What’s tough to explain to people – and what I struggle with the most to relay to a “mixed” audience (of both science and religious types) – is the central idea that science and religion aren’t actually very different underneath.
We’re told that science somehow defeated religion and that we’re better off for it. Science promoted technological innovation; the techniques of artisans were pushed forward by adding energy to them – first coal, then oil – which increased production and built whole assembly lines, so we could have lots of ‘stuff’ (made of oil). That’s MOST of what “modern science” has done. Added energy and material to artisanry. Nothing is “hand made,” it’s all done in factories. That’s the greater gift of “modern science.”
But it hasn’t gotten us to “truth.” It hasn’t shown us the meaning of life any more than getting on our knees to worship corrupt priests has. (Though they both claim authority over your mind and thoughts – both are frauds.)
Religion is, to anyone who isn’t self-brainwashing – a system of deeply confusing rules (mostly to do with sex), plus a lot of profoundly illogical mythology. It’s not history in the sense of “this actually happened.” It’s a kind of buffet of ideas that feels no obligation to reflect reality. Of course, people take it seriously as history and thereby miss the subtler points.
Science thinks it got it right; it says that it, unlike religion, doesn’t break with logic, it tells the “truth” through “careful experimentation and observation.” And maybe that was the intention, but today, science is religion. It is a self-brainwashing system of mythological events that ends up sitting precisely and exactly on top of the space that religion carved out: it answers, but badly and with extreme intellectual dishonesty (or just “story-telling”) the “big questions,” for which it’s minted a series of myths: Big Bang, Darwinism, Better Living Through Chemistry… And it simply retells Bible stories in new clothes – Leviticus is reinterpreted as ‘stealth viruses’ that get you if you break Old Testament sexual laws. And Biblical Genesis and Revelation – how the world was born, and how the world will end – are dressed up in different outfits, (Big Bang and Universal “deflation”) but they’re equally mythological, neither historical nor based in reality.
It’s come to be that science and religion are more or less the same animal. Science is certainly more obsessed with production of technology. Religion with adherence to fear of truly knowing oneself, and an obsessive-compulsive cataloging “sin.” But their stories – creation, destruction, and lots of rules about sex – are the same underneath.