This is a question which is profoundly important. Well, it is either profoundly important, or simply not even worth thinking about. I will make it clear at this point; all views expressed here are arbitrary and my own thoughts. Of course, some will agree and some will not. Is that not the beauty of debate, the human race and all knowledge we share? I will also need to mention that I will keep this post short, brief and simple, as this is a topic I can easily get carried away with!
The main point I wish to (briefly) explore are the origin of religions. Why was there a need for them? In the respective times of their inception, the world was a very different place. Well, perhaps not the world, per say, but our knowledge was definitely inferior from today (I won’t say our knowledge was lacking, as arguably, it will always be lacking to some extent!). It seems to be mankind’s greatest wish to understand ‘why’. Why are we here? Why were we ‘created’? etc. Religions claim to answer these questions, providing relatively simple answers. Unfortunately, as a scientist, I see no validity in any such claims.
Questions for which we did not previously know answers to were explained in supernatural circumstances. For example, Hindus (even today!) still believe that the sun and moon are Deities, and are actively worshipped. Now we know that the sun is a middle aged star, converting hydrogen into helium, around which our speck-like planet orbits. Fascinating indeed! Supernatural, not so much. Additionally, we now know that our planet is ~4.55 billion years old, confirmed through scrutinised scientific methodology. Based on this, it is astounding how few individuals know this ‘fact’, and believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old! So why is there a need to believe fairy tales and fictitious accounts for which we now know the answer? (rhetorical question)
I can go on with examples, but the main point I wish to raise is how far along science has come, yet primitive beliefs are still rampant and hung onto. This is a very large topic area, and one which I will blog about from time-to-time, in bite-sized chunks (as there is simply far, far too much to write about in a single post!). Watch this space for more…