It seems to me that the scientific method has had a lot more success in getting to grips with the nature of the universe than clasping our hands together and bowing our heads in the hope of experiencing some revealed wisdom from a higher power.
Furthermore, I find the knowledge gained from the scientific method incompatible with much of the revealed wisdom recorded in any religious texts. But some people are able to reconcile the two different approaches and manage to clumsily juggle both methods. For those scientifically minded people who are reluctant to relinquish their comforting faith, the old non overlapping magisteria chestnut is usually the favourite technique.
I'm not a fan of this idea. I don't like the idea of separating subjects based on whether they are best dealt with by either science or religion. As religion has come up with some pretty embarrassing explanations for the origins of the universe and the human species, many religious people are happy to defer these topics to science but reserve other topics such as love and the meaning of life exclusively to their religion.
I think however we should have a free for all. I don't want to oust science from the few remaining topics that many see as the domain of religion. Consequently, I'm also happy for religion to take a shot at some of the scientific subjects where the scientists have so far failed to deliver.
When I sat around my 70's TV at 7pm on a Thursday night, Raymond Baxter, William Woollard and Michael Rodd made a lot of promises to me of what science would deliver that haven't as yet come to pass. If I were a religionist, I think that some of these scientific holes would be a great opportunity to beat science at its own game by applying a bit of faith and a smattering of the supernatural to try and solve these outstanding problems.
I suggest a tactic of divide and conquer. If each of the religions takes on an area of science where those pompous know-it-all scientist have let us down, they might be able to finally reclaim an air of respectability and pull back some of the lost ground.
Here's the plan:
The Catholics could have a go at the jet pack. All the jet packs science has come up with so far are rubbish. They require ridiculous amounts of expensive fuel and they're complete gits to control. A jet pack powered by divine energy and controlled by prayer would be much more accessible and safer. So I propose the Pope stops fannying about with condoms and gets to work on God Pack. Get this bugger working and I'll happily recant my infidel opinions.
The Muslims could have a crack at producing a reliable and accurate weather forecast. If yodelling from the top of a broken lighthouse could give me a 100% accurate prediction of whether or not it will rain in Basingstoke at 3pm next Saturday, I'll gladly give it a go.
The Jews can have a punt at a cure for the common cold because the scientists certainly seem like they can't be arsed. Once again I'll happily grow some cute curls and head-butt a wall if it will reliably cure my sore throat and runny nose.
And finally the good old Protestants. I think they should see if they can beat NASA to Mars. If the Church of England can get a vicar on Mars before NASA gets an astronaut there, I'll happily fill one the empty pews on a Sunday morning.
The religious characters used above are of course stolen from the New Humanists Magazine's God Trumps