If only the great arguments between religion and doubt could be settled by scientific evidence. A story this week has it that solid evidence has emerged about the historical Jesus: the “tomb of Jesus” reportedly contains proof that Jesus was married, had a son – and was never resurrected.
So that’s settled then. Or at least it would be if the scholarly world unanimously accepted these claims (which seems unlikely) or if religious belief were grounded in evidence. If that were the case, all religious belief would have disappeared when Charles Lyell uncovered the nature of geological processes and intimated the true age of Earth in the 1830s – the first clear evidence of a godless natural world.
Religion sees only the evidence it wishes to see. This is very apparent in western art. Christian paintings are full of supposed evidence for the divinity of Christ. His real face is purportedly recorded in paintings that faithfully copy his uncannily preserved image.