“On Religion and Science”
Ancient civilizations, such as ancient Egypt (3150-31 BC), ancient Babylon, ancient Greece (800-146 BC), ancient Rome, Inca civilization (1200-1542 AD), ancient China (2100-221 BC), Maya civilization (2000 BC- 16th century), Medieval Islamic civilization, etc., clearly demonstrate that both science and religion can coexist and that faith and reason are indeed compatible. For example, some of the ancient priests in the Pharaohnic Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations, as well as high-ranking religious leaders in Medieval Islam and West African kingdoms were not only great scientists and mathematicians; they were also great people of faith, committed religious individuals. This intimate rapport and tradition between religion and science was maintained throughout the ancient world.
It is only in the West, beginning with the birth of radical and atheistic Enlightenment modernity, that European thinkers began to question the usefulness of religion in both the private and public lives, and interrogated the rapport between science and religion, if there’s any.
By any means am I saying that European Enlightenment thinkers were the ones to first espouse atheism and radical secular humanism or to separate science and religion. Of course, atheists and non-theistic humanists have always existed throughout human history. Yet in modern West, the quest to divorce science and religion and to show the incompatibility between faith and reason has increasingly become an intellectual passion, even a cult: the cult of reason and the worship of science.