Science of Religion

Here’s something that almost certainly none of you will like. I mentioned this guy in the evolution of religion thread. He studies the science of religion, so believers don’t like what he says since they already “know” what God is. Non-believers don’t like what he says because he doesn’t simply dismiss religion as something that should be dismissed and thrown out.

Within the first 15 minutes, he explains that yes, mythological explanations are not scientific, but when they were considered valid, they were “thinkable”. There was no distinction between science and myth at the time. It’s the job of the scientist today to not just know the difference, but also to understand how our brains work and why it is that we once thought that way and how that is still affecting us now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orF-R8eDhBU&t=1908s

 

lausten said: he explains that yes, mythological explanations are not scientific, but when they were considered valid, they were “thinkable”. There was no distinction between science and myth at the time.
But being thinkable does not make it scientfic. Moreover at the time of mythology there was no real science other than tools and warfare.

Early hominids had belief in an “unseen enemy in the sky” which would make thunder and lightning and throw water when it was really angry.

This primitive belief is still observable in the modern Chimpanzee. Alpha Chimps have been seen to act in an agressive way toward the unseen danger hidden in the skybushes (clouds) during a thunder storm.

But being thinkable does not make it scientific. Moreover at the time of mythology there was no real science other than tools and warfare.
That is more or less what he says. The science of religion looks at what we think and then at how that effects our actions and the actions others. It doesn't spend as much time on the question of "correct" thinking, or "proper" thinking modes. Outcomes matter, like did some way of thinking lead to a population growth or loss, or did other useful information get transmitted along with the not as useful religious information.