A Biologist’s Thoughts on Religion
There can’t be more than a handful of intelligent people in the world today who believe that religion, generally, is currently operating at its optimum capacity in human civilization.
The aetheist intellectuals, e.g., Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens liken the whole of religion to a computer virus running in the brain. I.e., the process of believing in things for which there is no evidence at the expense of ignoring provable scientific phenomena is simply a form of stupidity, and leads universally to savagery, whether it takes the form of war, torture, suppression of human rights, or whatever.
I was both impressed and amused by the statement made by author and biology professor PZ Myers :
What I want to happen to religion in the future is this: I want it to be like bowling. It’s a hobby, something some people will enjoy, that has some virtues to it, that will have its own institutions and its traditions and its own television programming, and that families will enjoy together. It’s not something I want to ban or that should affect hiring and firing decisions, or that interferes with public policy. It will be perfectly harmless as long as we don’t elect our politicians on the basis of their bowling score, or go to war with people who play nine-pin instead of ten-pin, or use folklore about backspin to make decrees about how biology works.