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L.A. Hall

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Would religion exist if the first humans had our scientific knowledge?

I am steadfast in my opposition of religion.

I believe there is a beauty to mystery and living well. I believe religion unknowingly does its followers wrong. It tells them that all beauty you see is God's doing.

I believe God is the ultimate manifestation of not knowing the answers. He is the life-filled alternative to an "I don't know."

I believe religion functions as ethics, as philosophy, for those too weak to act good on their own fruition, and need some sort of motivation to be good: a ticket to heaven will do.

So, my question is this: do you believe that, if the first humans knew everything we know today -- about biology, chemistry, physics, economics, and so on -- would religion exist? If so, why? If not, would this be a good or bad thing?


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  • Jan 5 2013: Your question implies that science and religion have emerged and evolved separately and in sequence, but it is not the case; it's never the case with anything else ! Everything , and i do mean everything grows together , it's concrecence.
    As Einstein put it: all arts, science and religions are branches of the same tree.
    • Jan 5 2013: Hi again nn

      First I will have to comply with TED rules and post something that relates to the tread above. A subject that appears as often on TED as the subject "What is Happiness or Why am I not Happy" does....gee maybe the two questions are related!!! :-)

      All Religions are man-mind-made ....all discoveries made by man-mind are a reflection of that same mind that invents Religions therefore the two Science/Religion cannot b separate in anyway other then that individual minds-egos want to do so.

      Hi again nn

      And yes I did and a big smile to “thank us” …..and yes any subject worth the context within “thank us” does not suit a “debate” of any kind. All true “Truths” are subjective after all.

      Before a go further I would highly suggest your return to your last post to me and remove your e-mail now. (There are plenty of nut cases on the TED forums) I have it now and tag you with the refs you have requested, by that rout, after I sign off here.

      Here is a quick quote to end here

      "Daskalos: This is very precious work, most vital to our effort to understand and experience the relative truths and advance in our development. It is not enough that we sit and talk and talk, for as I often repeat in the lessons we must not accept anything unless we ourselves have experienced it. Truths unexperienced quickly degenerate into dogmatism."
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        Jan 5 2013: The difference between science and religion is consistency and proof.
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      Jan 6 2013: I quote the great Christopher hitchens
      " where religion ends philosophy begins. Where astrology ends astronomy begins. Where alchemy ends chemistry begins,"
      Science evolved as the replacement to religious or supernatural ideas such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, meteors, the northern lights, the tides, rivers, mountains, weather patterns, the sun itself, the formation of the earth etc etc once all had supernatural explanations but are now replaced by scientific explanations
      • Jan 6 2013: Let's fallow this logic : when Newtonian physics ends QM begins. But classical physical laws were laws of nature and absolute/objective/scientific truth.

        It makes science a record of dead religions.

        And if you think astrology and alchemy is not science you terribly diminish this enterprise, which i respect.
        I do
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          Jan 7 2013: No you're Newtonian example doesn't work, it would be closer to say relativity rather than qm but Newtownian physics is largely included in relativity and is merely improved upon. They explain two different aspects the macro and the micro and there is a search currently going on to link the two
          Science is the history of evidence, what is currently believed is what current evidence suggests, something's we have reason to think will change in the near future, others we don't such as gravity like it would take a lot of new evidence to disprove gravity as opposed to one version of the multiverse theory which the Lisa telescope will prove or disprove
          And astrology and alchemy aren't sciences, you can't get degrees or doctorates in either of them. Alchemy is sheer ignorance of the atomic model, no chemical reaction on earth will turn one element into another ( gold is usually the one alchemists used to try to attain) but through evidence and experiments we discovered that nuclear fusion turns two elements into one larger one and that's called physics
      • Jan 7 2013: The very division 'macro/micro' reveals the cartesian
        mindset :)
        ' As above so below ' , the laws that governs the universe are simple and truly uni-versal.
        Watch this video, if you haven't yet, it's simply brilliant, no words are necessary , no ambiguity here, you can see with your own eyes how it works.


        You think that QM is an 'improvement' , inevitable development of N. Ph., let me try to explain shortly why i think it is not.
        Btw. classical physics is defined as a ' limiting case ' in QM, not the basis on which it grows.
        The subject of QM is the Whole and Parts are the result of the analysis, while in classical physics , parts are fundamental, the Whole is just a convenient notion to assemble the parts.
        Don't you see the difference ?

        "... astrology and alchemy aren't sciences, you can't get degrees or doctorates in either of them "
        Please...., tell me you are kidding :)
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          Jan 7 2013: You're making no sense, I said relativity was an improvement on Newtown, qm is a whole different thing. Qm deals with quarks, gluons, bosons, photons etc and they come with the uncertainty principle
          Relativity deals with larger things such as galaxies and there is no uncertainty principle in the macro because we can know a trucks position and momentum whereas we can't know both for a quark or photon.
          And yes I'm being serious Oxford, Cambridge, trinity college Dublin, queens Belfast. St. Andrews, imperial college London, Harvard, MIT all do not offer alchemy or astrology as subjects you can learn
      • Jan 7 2013: Where do you think Newton came from ?
        He was an alchemist, and practiced this art with passion.

        If you don't see any sense in what i am saying, then i'd better not to waste your/my time any longer, but it doesn't mean that there is no sense in what i am saying :)

        Best to you !
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          Jan 7 2013: Yes yes Newtown was an alchemist and he had no success with it at all, sure Charles Darwin was a creationist until he discovered evolution, also you base your assumption on the idea that with a modern education Newtown would still embrace alchemy
          With new evidence comes new ideas
      • Jan 7 2013: No success ? ! After rediscovering in the middle of the twentieth century N's papers, most scholars now concede that Newton was first an foremost an alchemist. It is also becoming obvious that the inspiration for Newton's laws of light and theory of gravity came from his alchemical work.
        And talking about Charles Darwin, don't forget about Russel Wallace, the theory of evolution was called initially Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution. And Wallace appeared to be far more advanced scientist then his time could afford. he had the idea of ' engine' that corrects the mistakes before they occur ; It's the idea of field , conscious field. His idea was suppressed and forgotten alongside with the name. It's very interesting stuff, google it, maybe you'll get new, OK, slightly altered idea of how the scientific doctrine of objectivity was shaped, ' objectivity' is relative to the mindset you bring to it..
        And now we are in topic again. No need to go far, let me quote from the comment above :
        "All Religions are man-mind-made ....all discoveries made by man-mind are a reflection of that same mind that invents Religions therefore the two Science/Religion cannot be separate "
        I am on boad with this vision .
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          Jan 7 2013: How, just how? You link me an article or paper that claims that newtons belief in two chemicals mixing to form one caused him to form the theory of gravity. That is the biggest gap in logic I've ever heard.
          Please define for me what you think alchemy is?
          And I'm not arguing that he wasn't an alchemist I know he was but there is no way it influenced him.
          And it wasn't that he necessarily discovered gravity, it's just the maths was too complex to understand gravity, so he invents calculus and this aids him in working out the properties of gravity and how it held the solar system together.
          And I'm still willing to bet my whole foe on it that if Newton had of been taught about the atom, electrons, and some basic chemistry which 12 year olds learn he'd realise alchemy was wrong, like imagine living in his time when you don't even know what things are made of, of course you'll think alchemy could work. But evidence changes and so do views with evidence and its here I give Newton the benefit of the doubt that if he had modern evidence he would fully embrace it and feel foolish for once thinking that he could make gold by mixing chemicals
      • Jan 7 2013: Actually, somehow i understand ' how' , but i need to write a book to explain and most likely i won't succeed.
        I'll try to find links.

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