    Michael

  4. Almost every statement here can be easily flipped to make an opposite and yet still plausible claim. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

    I do hope 80science80 chimes in.

    Mike

  5. First off, not all science can just be made easy so even a laymen can understand it. Science builds on itself and so no weekend class is going to just magically make people understand it. Religion creates places for people to come and discuss their religion yet there are many in these religions who still don’t understand what it is they truly believe. So I am not sure that building church like structures where people come and discuss science will for sure increase their science acumen. Secondly, I am not sure you can call it a revolution simply because you want to do what can already be done in colleges around the nation. I am sorry if I sound like a downer.

  6. OP: The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive.

    CMA: Give an example where blind faith aids survival better then knowledge of reality does? Religion had some benefits long ago, only because those were the best versions of reality available – but we’ve found better, reliable and effective ways to assess truth since then, despite the roadblocks put in our way by those in power who claimed to know all the answers.

    Humans have a pack mentality.

    CMA: Humans have a kin group mentality, which isn’t the same thing.

    We believe there’s safety in numbers.

    CMA: That’s self-centered herd mentality, which we don’t follow much, since we’re evolved to have empathy, reciprocity and cooperation.

    That’s how we’ve evolved.

    CMA: You have a very superficial concept of evolution and how our species developed.

    Religion caters to our sense of belonging, science doesn’t sadly.

    CMA: Religion caters to its own survival, with little concern for those infected by its virus. Science actually discovered just how much we belong, not as playthings to some capricious god, but as an integral twig on the continuum of all life on Earth.

    Science has always been exclusive. If you can’t understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community.

    CMA: Science isn’t exclusive, but those who aren’t willing to work hard and think rationally in a global methodology exclude themselves.

    Whereas, religion has always been inclusive.

    CMA: Only inclusive within specific in-groups and only if you submit to stop thinking and believe only what you’re told to – with serious penalties for questioning the latest dictated versions of revealed truth.

    For the masters and the slaves, for the lords and the serfs, God has been ever present.

    CMA: None of whom can even define god or have ever received any of the promised benefits – except those masters and lords who got rich ruling using the power of indoctrination and threats.

    Because religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.

    CMA: Religion forbids you to be intelligent, since it already has all the answers you need – goddidit.

    Science has a lot learn from religion.

    CMA: Only in how the god viruses exist and work in our brains, so we can learn from our mistakes and grow up.

    For starters, science needs to build church-like places for people to congregate and discuss science.

    CMA: Any place that doesn’t force religion onto innocent children and gullible adults works for that, plus parents need to realize that they don’t own their children and have an obligation to educate them in actual truth and reality.

    Science needs to build schools for children and adults that teach science so it’s easy to understand.

    CMA: Who promised you that reality would be easy to understand without putting work into the effort – apart from religions who have the easy goddidit non-answer. Religions do all the work for you – you just have to submit everything, accept unreal myths and never think for yourself again.

    If you want to capture peoples imagination make science understandable.

    CMA: Science is a lot more logical, rational and understandable than any faith is – but you have to put in some hours on it since reality is far more complex and interconnected than just some version of a magic deity going “poof, ta dah, how about that then.”

    More importantly, make science free.

    CMA: Most schooling in advanced societies is free up to the point where if you want to learn more there are costs involved – just like any other things worth really learning about. I hardly knew anything about science until after I had to leave school at 15 to become an apprentice, and all my scientific knowledge has been on my own time and at my expense – and I’ve never been at all wealthy. I guess you gottawanna, and it’s been a great bargain considering what I now understand and know at age 63.

    That’s the beauty of religion, it doesn’t cost a cent.

    CMA: What!!! Then how are religion businesses the richest corporations in the world, with the least tested but most harmful, useless products, while having massive effects on all those who don’t want either their products or the effluence from them – and any particular religion is unwanted by most of the global population….

    Science will never conquer religion until science changes its strategy.

    CMA: Religion is unnecessary for and irrelevant to science, although many folk have a lot of problems with religion continuing to be so uppity about that reality. We just have to hope that humans will increasingly overcome their faith viruses and throw off the chains of mind-slavery.

    Who dares to lead the science revolution?

    CMA: If you knew any history, you’d know that brave freethinking humans have been leading that revolution for over 2000 years – despite all the cruel and violent efforts of mind-dulled faith-heads suppressing or killing them all along the way…. Mac.

  7. So much fallacy and blatant falsehood in this post, although I suppose it does point out the illusion of religion. This is precisely why religion has thrived, through deception and trickery.

    Religion is not inclusive or free.
    Religion is authored by the few who claim to have contact with the divine, or have been subject to divine revelation. The rest of us just have to take their word for it, they have or had complete and utter control over religious texts and can dictate how we should live our lives, if we subscribe to their exclusive religion. But anyone can chose to obey, so in that sense it’s inclusive, that’s the illusion.
    Religion has also been the recipient of various tithes and taxes over the centuries, to the point where it is common place for followers to donate a portion, sometimes even a set 10% of their earnings to the church, who all happen to be tax exempt, which means everyone, even those not attending the church, are paying for it through their taxes.

    Science on the other hand is available to anyone, anyone who has the determination to try to understand it. It’s not that ‘stupid’ people are excluded from science, it’s that people exclude themselves by being stupid. It is entirely willful, nobody is born without the ability to understand science if they really wanted to, but most people don’t want to try to understand science, they don’t want to put in any effort whatsoever.
    The resources to understand science are free, it’s available all over the internet and you learn it for free in school! If you paid attention. Practicing science can cost money, but only because time and resources have a value and you can’t expect other people to give you these things for free.

    Science is inclusive, and can be free. But only if you want to learn and are prepared to put in effort to do so.

    Religion is exclusive, and costs everyone money. But it’s easy and it relies on trickery and illusion to dupe intellectually lazy people into following it.

    • In reply to #8 by Seraphor:

      it’s that people exclude themselves by being stupid

      I grew up in the 50s. Many women excluded themselves by claiming that women could not do science and tried to connive to get males to do their work for them. Some people hid from science by learning the simpler creationist line. Much science education dumbs it down to people in silly hats who do explosions. This may be appealing to some kids, but it is not the appeal of science. It is a decoy. Some people get themselves in trouble by feeding themselves only with popular science from disreputable sources, learning about the modern miracle of homeopathy or that science now says ghosts exist and weigh 3 grams.

  8. Whereas, religion has always been inclusive. For the masters and the slaves, for the lords and the serfs, God has been ever present. Because religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.

    This is true. You don’t need to excel in anything: not in math, not in music, not in athletics. God loves you anyway if you attend church every Sunday. The way to feel superior for people who are inferior! I have no problem with people feeling well, although they don’t quite deserve it, but just leave the true contributors to society alone, stop using their tax money and stop telling them what to do and what not to do. My comment applies in a western, 21st century context. In other times and places, just don’t tell me about ‘inclusive’.

  9. Because religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.

    it would be more correct to state that science demands ignorance is addressed where religion encourages it.

    if you don’t understand an aspect of science, it will be apparent. if you try to fake understanding, you’ll be caught out. my most memorable incident from physics class was when I used the word “obviously” in my response to a question, to which my physics teacher told me “anyone using the word ‘obviously’ doesn’t know what they’re talking about”. She was right, 30 odd years later she’s been proved right over and over.

    When addressing a religious issue, you may be as vague as you like, when giving a response to a question about reality with something fluffy and emotional that agrees with religious dogma, you will be congratulated (as well as a science student I was once receiving catholic teaching and can confirm it’s very easy to come across as super-clever by stating things you don’t really know or even believe), and most probably led to believe you are in some way more intelligent than most. it’s a political device known as “flattery” and works well on the ignorant and self-centred. Religious “understanding” is the easiest thing to fake in the world

    furthermore, stating religion is inclusive because “all you have to do is believe” is an oxymoron. it’s like saying slavery is a good career choice just as long as you only require a place to be housed enough food to not die. you will not be welcomed in religion if you question its self-contradictions so simply believing as actually a big ask for many.

    finally, religion did not thrive and science did not fail. religion thrived in the absence of science for tens of thousands of years. Science is very new in human evolution and despite what you may think from those who make the most noise, it’s what’s driving human culture now. religion is just dying noisily and making its self-pity heard through the use of TV, radio, printed material, the internet, bullhorns and devices remotely detonated with mobile phones. The leaders of the world today are not the figureheads pandering to the frightened theists who voted them in but the heads of institutions like Microsoft, Apple, Glaxo, Google, Monsanto…

    Religion is dying noisily, waving bits of technology threateningly at those of us looking down almost in pity, and occasionally, like in this OP, suggesting we should all sit around a table together and settle our differences. It’s the screaming brat in the playground who doesn’t accept defeat in a game because the rules must be wrong. gotta go, that’s the school bell. you gonna stay out “thriving” all day?

  10. Science has a lot learn from religion.

    Not really! “Faith-thinking” is a very poor substitute for scientific methodology.

    For starters, science needs to build church like places for people to congregate and discuss science.

    I think these are called schools, university science departments, and learned societies.

    Science needs to build schools for children and adults that teach science so its easy to understand.

    In advanced civilised countries they have done that.

    If you want to capture peoples imagination make science understandable.

    Yep ! That’s what good science teachers, good parents, educational TV, and videos do.

    More importantly, make science free.

    In civilised countries which value science and technology, school science is paid for from taxation, and is “free” to children. Educational TV is also available.

    That’s the beauty of religion, it doesn’t cost a cent.

    Really?? Tithes, Church Tax deductions from personal income, collection plates and envelopes. tax exemptions by states, income from accumulated church property and business investments inherited from its mind-slaves???

    The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive. Humans have a pack mentality.

    In a ship-wreck, I would rather find scientific products like life-jackets, lifeboats or helicopters, than a preacher offering prayers!

  11. The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive.

    The reason religion is so popular is because it is imposed upon children through the abhorrent process of childhood indoctrination.

  12. Science has a lot learn from religion.

    Science has nothing to learn from the claims of Bronze Age desert goat-herders , charismatic charlatans from the early 1800s, or pulp science fiction writers from the 1950s at least and until such religions can produce evidence to substantiate their specious claims.

  13. Almost every documentary on genetics I have eagerly watched. Yet I never learned much new. I watched some biochemistry documentaries, on how some of the metabolic pathways work, watching simplified molecules interacting with each other.

    I got a book called Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by
    Daniel J. Fairbanks from the library. Finally dozens of my long-standing questions were answered.

    At some point you have to leap into the more scholarly stuff. I think many of us figure those sort of books were only for when we were in university.

  14. The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive. Humans have a pack mentality. We believe there’s safety in numbers. That’s how we’ve evolved. Religion caters to our sense of belonging, science doesn’t sadly

    That’s an empirical claim. If it’s true that “religion caters to our sense of belonging and science doesn’t” then you should be able to point to some social science research that demonstrates that fact. Now you might reply that there is no way to test such a nebulous claim and I would agree. But I would reply back that just demonstrates that the rest of your comment is pointless. If you start from some nebulous claim that can’t in principle be verified than it doesn’t make much sense to argue what we should or shouldn’t do based on this nebulous claim.

    Here is a more meaningful way to say what I think you may have been getting at:

    Religion (and most ethical decisions and political choices) work off of our emotions. Decisions we make using this type of reasoning are not completely rational. For example, Scott Atran has done experiments where Israeli and Palestinian subjects are presented with hypothetical solutions to the Palestinian issue. The subjects consistently reject solutions with a high monetary reward in favor of solutions with little or no economic compensation but that include an apology from the other side for perceived crimes.

    The goal of science is to not work this way. To not make judgements based on emotions and superstitious concepts such as nation, race, and ethnic pride. Now I can rephrase your question in a more meaningful way: It seems reasonable that part of the problem in getting the masses of people to embrace scientific reasoning is that science often conflicts with emotional conclusions. (e.g. ignore climate science because you don’t want the foreign, godless, UN to run your life). So your question could be rephrased meaningfully now to be:

    Should science stop relying on reason, objectivity, and analysis and start embracing emotions and myths in order to get more people to embrace science?

    Sometimes asking the right question makes the answer obvious: No.

  15. OP:

    Science will never conquer religion until science changes its strategy. Who dares to lead the science revolution?

    Excuse me, but science has repeatedly proved religious claims wrong for well over 400 years. I would say the battle is well on the way to completely side-lining religion and its claims about reality. I would say science has so far done a pretty good job of explaining reality. Certainly a far superior job than any religion ever did.

  16. The reason religion is so popular is that for millenia, people ikilled other people who dared say that religion did not exist. Since the first statute against asebie in ancient Greece, passed at the end of the 5th century, and under which Socrates was prosecuted, organized religionists have killed millions of people (think Spanish inquisition, manifest destiny in the Americas) because they would not convert or accept religion as they decreed it. Religions, as opposed to mythology, with few exceptions are inherently authoritarian. Further, the cultures have included their own extra-institutional enforcement mechanisms (think fathers beating asses of children objecting to going to religious service, etc.). People have had no choice!

  17. ” science needs to build church like places “

    Places such as observatories, zoos , museums, wildlife parks, science museums, butterfly farms, bird sanctuaries, public aquariums, …the list goes on.

  18. Science pervades our everyday life – technology, modern medicine, agriculture, our more rational and less superstitious view of the cosmos around us. Those who claim to be religious are participating in this just like the rest of us. It is impossible not to. Religion is over, other than the pitiful yelping as it succumbs to the growth of humanism.

  19. Modern Day Salem Witch Trial

    I saw a DVD (The Dirt on Farmer John) about the life of a n’ere do well farmer in Iowa who went broke, and thought he would try organic farming as a last ditch effort.

    All kinds of people started coming to his farm to help and to buy vegetables.

    Neighbours were suspicious of the visitors. (Reminiscent of the story of Lot in the Qur’an). Some cows became restless on a neighbouring farm. The Christians claimed that cows have a special ability to detect evil. Therefore farmer John must be running a Satantic cult, and sacrificing animals and babies. The whole town turned on him. They burned down some of his buildings to stop the alleged drug and sex orgies. There was no evidence for any of this other than the restless cows. That is not quite true. He sometimes liked to dress in whimsical costumes, such as the Cat in the Hat or a giant bee. (I presume to entertain the kids of vegetable buyers).

    Christians can destroy others without evidence of wrongdoing. This is very much an example of Lord Acton’s absolute power corrupting absolutely. This is the power Christians used to bully others over the ages. People with evidence of wrongdoing are less credible than those who do not in Christian think.

    Eventually the guy with the cows had a good look at what was going on, and apologised. He denied the spreading the satanic worship story. That just must have been others exaggerating his accusations. He made no offer of compensation, since he did not actually set the fires personally.

    What kind of nitwits ascribe Satantic sacrifices as the most probable cause of restless cows? Any of us could come up with at least ten more probable causes.

  20. Good point. However, there are many relevant ‘places of worship’ for science: countless museums, societies, planetariums, education establishments and galleries, conferences, discussion groups and debates. Perhaps we ought to make them more social and structured?

  21. No science should never go there. I dont have a problem with religion as long as it does not interfere with my civil liberties. Atheism i would say requires a certain kind of person. Not everyone is that person. For example i get relief from the fact that there is no one watching over me , that would terrify someone else. I see a beauty in the fact that things live and then they die , the cycle is indifferent , others would find that callous , i find it reassuring. We are prisoners to our own minds and nobody else i find that inspiring . Some would despair at that.
    And etc etc

  22. Have a look at the ‘Church of the Churchless’ website. There are some good issues discussed there including a number of easy to read and understand blogs on current science – including neuroscience. The comments are often pointed – and entertaining.

  23. While I understand the idea you’re trying to relay, I find it difficult to reconcile certain bits of it:

    Science has always been exclusive. If you can’t understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community. Whereas, religion has always been inclusive. For the masters and the slaves, for the lords and the serfs, God has been ever present. Because religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe.

    Science has been more difficult for the layperson, which could be argued to alienate in some fashion, but religion has hardly been the opposite of that at all times. Slaves for example weren’t just given a bible to observe and worship simply because the slavers knew they needed saving. They weren’t deemed as human and therefore not worth saving. That was as much an exclusive notion as there has ever been in any endeavor and for far worse reasons.

    Religion as a notion that can be very exclusive to those outside of it, not just as a non religious person but as a member of another religion. We can look at far too many examples even today of what happens when rival religions attempt to coexist in the same region with no interest in being tolerant or forgiving.

    Belief is paramount to religion, but ignorance often simply makes it more accessible, and that is more a reflection of a given country’s ability and desire to educate it’s population as opposed to whether or not religious people are inherently more or less intelligent. If a culture in a country openly ignores facts that are easily understood, then intelligence literally means nothing and it boils down to what you accept as opposed to what you can prove.

    Science as a whole doesn’t care about how intelligent you are or aren’t overall. If it can be said to care about anything it would be what you’re willing to learn to educate yourself. What is true in science will not change just because you are oblivious to it, whereas what is true in religion changes routinely because it does not fit the traditions and accepted ideas of a given group of people.

    And religion cost quite a bit in just about every country, in the form of the taxes it doesn’t pay, the tithes that followers pay to maintain it and the lifestyles that it’s most corrupt invariably end up enjoying. There is far too much oversimplification at play here.

    There are different fields in science to study but all of those fields are part of the same overall practice of processing and analyzing information in a reasoned and logical manner. But it’s all part of the same whole. The same most certainly cannot be said for religion.

    That having been said, there is definitely room to expand what we know of science as laymen and the importance of that knowledge does need to be stressed. It doesn’t help matters that some nations are purposely blocking that very education in favor of their own cultural and religious ideas. It’s not just about whether or not religion is easier and science is harder; it’s about giving people access to science and not obscuring it with mythical nonsense.

    Science doesn’t need to build churches, people need comprehensive access and education in all parts of the world, untainted by religious tampering and meddling. The non religious should certainly engage in more social programs and community gatherings, but not just for the sake of science. We need the world to understand that religion does not equal community, charity and general concern for mankind.

  24. For starters, science needs to build church like places for people to congregate and discuss science.

    They are called universities.

    Science needs to build schools for children and adults that teach science so its easy to understand.

    They are called your local science center. Bill Nye the science guy and Dr. NDT are good for starters too.

    • In reply to #29 by crookedshoes:

      80science80 will abandon this thread and never be heard from again.

      Did i just use science or religion to come to my conclusion?

      You are a wizard; it’s the only logical conclusion.

  25. I thought the cathedrals of science were called schools – junior schools, secondary schools, colleges – at least in the 1st world, or at least in countries that want to be part of the 1st world in 50 years time.

  26. If your intent is to popularize science by modelling it after the mould of a religion, beware, as you may have rather unexpected results.A case in point is Daoism ( Taoism). Although some would consider this as more of a philosophical system rather than a religion, ( Including Dr. Dawkins). I can assure you, as a person living in a east Asian country, that this practice is almost entirely of a religious nature. For example, the “founder” of Daoism, Lao Tzu/ laozi , is considered an incarnation of the grand pure one , who, along with two other divinities, comprise the Taoist trinity, the “san qing”. They are worshipped along with a immense Parthenon of deities, such as spirits of the sun, moon, guardians of hell, etc. To give you an idea of how absurd this situation is this, this is comparable to a time traveller to the distant future seeing Kant and Aristotle being venerated as deities!

    My point is, that if a philosophical system can be reduced to idolatry as in the above case, I see no reason why if science is venerated for its own sake, that it will end up the same way. Granted, you can simplify science, but, if science was to cater too much to public opinion and capacity, it will soon be admired and ( literally) worshipped for its own sake. If that was to happen, we may end up replacing one evil with another- a religion based on science.

  27. Why religion thrived where science failed.
    Your basic premise is wrong. Churches are closing. The Archbishop Of Canterbury wrung his hands his church has at most a generation left.

    Though there are religious crazies prominent in the USA, they are fading away in the rest of the planet. They are undermining the historic American economic domination, so what the USA does becomes less and less important.

    Science is booming, making more discoveries faster and faster each year.

    We have a problem with corporations misusing scientfic knowledge, but has has nothing to do with religion triumphing over scrience.

  28. The Evolutionary Conclave
    The Evolutionary Conclave would be an organisation that does not believe in transferable illusion-based knowledge as a form of education.
    A few examples of unique transferrable knowledge would be an attempt by science to explain scientific functions in empirical terms void of conjecture. Are the terms below conjecture or not?
    Evolutionary actions are derived from quantum waveform frequencies. Evolution is not reversible and probably controlled by gravity as demonstrated by orbiting satellites – time measurement is a derivative of evolution advancement.
    It is a scientific reality that ‘time’ as we know it is variable and that its duration is increased or decreased to match its evolutionary duration. One can then presume that a cosmonaut travelling through space for an extended period would return to earth older and not younger.
    Each and every spices of life is unique with its own evolutionary duration whether it is an individual entity or as a defined mass. Evolution allows for modifications to the various spices as a method of protecting their existence.
    The human life form has evolved through countless modifications over billions of cycles to reach its present state.
    Life forms can be compared with computers. The design of the hardware comparable to the design 0f the life form, the operating software (the soul) of the computer comparable to the initial operational requirement of the life form and a storage devise as way of storing new information.

    • In reply to #33 by Stan Antoniuk:

      Evolutionary actions are derived from quantum waveform frequencies. Evolution is not reversible and probably controlled by gravity as demonstrated by orbiting satellites

      It is not clear, if you are talking about biological evolution or cosmological evolution, although it looks cosmological because of references to gravity and time.

      – time measurement is a derivative of evolution advancement. It is a scientific reality that ‘time’ as we know it is variable and that its duration is increased or decreased to match its evolutionary duration.

      The relative progression through time is relative to comparative velocities.

      One can then presume that a cosmonaut travelling through space for an extended period would return to earth older and not younger.

      That would only be by a significant variation on their age on Earth, if they approached light-speed.

      Each and every spices of life is unique with its own evolutionary duration whether it is an individual entity or as a defined mass.

      Not at all! Species evolve and change constantly. so there is no “duration” of species except where there is an extinction. All other life is on-going. The classification into species is simply a rough and ready human description of areas within the range of life forms. (As I explained here:- http://www.richarddawkins.net/discussions/2013/11/19/why-haven-t-humans-speciated#comment-box-31)

      Evolution allows for modifications to the various spices as a method of protecting their existence.

      Not really. Unsuccessful modifications lead to the death or reproductive failure of individuals or to extinction. Beneficial ones continue the replication and reproductive process within the gene-pool of the species.

      The human life form has evolved through countless modifications over billions of cycles to reach its present state.

      Yes.

      Life forms can be compared with computers. The design of the hardware comparable to the design 0f the life form,

      There is actually very little similarity between most life-forms and computers, with even those capable of making complex calculations having radically different systems in the structures or functions of brain synapses and computer chips.

      the operating software (the soul) of the computer comparable to the initial operational requirement of the life form and a storage devise as way of storing new information.

      It is a very forced analogy between brain function and computer circuitry – with the mythical term “soul” adding to the confusion. The concept of a “soul” in a life-form such as a jellyfish is bizarre.

      I am not sure what this has to do with the OP of this discussion!

  29. How is Science at war with Religion? I think it’s the other way around. And Religion is leading the way down the road to their own ruination anyway; they don’t need any help. And how is Religion, specifically Roman Catholic, not exclusive? Anti-gay, misogynistic, etc. etc. You may have heard that some Muslims believe it imperative to destroy all people that don’t worship Allah.

    Science doesn’t require anyone to be anything other than dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. And its usually for the good of the entire human race.

  30. I can see what your saying but the question I have here is, do you mean atheism or science, the two whilst closely related these days they are still are distinct. The former does have groups which are open to less knowledgeable people, humanist groups spring to mind here, within which people can discuss atheism and of course science, as this is the backbone of any reasonable atheist’s belief, unfortunately they don;t have the kind of ‘congregations’ that churches have, outside of the UK at least, because unlike religion which is a very in-group/out-group mentality atheism doesn’t tend towards this, even when there isn’t a stigma associated with it such as in the US.

    Science on the other hand is a discipline of knowledge, which is more difficult to open up in general. The core skeleton of science should be taught in schools, and then it is up to the individual to continue to learn and be able to contribute to science in a meaningful fashion. I agree that perhaps scientists in general should have more time for the less knowledgeable but then again many do, they teach, produce documentaries etc. We at the end of the day however are not a church built on some common creed, we disagree constantly, which is a good thing, this drives human knowledge forwards. We may for the most part agree on the basics, but even then question specific parts. We are by necessity not a group of accord, but one of discord, but not violent ones, we don;t die for our beliefs etc. we just put our reputations on the line and set out to prove things… because we are able to.

  31. I agree with the fact that science should be teach in more understandable term. I also agree with this: ” religion doesn’t care how intelligent you are as long as you believe”. It is how religion works. Regards.

  32. Apologies but the OP is simply wrong. Poorly made assertions and comparisons between religion and science which are in fact not two sides of a coin but entirely discreet matters. I wouldn’t have put this topic up for discussion.

    • In reply to #42 by Graxan:

      I wouldn’t have put this topic up for discussion.

      Precisely – I want back the two minutes of my life wasted reading the OP’s “Nyah-nyah, people still need their imaginary friends.”

  33. I disagree. People have failed. Not science. The word science is only about 200 years old. Our old beliefs are just that, old, and entirely man made myths. eg. Constantine, Joeseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard and many more who use religion as a tool to monetize their existence, not help the poor. No shortage of followers out there. To answer your question “Who will lead the scientific revolution?”. Our children will.

  34. The best explanation I have heard for the persistence of religion is that all people have or had a mother and in general because of our long period of childhood we all have a strong desire for someone to provide protection and comfort.
    It is natural for people to seek an alternative, especially after separation from their mother for whatever reason.
    For the same reason, in times of stress following a death or a natural disaster people are far more likely to search for something to protect and comfort. Obviously they are more prone to being taken in by whatever lunacy they are exposed to.
    It is clear that people develop such a dependency on their faith to provide that “security blanket” that they simply refuse to let it go no matter how obviously stupid it is.
    I feel very sorry that such people cannot enjoy the thrill of understanding the reality that we live in.
    Ironically I expect that a lot of people receive calmness from experiencing the beauty of the world as I do but for a completely different reason.
    I cannot imagine anything more empty than to experience the world without the myriads of questions it constantly poses. That to me is the real wonder.
    Faith stifles questions because it already has the answer (always the same one) to every question before it can ever be asked.
    I realise that we cannot simply take that “imaginary blanket” away from them without providing “real community” to support them.
    All people need to feel they belong and are loved.
    The difficulty is to replace their “magic blanket” and “imaginary friend” with “real education” and “human companionship and love”. RDFRS is doing a fantastic job. Gradually more people will see the light (the real one)

    • In reply to #44 by ewenfraser:

      I realise that we cannot simply take that “imaginary blanket” away from them without providing “real community” to support them.

      …which is Marx’ point in his “opiate of the people” passage – religion serves not only as a method of social control, but also as consolation for social and economic disadvantage.

      Religion will disappear only when class society does.

  35. Religion is a manifestation of human superstition. A function of our brain once very useful, nowadays more of a step back of disturbing character. Science does not make such a kind of propaganda or marketing around ittself. But everyone wants to participate at its results. Thats what drives science. Religion, the attempt of a system gaining profit out of human superstition, is already in decline. Every statistic shows tjat a rising level of education decreases religiosity. Education itself includes the aspect of asking for the truth. That is breaking the neck of superstition. We are at the entrance in an age of total relgious decrease. – if we manage not to kill ourselves.
    Religion is not free! It even managed to cost you money if you are not religious and not a member of a church. In Germany we pay 450 million € per year besides church taxes. We pay their wages we pay their real estate and so on. We allow them to give social insitutions their names but we the tax payers pay for it. Even the church taxes are collected by the state what means that we all pay for the church to get its money. Science instead is geven for free in the science classroom in school! I can’t see why religions can be taught in school except as a part of history or ethics.

  36. Religion is a manifestation of human superstition. A function of our brain once very useful, nowadays more of a step back of disturbing character. Science does not make such a kind of propaganda or marketing around ittself. But everyone wants to participate at its results. Thats what drives science. Religion, the attempt of a system gaining profit out of human superstition, is already in decline. Every statistic shows tjat a rising level of education decreases religiosity. Education itself includes the aspect of asking for the truth. That is breaking the neck of superstition. We are at the entrance in an age of total relgious decrease. – if we manage not to kill ourselves.
    Religion is not free! It even managed to cost you money if you are not religious and not a member of a church. In Germany we pay 450 million € per year besides church taxes. We pay their wages we pay their real estate and so on. We allow them to give social insitutions their names but we the tax payers pay for it. Even the church taxes are collected by the state what means that we all pay for the church to get its money. Science instead is geven for free in the science classroom in school! I can’t see why religions can be taught in school except as a part of history or ethics.

  37. Interesting. I’ve always thought of people, particularly those of religious bent, to being more like “sheep.” You use a carnivore as an example and I use an herbivore. Atheists are not like the sheep. We don’t take an alleged “leader” at face value. We are critical thinkers to the end, even when it provokes others to cast us from the “herd” or “pack.” As for religion being inclusive, try looking at religion from a woman’s standpoint. It has been anything but inclusive unless you think being burned at the stake for being a witch to be fellowship with your social group. Most religions (post Neolithic) are patriarchal. So from a religious standpoint, women are little more than slaves or pawns. Even the gods that most recently have materialized are male. Only in polytheistic or Neolithic times (we’re talking a LONG time ago) were females god heads. And even in polytheistic religion, it is usually a male who rules over the demigods and goddesses (e.g. Zeus, Apollo, Osiris, etc.). Religion is only non-exclusive when you are at the top of your particular social groups hierarchy. In example, women were stoned for adultery when the cheating man often was not. People born with physical deformations (like my cleft lip for example) would be destroyed because of the belief that I was somehow demonic or a bad omen of some kind if I were allowed to live. Religion excludes people today just as it has in the past. I would say homosexuals would definitely not argue with me on that account. There has to be social change (or a financial persuasion) to suddenly be enlightened. When I delved in other religions, I was excluded in many ways in my family because they are all very religious and have a tradition of missionary work abroad, and “only through him can you be saved.” I was told that as a musician, it was evil to have my rock bands and sing about “secular” subjects like love, women’s empowerment, etc. because I wasn’t singing for their god. They hold prayers on holidays without regard to the fact that I and perhaps others in the family who aren’t as brave (or stubborn) as me don’t subscribe to their pointless ritual. I am excluded on a daily basis because of religion. I even almost lost a job because it was discovered that I was an atheist who would not budge in my denial of the existence of a god. If that is not religion excluding, even oppressing someone, I don’t know what is. Science has not done that to me, at least not to that degree. Rethink that position from the point of view of someone who is not a white privileged male, or somewhere near the crest of their social stratification structure and you may come to another conclusion.

    • In reply to #46 by Xenot:

      Interesting. I’ve always thought of people, particularly those of religious bent, to being more like “sheep.” You use a carnivore as an example and I use an herbivore. Atheists are not like the sheep. We don’t take an alleged “leader” at face value. We are critical thinkers to the end, even whe…

      As a gay woman, I hear you loud ‘n’ clear when you scoff at the OP’s claim that religion is ‘inclusive’!

  38. Religion has its root in stupidity and assignment of illogical answers to natural questions… when these answers are accepted by majority… religion is created. Also, science doesn’t have to conquer anything stupid. Well, first and the most important step is to desensitize stupidity by teaching people how to be secular and rational!!! once this is accomplished, (which may take a century, because old stupids will die natural death and new kids will accept things) reasoning and science will take a natural route and humanity will understand how to love and live peacefully. By the way, internet has helped millions around the world to attain peace and tolerance.

  39. “The reason religion is so popular relates to our need to survive. “

    I would have to disagree and so would all the people that have been killed and tortured in the name of religion. In my opinion the reason why religion is dying , is because it can no longer keep up with science and explain the lies and mistakes.
    The only way humans will survive is when religion disappears . It has only served to segment societies.

    Science has always been exclusive. If you can’t understand a scientific theory/fact you were deemed stupid and therefore not welcomed in the science community. Whereas, religion has always been inclusive.

    Disagree again. History will tell us that Religion was not inclusive. It did not include females or lower caste people. You could be a follower of a religion only if you were included by high authority or heritage after performing something in return possibly offering a daughter up for sacrifice.

    Science has always been free for the taking. Anyone who wants to understand it can learn. If a person can learn the bibles koran etc and all of it’s innards , they can surely study understand and learn science. Which involves methods of discovery other than faith. Science Offers Something Real and Tangible religion does not.
    Religion is nothing without faith.
    You can’t dispute scientific discoveries .

    Hard data. Over soft or no data.

    Science has a lot learn from religion.

    At one point religion and science were actually the same thing. If you look at the talmud and the other books which relate to gastronomy and alchemy you would see this. Somewhere along the line these philosophies separated. Mostly because of obvious irreconcilable differences that came up. After that, religion did all it could to subvert the truth and punish anyone who disagreed. Just ask Galileo. Since then the Church has remained as ignorant as then. They refused science. Way to go !! so what would science learn from this ? That if you don’t have or like the answer make one up ….

    Science needs to build schools for children and adults that teach science so its easy to understand. If you want to capture peoples imagination make science understandable. More importantly, make science free. That’s the beauty of religion, it doesn’t cost a cent.

    You must be from Oklahoma, no offense but all schools except possibly those in certain areas, teach science. You just need to go there. The problem is not that there are no schools that teach science , the problem is people not going to school.They count sunday school as school…. it is not.

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