Is Science the new Religion?


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Ever since the existence of  mankind, we have been wondering and pondering upon the "mystical" and inexplicable elements of the universe. Human's then used religion to answer these questions. The Greeks, like many other cultures of the ancient times, had their own religion. But then as time went on, new religions came about and the old were retitled mythology, striping away its legitimacy. Religion then had its foot hold on society reigning the minds of believers. But then came science. And to be accurate, modern science as we know it (before it was more along the lines of magic) is still young if you consider it within the historical spectrum. But it is slowly taking the place of religion in many aspects of our current world. For example, religion used to have a much greater grasp on many legal systems. In many cases, they used to be the defining elements in many trials. But now science is the consensus.

Now many of you would certainly disagree and to some extent, I would even disagree with myself. But we must also be very open minded and understand that this disagreement is elicited by our natural tendency to be chronologically biased. And in order to recognize this bias, we must look at history not through our current perspective that is in the year 2010, but rather a year say much later in the future...say 4000 AD and ask ourselves, based on the views we have on the beliefs that the ancients were fervent about, what would people in 4000 think about our fervent beliefs (that by the way, includes our current "science"). And believe it or not, they would most likely view what we call science today is laughable just as we view Greek mythology well...as simply mythology.

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The thought experiment of looking back from 4000 AD is very interesting, and I am sure we 21st century people will look quaint then. But I disagree that science is just another religion. Religions are founded on the supernatural; science rejects the supernatural. More importantly, science accepts that everything we know now could be wrong, and with the right evidence, we'll re-write the wisdoms of our forebears. A willingness to accept that we can be misled by traditions, beliefs and preconceptions is not a feature of religion.

Perhaps by 4000AD there will be another approach to knowledge which generates understanding of life, the universe and disease cures faster than science, and if so, well, lucky those guys.

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