@The Pentacle Queen,
Well, if you look at the history of the development of what we now call religion, it has appeared in a context of dealing with "great mysteries" and "unknowns"like the ceremony and artifacts associated with death (red ochre, shamanistic ritual,tomb artifacts etc). Other mysteries, like childbirth and food gathering also developed ritual, and became associated with Paleo religions . IMHO, the mysteries came first and the ceremony became the natural follow-on. Then religions replete with overbearing and meddling gods followed, finally followed by more loving gods who take part in human affairs.
However, Even as we learn to explain a world phenomenon by natural means,(eg, why the sun traverses the sky) in most cases, there already existed a spiritual/religious explanation that dealt with that (originally) unknown phenomenon. SO there were natural loggerheads that appeared between rational thought and religious doctrines.Through years of overwhelming evidence and irrefutable proofs of concept that the sun isnt moving, but that earth is, Most religions have grudgingly given ground to these natural explanations and have more or less begun doctrines of transcendent gods that dont piss about with daily events. However, still some present day religions (most of the Evangelical Christianity sects and ultra Orthodox Jews and Muslims) insist upon maintaining the strict doctrines of mystery and of "Revelations" associated with what science and physics have lately decoded about these mysteries. For these religions its more a matter of control of the laity, since , rather than developing a theology of accomodation and transcendence by the gods, these folks like to demand that their explanations are "Unquestionably True" by being a doctrinal revealed reality.They make it a "test" of their devotion.
Today we call that a worldview and it usually involves an entire litany of related and unrelated "Factoids" that , in order to be a good religious person, you must accept unquestionably.
It seems to me that all the Orthodox and Evangelicals are doing is demeaning their very god who, if she produced everything they see, and gave her "children" a brain that can figure it all out, why must these children demand on maintaining a high stndard of blind ignorance despite what evidence shows. I never could understand that part.