Science education

Religion: The Most Primitive Stage of Science

Mystics and some religionists try to unite science and religion. Dave Pruett, a regular contributor to Huffington Post, refers to science and religion as “soulmates, each grounded in the experience of awe.” Pope Francis, in Laudato Si’, laments that technology depicts “nature as an insensate order.” And Deepak Chopra, the modern “prophet” of consciousness, claims that “Jesus, the Buddha, and other enlightened sages were scientists” (see here page 6).

The gods of all religions reside in the sky (or on top of a very high mountain peak): Ra, the supreme god of ancient Egypt, rides on the Sun; Brahman, the god of Hinduism, lives above all the celestial bodies; Greek gods traveled between the sky and Mount Olympus; Yahweh lives in the heavens; Jesus rose to heaven to meet his father. There is another human activity connected to the sky: Astronomy, the first science, is the study of objects that reside in the sky. Is there a connection?

In His Own Image …

Open your mind’s eye for a moment and let it begin a journey in space and time! Far away and long ago. … Look at those construction workers laying down the foundation of the Eiffel Tower. As you pass over Jerusalem, see how the ruins of al-Aqsa turns into a new mosque as the workers reconstruct it brick by brick after a devastating earthquake. … You are now leaving behind the Flavian Amphitheater, the playing field of brutal gladiatorial games in Rome. You are passing the times when King Khufu commissioned the building of his tomb, the Great Pyramid at Giza, and when the Sumerian king Aannipadda built his temple at Ur. Watch how the pyramids are fading away, the temples are disappearing, the huts and mud houses leaving your sight! Do you see a savanna approaching you? Stop there. Now you are somewhere in east Africa or Eurasia some time between 50 and 100 thousand years BCE; eons before any towns or villages existed on the face of our planet.

Can you see the silhouette of those men trudging wearily in the savanna at dusk? They are returning to their cave after a long, laborious day of hunting, each proudly carrying a part of the carcasses of the boars they had killed earlier. The big smile on their faces speaks of their immense joy for having been able to provide a few day’s supply of food for their clan.

Their smiles are not to last long, however, because they notice that the wind is picking up speed, and the clouds in the sky are turning dark gray. They look at each other in fright. One of them quickens his pace; the others follow. By the time they are within a few yards from their cave, the wind is so strong that they have to bend forward and exert great pressure against it to be able to take the next step. “Big Serpent hiss,” utters one of the men as they enter the cave.

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Science education

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ContentsIn His Own Image … Credit: Secrets of the Psychics and James Randi