The evolution of God

Early humans considered everything around them as gods: rain, fire, the sun, the moon, animals, you name it. As humans came to understand, one by one, each of these things, the awe they originally felt towards them faded, because understanding is grasping, almost controlling.

All material things thus lost their perceived god-like quality. But still, the **designs** of these things were beyond human understanding: rain, for example, was given by a god to whom one should show reverence in order to obtain rain. When science explained rain, we stopped rain-dancing. Soon, we'll be inducing rain by directly manipulating the Earth's atmosphere.

And so it goes, our science and knowledge explaining new layers of reality, therefore pushing godliness (our sense of awe towards an intelligent controller) further away from the details of our existence.

If we consider the competition for human belief (what marketing calls mindshare) as the ultimate power struggle, then Science is definitely winning over Religion. "God is dead" has been one of the defining statements of the 20th century, because those who had an axe to grind with religion feel that the tide is finally turning: we no longer need to ascribe any event to God - and therefore religion loses its meaning.

So does evolution kill God? Consider this: no matter what level of reality science is able to explain next, there will always be a deeper level to be explored. This comes from the very tools that science uses: logic, abstraction, mathematics. Those tools admit of infinitely deep recursion, and reality happily obliges. That's what happened with Newtonian mechanics that were claimed to have finally answered all questions about movement: not so, said the quantum theory which is itself incomplete. So no matter what we know, there will be always more that we don't know.

Besides, how did the mechanism of evolution come to be?

PS. There's a book called The Evolution of God by Robert Wright - should be an interesting read. I must have seen the cover many times but I wasn't thinking of it for the title of this post.