> I get your point about people being able to do
> great science even while having religious beliefs,
> but that may be cladking getting a bit too close
> to sort of an orthodox conceit that being
> scientific is supposed to spare us from being
> superstitious as if the two are supposed to be
> somehow mutually exclusive.
You missed my point.
As most people practice science it is a superstition. They hold experiment as models and then extrapolate the results inappropriately because they understand neither metaphysics nor experiment. They believe that the reality is knowable and it is already known. For most people 'Science" is just a new belief system that has replaced religion or Other belief systems taught on their parents' knees. Even among "real" scientists (like physicists) many do not understand metaphysics or the meaning of results. 3% of physicists believe a plane can't take off from a conveyor belt but that's far better than aviation engineers.
Science is merely a tool and has meaning only within its definitions and axioms but many people believe it is some kind of magic that is wielded by smart people to disclose the magical laws that operate nature.
Virtually all modern people are highly superstitious. Even scientists who understand metaphysics are still riddled with beliefs in most instances. We all see only what we believe. I call us Homo Omnisciencis for the reason that we all think we're so smart and to highlight every characteristic that separates us from other species and the Homo Sapiens who built the great pyramids. We are the stinky footed bumpkins we see everywhere.
There are people here who claim to be expert with infrared imaging and took me to task and insulted me relentlessly when I said that such testing would solve how the pyramids were built. I understand simple things like the radiation of heat so I knew that underlying structures would appear but they insisted rudely and endlessly that I was stupid and wrong because they were experts and knew that only the outside of the pyramid could be seen.
This is how it is. Everybody knows everything and don't even know when they are proven wrong. Few people understand any science at all but almost everyone thinks they do. We don't have to say things that are related to reality but Ancient Language had a grammar that tied words to reality itself. We live our beliefs but EVERY other species lives what they know.
> We seem to think they're so superstitious that
> they can't understand where illness really comes
> from so they make up magical songs and chants to
> ward away evil spirits, even while the song itself
> may be trying to tell us where they think the
> particular ailment really comes from.
The pyramid builders apparently understood the nature of disease. They knew that sneezes should be directed downward to the floor to prevent spread but we are told to sneeze into a tissue to diffuse the spray far and wide.