A religion’s belief in a god or goddess can help the science of religion find answers, say researchers at the University of Melbourne.
They are investigating whether a religion might be able to provide answers to some of the big questions about the world and life, such as the origins of life.
Religion has long been thought to be an evolutionary curiosity that is hard to pin down.
It’s possible that religion evolved as a way of coping with the challenges of life in a diverse and complex world, said lead researcher Dr Peter J. Meehl, a PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences.
“What I think people have overlooked is that there are so many things about religion that we just don’t understand,” he said.
Religion is a unique way of finding answers, says Dr Meehles, whose work is published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. “We can’t simply say, ‘Well, if religion is true, then there must be a God.
Well, that’s not the case.'”
A religious belief that religion can answer some of these big questions could lead to a stronger understanding of the world, he said, adding that religious belief in gods is one of the main factors driving evolutionary biology.
“There are so few questions in biology about what religion is all about.
You can’t answer that without some sort of religious explanation,” Dr Miehl said.
He and his colleagues looked at more than 100 ancient religions to determine whether they could explain some of our biggest scientific questions about life.
In a study published online on December 15 in the Journal of Philosophy, they found that some religious beliefs can be used to help explain how a religion evolved.
For example, if a religion believed that it was the result of divine intervention, it could provide a solution to the problems of climate change.
If the religion was based on the idea that it had been created by a god, it might explain how life began.
Religious belief in miracles also helped explain why religions are so prevalent in some cultures, the researchers said.
“This is not a one-size-fits-all answer, and I think it’s possible for religions to play a role in explaining how the world works,” Dr. Miehles said.
For some religions, such an answer could have been about the creation of a perfect being, but for others, it may have been more complex.
Dr. Jodi D. Brown, a professor of philosophy at the university, said there were many questions to be answered about religion.
For instance, why do religions use their gods to solve their problems?
Why do people believe in gods, and why are there so many?
Dr Brown said religion could be the answer to many of these questions.
“One of the things that we find in the scientific community is that religion has a lot to do with the way we interpret and understand the world,” she said.
It can explain why there are different cultures and religions, but not all cultures have god as their main deity, Dr Brown added.
“If religion is a way that we understand the way the world operates, it makes a lot of sense.”
A new way to solve big questions in science