Please note, you can access all previous explanatory and inspirational WTM Emails at the end of this email. Wednesday’s explanatory emails and Friday’s inspirational emails are numbered in order of appearance, so one is odd and the other even numbered.
This is inspirational WTM Email 28
Is science’s scorn of religion legitimate?
Many scientists scorn religion. But now that we have the scientific explanation of the human condition, we can see how extraordinarily insightful some religious metaphors are.
For example, now that we understand that the human condition — our angry, egocentric and alienated state — was the result of a clash between our emerging consciousness and our pre-established, loving instincts, we can appreciate just how accurate the story of Adam and Eve, Moses’ pre-scientific description of the human condition, is.
The story contains reference to our loving instincts in its description of how we were created in the image of God, living in harmony in the Garden of Eden; it refers to the rise of consciousness in its description of how we took of the fruit from the tree of knowledge; and it refers to the resulting clash with our instincts in its description of how we were cast out of Eden.
All Moses lacked to fully explain the human condition was the scientific understanding of the difference between genes and nerves, which defends our ‘disobedience’, but which was to take a further 3,000 years to discover!
It is of some significance that while Moses’ account is perhaps the most widely recognised, virtually all religions contain a metaphor about the rise of consciousness corrupting an innocent state — as the author Richard Heinberg notes in his book Memories & Visions of Paradise:
“Every religion begins with the recognition that human consciousness has been separated from the divine Source, that a former sense of oneness…has been lost…everywhere in religion and myth there is an acknowledgment that we have departed from an original…innocence and can return to it only through the resolution of some profound inner discord…the cause of the Fall is described variously as disobedience, as the eating of a forbidden fruit, and as spiritual amnesia [forgetting/blocking out/alienation].” (See and for an incredible collection of non-scientific descriptions of the human condition.)
So despite the scorn prominent mechanistic scientists have been pouring on religion recently — for example, evolutionary biologist, and famous atheist, Richard Dawkins, has said ‘faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness’ (The Selfish Gene, new edition, 1989, p.330 of 352), and ‘Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus, but harder to eradicate. The whole subject of God is a bore”…those who teach religion to small children are guilty of “child abuse”’ (see ), and the founder of sociobiology, E.O. Wilson, has said ‘What’s dragging us down is religious faith…I would say that for the sake of human progress, the best thing we could possibly do would be to diminish, to the point of eliminating, religious faith’ (see — it turns out that the scientific explanation of the human condition, now that it has arrived, is in accord with the religious one. Which should comes as no surprise really, because as the Nobel prize-winning physicist Charles H. Townes said,
“They [science and religion] both represent man’s efforts to understand his universe and must ultimately be dealing with the same substance. As we understand more in each realm, the two must grow together…converge they must.” (See )
How right Townes was. Now that we have Jeremy’s scientific explanation of the human condition we can readily see their beautiful symmetry.
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Read Jeremy Griffith’s breakthrough redeeming explanation of the human condition in ; and much more about the relationship between science and religion while the journey to find understanding was underway in , specifically paragraphs 326-328.
Discussion or comment on this email is welcomed — see below.
See all previous WTM Emails
(Note, Wednesday’s explanatory emails and Friday’s inspirational emails are numbered in order of appearance, so one is odd and the other even numbered.)
These emails were composed during 2017 by Jeremy Griffith, Damon Isherwood,
Fiona Cullen-Ward & Brony FitzGerald at the Sydney WTM Centre.