On the other hand, the Egyptian and Babylonian priests’ observation of the sky, which was motivated by the intention to persuade their gods to bestow upon the earthly population health, prosperity, and long life, seemed to lead to little result, despite multitude of adjustments and fine-tuning of the idols and higher and higher price tags attached to the gifts and sacrifices intended for the gods.
Eventually, there emerged the idea that perhaps the priests were worshiping the wrong objects; that people might be better rewarded if they turned to the other manifestation of the powerful creatures: the spirit. This was the course of events that shaped the religion of East Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East. Borrowing from their sociopolitical structure — headed by an Egyptian Pharaoh or a Sumerian King — the “spirit” was eventually abstracted into the notion of a most powerful omniscience and omnipresent God. (See pages 40-78 of this book for an account of the emergence of monotheism.)
In contrast to the Middle East, India and the Far East, focused on the spirit from the very beginning. Buddhism and Hinduism taught that the universal spirit was inside every animate and inanimate object. So, there was no need for idols to represent something that is present in everything we see and touch. The idea of statues came, in fact, in the first century BCE, long after the death of Buddha, when a kind of personal devotion and humanization of religion, known as bhakti, was integrated into the religion and the first statue of Buddha appeared in Gandhara in northwest India. (See here pages 83-84.)
Regardless of its later development in the Middle East or in East Asia, religion was left behind science once the Greeks secularized the astronomy that they inherited from Babylonian and Egyptian priesthood. And although science was temporarily suppressed by the rise of the Roman Empire and its eventual surrender to Christianity, it emancipated itself after the Renaissance and has left its once twin sister farther and farther behind. So, despite the attempt of Dave Pruett, Pope Francis, Deepak Chopra, John Templeton, and other scientists or religionists,
Today, religion is as much connected to science as Mayan (flat-earthed colorful) cosmology is to the big bang theory!