“Science is the antithesis of faith. Science, by definition, is the attempt to fine physical proof for that which is unknown or not yet defined. When science affirms an answer, that answer is universal. Humans do not go to war over it.”
Origin by Dan Brown
A computer is programmed to store, retrieve and correlate information. When a computer is tasked with a query it cannot solve its response is insufficient data.
The human brain is a computer, but its programming differs from its electronic counterpart. The brain stores information from a lifetime of personal experiences; but the human brain always seeks closure and order.
Our brain tends to fill in the gaps of insufficient data or uncomfortable realities with an imagined acceptable alternative, in order to bring comfortable closure to a subject.
Early man was fearful of things he could not understand: death, storms, fire, night… so he fantasized Gods to explain the unexplainable. As civilization advanced, the stories of Gods became more sophisticated. Poseidon ruled the Oceans (Greek), Vulcan was responsible for volcanic eruptions (Romans), Odin was the god of war and Valkyries carried the dead warriors to Valhalla.
Gods filled in the gaps of man’s knowledge in order to bring about closure to the unknowable. But, as science and mathematics advanced the Gods became unnecessary and were replaced with known quantities.
Religion has been the enemy of Science and Knowledge from the very beginning. Adam and Eve were supposedly driven from the magical garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge. William of Ockham was tried for heresy for his math and scientific studies. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for declaring the sun was the center of the universe.
Galileo was threatened with the stake and make to recant his belief in a sun centered universe. It wasn’t until 1822 that the Catholic Church finally accepted that the fact of that the earth rotates around the sun.
People do not give up their Gods easily. Science and logic have systematically shined a light on religious superstitious ignorance. Yet there are still major populations of mankind that believe in a virgin birth, a flying horse, a talking burning bush, a man walking on water, reanimation of the dead, angels, devils, heaven, hell, bread that turns into flesh and wine into blood…
Religion has held its sway because children have been indoctrinated from birth by their religious parents, their religious communities and religious leaders. Children and adults have been played upon by apostolic snake oil salesmen.
But today, more and more young people are moving away from religion. The major hold that religions still flexes on mankind is the promise of life after death. It fills in the gap. It is what people want to believe.
Religion's promise is: I will pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today. So religions will never go easily into that good night.