Science Future Glorious; Religion – Why Bother?

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Science Future

Religion -
Why Bother?

Atheism – 5/17/21)

By James A. Haught

In an 1820 letter to Portuguese
scholar Correa de Serra, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“Priests of the different
religious sects” dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of

Jefferson saw the clash between religion and
science clearly. Ever since his day, science has achieved astounding benefits
for humanity, while supernatural faith has provided little.

In Jefferson’s
time, human life expectancy averaged in the 30s (mostly because of horrible
child deaths). Today, life is near 80, thanks chiefly to medical

I was born in 1932 in a little
Appalachian farm town with no electricity or paved streets. Horse wagons were common. My privileged parents had gaslights and
running water – but most farm families had kerosene lamps and outdoor
privies. Conditions were little
improved from medieval times. Since
then, science has sent American life skyrocketing.

Just before World War II, penicillin
and antibiotics were developed – and they eventually cut world deaths
enormously, saving millions of lives.

In the 1940s, Arthur C. Clarke and a
few other science writers saw that, if an object was rocketed into space at
just the right speed, 22,000 miles above Earth’s equator, it would fall into
an orbit exactly matching the planet’s rotation, so it would remain “fixed”
in the sky, usable to bounce communication waves. Now more than 1,000 such satellites fill
the sky.

Discovery of the double-helix DNA
molecule in 1953 explained life, evolution, biology, and unleashed new fields
of health.

Exploring the solar system has become
so common that a private firm does it, and human stations on the moon and
Mars seem likely.


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