Normally I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like to talk much about religion, but I came across an idea last night that was so interesting I thought I had to write it down. Simply put, the idea is that science is an unintentional side effect of a religious system that believes in a single god.
The argument goes something like this. Think of a society that believes in lots of gods, one that believes each rock, tree, animal, river etc has its own spirit to diety controlling it. You could easially think of two rivers, one flowing upstream, and the other flowing downstream, because thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how each god wanted to run their river. If you accept that as a part of the belief system, you will never try and look for common behaviour in all rivers, because it just wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make sense. Every river has its own god, and every river has its own behaviour, based on that god.
Then by contrast, think about a society such as Christianity, which believes in (one) God. God decides how all the rivers work, and because of this, all rivers work the same. Once you have the concept that all things sharing some property also share behaviour, you start trying to explain that behaviour, to understand it, to predict it. As soon as you start trying to do that, science as we know it soon follows.
The familiar process then often follows, whereby we look at something, create some ideas as to how it works, that seems to successfully predict it, and then we think Ã¢â‚¬Å“hey, this explanation doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a God to make senseÃ¢â‚¬Â. Before long there are all sorts of tensions between the scientists and the religious believes, but thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another storyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦