Science is playing a steadily larger and more personal role in helping us tell the difference between what is and what ain’t. In that capacity it has undermined what many of us once expected religion to provide, inspiring an increasingly angry and violent reaction from those who feel their very understanding of reality to be in jeopardy.
It would be wise to develop a more subtle and flexible understanding of the continuing role of religion in a civilization that relies on science to define the natural world. Human beings cannot readily preserve their sanity without some sense of meaning. To jettison religions that have sustained us for hundreds of generations because they fail to accurately record history or reliably describe the natural world would be a monumental mistake, a mistake that both religious fundamentalists and some scientists are pushing us to make. We need religion as much as we ever have, but our religion needs to evolve.