Does Science Explain All?
In the beginning there was darkness. Then there was light. Then there
was consciousness. Then there were questions and then there was religion.
Religions sprouted up all over the world as a response to some of humanity’s
most troubling questions and fears. Why are we here? Where do we come from?
Why does the world and nature act as it does? What happens when you die?
Religions tended to answer all these questions with stories of gods and
goddesses and other supernatural forces that were beyond the understanding of
humans. Magic, in it’s essence, were the powers wielded by these superior
beings that caused the unexplainable to happen.
Fast forward a few thousand years to the present. In our age and time
there is little left unexplained. Science seems able to explain everything with
mathematical logic and concrete evidence right before our very eyes. The
subject of science is taught in almost every school on Earth. Gone are the days
of magic and wonder. The magic of so-called magicians like David Copperfield
are a jest. When people attend a magic show everyone looks for the invisible
wires and hidden projectors. No one really believes the magician has
supernatural powers, except for maybe a handful of children in the audience who
still have faith in Santa Clause.
Science does seem to explain all. It has enabled humans to fly, cure
incurable diseases, explore the depths of the oceans, stave off death, walk on
the moon and wipe out entire civilizations with the push of a button. It is
becoming more and more widespread in that people are putting their faith in
science above that in the gods. What parent wouldn’t rather bring their sick
child to a doctor than have faith in the healing power of some mystical entity
that may or may not exist.
However strong and almost perfect the view of science is in today’s
society it cannot and does not cover the entire spectrum of the human experience.
Nor does it explain some of the striking similarities present in the various
religions of Earth. These similarities occur in civilizations not only far from
each other but also in cultures separated by seemingly impossible to traverse
oceans of water. Many of these similarities occur in the cosmological or
creation myths of the various religions.
In the Bible and other in other comparable ancient literatures, creation
is a theme expressed in parables or stories to account for the world. In almost
every ancient culture the universe was thought of as darkness, nothing and chaos
until order is induced by the divine creative hand. The type of order
envisioned varied from culture to culture. In the Biblical perspective, it was
envisioned that light should be separated from dark, day from night; and that
the various forms of plant and animal life be properly categorized. Although
the figure differ from myth to myth, all the ancient stories intend to give a
poetic accounting for cosmic origins. When viewed in terms of creational motifs,
the stories tend to be similar.
Some myths of creation include myths of emergence, as from a
childbearing woman, or creation by the marriage of two beings representing the
heavens and earth. A common feature of some Hindu, African and Chinese myths is
that of a cosmic egg from which the first humans are “hatched” from. In other
cultures, it must be brought up from primordial waters by a diver, or is formed
from the dismembered body of a preexisting being. Whether the deity uses
preexisting materials, whether he leaves his creation once it is finished, how
perfect the creation is, and how the creator and the created interact vary among
the myths. The creation story also attempts to explain the origins of evil and
the nature of god and humanity.
An example of two different religions containing various aspects of each
other could be that of the creation myth of Christianity and aspects of
creationism found in African religion. The creator god in the African religion
is Nyambi. Nyambi creates a man, Kamonu, and the man does exactly as his god
does in every way; Similar to the way the god of Christianity creates man in his
own image. Also Nyambi creates for Kamonu a garden to live in, the same way the
Garden of Eden was created. Another motif repeated between these two religions
is that of the Bible’s Tower of Babel. Kamonu, after his god left him behind,
tried to build a tower to reach his god but like The Tower