Scientific medicine vs religion


In a book called "Medicine's 10 Greatest Discoveries", Dr. Gerald W. Friedland and Dr. Meyer Friedman looked over 5000 worldwide discoveries and chose the ones they thought were the most important. Here is their short list :

1543 -- Andreas Vesalius presents "De Humani Corporis Fabrica," or "The Structure of the Human Body," which detailed the anatomy of the human body. He was the first to point out that without bones, human beings would be mushy blobs. "It presented medicine with the precious gift of the scientific method with which to approach an infinite number of future medical problems."

1628 -- William Harvey published "De Motu Cordis" or "On the Motion of the Heart," in which he described the functions of the heart and the circulation of blood. Introducing his discovery of circulation, Harvey wrote that his findings were "of so novel and unheard-of character, that I not only fear injury to myself from the envy of a few, but I tremble lest I have mankind at large for my enemies."

1675 -- Anton Leeuwenhoek, a haberdasher and part-time janitor, looking at a drop of rainwater under a microscope, discovered "little animals" -- or bacteria, a cause of myriad diseases.

1796 -- By using cowpox, which causes a mild disease in human beings, to protect a person from the deadlier smallpox, Edward Jenner discovered vaccination. His method of injecting dead bacteria or their toxins helped eradicate smallpox, and protects against bubonic plague, chickenpox, cholera, diphtheria, influenza, measles, mumps, rabies, typhoid fever, tetanus and other diseases.

1842 -- Crawford Long, using ether to prevent his patients from feeling pain, developed surgical anesthesia.

1895 -- Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the X-ray beam, and developed one of the most important diagnostic tools.

1907 -- Ross Harrison figured out how to grow living cells outside the body. "It made possible the study of living organisms at the cellular and even the molecular level and the development of modern vaccines . . . and abetted the search for the causes of cancer (and AIDS). Indeed, because of tissue culture, more has been learned about the basic mechanisms of disease in the past 50 years than in the previous 5,000."

1912 -- Nikolai Anichkov discovered that cholesterol was responsible for coronary artery disease, currently the world's most deadly disease.

1928 -- Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, which led the way for the development of antibiotics to treat infections.

1950-53 -- Maurice Wilkins did the pioneering work of isolating a single fiber of DNA and examining it, which James Watson and Francis Crick used to develop their own double helix model of DNA, the heredity-bearing molecule. Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize with them for the discovery, which opened the door to genetics research in 1962.

Since 1543, medical science has more than doubled our lifespan, made life less painful, and even eradicted certain diseases thanks to vaccination.

What advances to human well-being have religion brought about ? Religion's most important and most persistent biological belief, the belief in a little spark in the brain called a "soul", has been soundly disproven by modern neurology.All the functions of the "soul" have been found as physical parts of the brain.

What diseases can religion treat ? Only two :

* Too Much Money Syndrome. Some gullible people have too much money, TV preachers can solve that problem by taking their money away with colourful mail campaigns and TV shows.

* Spiritualseekeritis. Usually affects gullible hip rich young adults. Religion and cults can cure it temporarily. Usually only really cured by death.

How can a so-called omniscient messiah (Jesus) tell us about demon exorcism, and a supposed perfect book talk about houses having leprosy, curing diseases by therapeutic touch and blood, and curing a plague with a serpent idol, when modern medicine have soundly shown these things as follies ? And why do people still believe in that book and that religion ? What has faith ever done to cure disease ?