First and second attempts to explain the universe: (1) religion, (2) science

Religion was the first systematic attempt to explain the universe comprehensively.  It presented the world as a product of mind or minds, of supernatural agents who could order or disorder nature at will.

Science was the second great attempt to explain the world.  This time explanations were cast in terms of impersonal forces and natural, physical processes, rather than the activities of purposive supernatural agents.

When scientific explanations conflicted with religious explanations, religion invariably lost the battle.  Mostly, theologians retreated to concentrate on social and ethical matters such as spiritual enlightenment, content to leave interpreting the physical universe to the scientists.

Cosmic Jackpot by Paul Davies

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