It is popular to talk of the debate (or even “battle”) between science and religion. I am not sure they are really that much at odds. In some ways they are both looking for truth, or at least some description of our reality. Is the belief in a “creator” really much worse than the belief (by some) of superstrings and dark matter (or any other currently unprovable theory)?
Rather than attempt to fight an unwinnable battle, I want to consider the ways in which what science knows is similar to what religion preaches.
The so-called Big Bang sounds much like a moment of creation to me. Even the sequence sounds like a detailed version of the allegorical Biblical description (from light, to matter, to planets, to life). Even if you do not want to consider God, you still might like to know what the Universe expanded into (and if it has an end, what is beyond it), and why that pinpoint of matter or energy existed in the first place.
The Hand of God
Scientists ascribe some unexplained phenomenon to things such as “dark matter” and “dark energy”. The religiously inclined could see the “dark” stuff described here the invisible hand of God keeping our world running (“dark” referencing unseen and not the work of the dark master – the Devil).
Black holes are a place where spacetime becomes so distorted that time has no meaning. Upon entering a black hole future, past, and present would become one (at least compared to outside the black hole). Such a place sounds much like the eternity of the afterlife described by many religions.
Am I really trying to prove the existence of God? Of course not. Many minds smarter than mine have fought that hill; this is more a light (very light) philosophical discussion for a Sunday (perhaps showing the bias of my Christian heritage) afternoon. I am sure that sharper intellects could build on (or tear down) these musings.
I wonder if religion and creation stories have something to do with the development of consciousness. Could the Adam and Eve story derive from folk history of that first moment of conscious (direct awareness of self and others) of early humans?
When I considered this post, it seemed so much smarter than it does as I read the final version.