Science and Belief

Science is a deeply human activity that people have been doing long before the ‘scientific revolution’ a few hundred years ago[1] – but then so is religion. Is there any evidence to suggest which came first? Did early human beings find themselves thinking deep thoughts about the meaning of the universe, then become motivated to investigate the world around them more intensively, or did they start out by investigating the world and find that deep questions flowed naturally out of that investigation?

I’m sure a number of psychologists and anthropologists would love to answer this question, but a scientist and artist have also recently given it a go. Last year, Roger Wagner (the artist) and his friend Andrew Briggs (the Oxford Professor of Nanomaterials) published a book which claims religion came first. Their work is fairly encyclopaedic, but I was given a preview of it in the form of…

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