50 Years of Progress: Science vs. Religion

Even though the timeline is chronological, the religion side seems to be moving backwards…

(via Crispian Jago)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • rg57

    Shame about the anachronistic Windows logo.

  • Ton_Chrysoprase

    No fair, they only have one prediction for the end of the world. I am sure there are plenty others.

  • SeekerLancer

    Give them a break! We’ve had millions of years to progress science while they’ve only had a measly 6000.

  • jdm8

    Typeface soup!

  • fsm

    Actually there are two in the list – Pat Robertson, 1982 and Harold Camping, 2011. I think the author only showed those two to imply that there have been others in the last 30 years.

  • baal

    hmmmmmm. It almost looks like the two ‘worldviews’ aren’t equal when it comes to making amazing inventions that make our lives better (and longer).

  • koseighty

    A miracle! Just this morning I was praying someone would produce a graphic with various shades of blue text on a background of various shades of blue.

    And HERE IT IS!

    And as a bonus, I got lots and lots and lots of font faces fighting each other in that sea of blue.

    Praise Jeebus!

  • advancedatheist

    I might have overlooked something, but how do “sophisticated” theologians deal with the fact that they have so many dumbasses on their side who do embarrassing things with their folk religions, like going on pilgrimages to see burned tortillas and such?


  • Spuddie

    Its in Viagra-vision!

  • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

    There is a lot of trivial shit on the scientific progress list. The Segway? That’s got to be one of the most over-hyped flops ever. The iPhone? That’s just a jumped up Kyocera 6035. The iPod? It was just an MP3 player. Clearly this guy is an Apple fan boy. Windows? A derivative of a derivative. Ventner didn’t creat a synthetic cell. He put a synthetic genome into an existing cell. The Airbus a360 is just another marginal development in aviation. There’s no radically new technology in it. Avaition is long past that stage of development.

  • Rob Bos

    Good thing they put Microsoft Windows in there. The religious side can’t have ALL the tragedies.

  • Artor

    Those ARE the “sophisticated theologians!”

  • Artor

    There was a ton of them around the year 1000 as well.

  • Tom

    The segway is a financial flop, but that doesn’t make the engineering any less impressive.

  • JA

    The guy carrying the ‘?’ at 1977…at first I thought that that was a caricature of some weird sex position.

  • TychaBrahe

    Science may rock progress, but atheists still are apparently incapable of contracting for quality graphic design.

  • Pseudonym

    How do scientists deal with cranks? They mostly ignore them, unless they get too influential.

    BTW, you did overlook something. You overlooked the fact that both sides of the timeline were carefully picked to make a stupid point.

    On the left-hand side, you didn’t see cold fusion, or magnet therapy, or any mention of Andrew Wakefield, Eric Poehlman, or Anil Potti. But on the right-hand side, many little crackpots (many of whom I wager you’d never heard of) got a mention.

    On the right-hand side, you don’t see the Jesus Seminar, or Desmond Tutu, or Troy Perry. No mention of John Rutter or John Tavener. On the left-hand side, the freaking Segway gets a mention. Apparently, the Sony Walkman is right up there with the rubella vaccine.

  • Pseudonym

    I’m sure Jimi Heselden would be the first to agree with you.

  • Pseudonym

    I’m pretty sure that only fundamentalists believe that science and religion are in any way comparable.

  • advancedatheist

    Of course scientists have a crank problem, and they criticize the cranks who gather more attention than they deserve because scientists have agreed upon and effective standards for testing empirical claims.

    By contrast, theologians lack general standards, though churches with authoritarian structures police their own ranks for “heresy,” while ignoring other people’s churches in societies with religious freedom. They seem to have an implicit agreement not to mock and ridicule the christians who make fools of themselves, like Harold Camping, the Westboro Baptist cultists or the simpletons who see the Virgin Mary in burned tortillas.

    Though of course if they did try to discourage the weak-minded or irrational among them through expressions of disapproval, that might tend to reduce the incidence of fringe behavior derived from christian teachings and make the religion seem somewhat more rational.

  • Pseudonym

    What you call “an implicit agreement not to mock and ridicule”, a more charitable interpreter may call “not giving them more attention than they deserve”.

    BTW, if you think no mainstream Christians were mocking Harold Camping, you really weren’t paying attention.

  • advancedatheist

    I heard Hal Lindsey talk about Camping on George Noory’s overnight talk show a couple years back. Lindsey deserves public humiliation a lot more than Camping because he started the current round of this rapture nonsense back in the 1970′s.

    So what did Lindsey say? In effect, “No, no, no, Harold. You don’t understand the rules of the game. You don’t set dates for the rapture!”

    Did Noory, who strikes me as christian-friendly, mock Lindsey because of his career as a rapture hustler who basically agrees with Camping apart from the date-setting? Has any major religious authority figure done that lately? Apparently not.

  • Pseudonym

    I first heard about Harold Camping by accident in 1994 (his previous date-setting). Help me out, though: Who is Hal Lindsey and who is George Noory?

  • midnight rambler

    What’s the “HPC vaccine”?

  • Agrajag

    Yeah. Obviously someone spent quite a bit of time creating that, yet somehow forgot to make it, you know, actually readable.