Religion vs. Science?

What if mankind’s natural path is to completely understand the universe, but certain events in human history like war, disaster and, more to the point, religion work as stumbling blocks to slow our progress on that path?

For instance, we are only now learning of the advances of Archimedes and his contemporaries, and this only through forensic investigations of the artifacts we happen across. But his work is widely believed to have been thoroughly recorded in books and scrolls in the Library at Alexandria, explicit writings that we could have the benefit of building on for some 2000 years.

The problem is, at various points in the first few hundred years AD, some combination of war and religious zealotry destroyed that library, setting mankind back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years by technological standards.

Sadly, the most notable “next” libraries (after the destruction of Alexandria), are primarily THEOLOGICAL.

Fast forward to modern times, and we have years of incredible scientific and technological advancements, and sitting on the horizon waiting to destroy it all and return us to the dark ages? – islamic jihad.

The simple answer is that science and technology give the common man complete power. If we have the power to understand and control our environment, we have no need to rely on religion to explain it to us. If that happens, religion loses its control over us and we (as a race) lose interest in it. It would be a life or death fight for religion to halt the progress of knowledge and supplant it with radical religious belief.

Quick, if one is evil and the other good, which is which? Religion or Technology?

Note: This article is a part of a larger document “wiki” that I am slowly piecing together to help me to understand, well… everything. As I have long held that I am an agnostic, the document asks a lot more questions than it offers answers. I do not believe that religion itself is inherently evil – in fact I believe it is a necessary part of human evolution; a way for mankind to “fit in” to the big picture while seeking the answers we need to know. Religion (faith) provides the basis for the rules that are necessary for society to work, and a working society is the method by which we share and expand our knowledge of the universe. The problem comes in when religion gets in the way of the expansion and accumulation of knowledge. Religion should temper (our use of) knowledge, but never prevent it. Blind faith should never get in the way of provable fact.