Keeping in mind the violent unrest in today’s Bangladesh, a relook into some already known information has become imperative for all sensible people of Bangladesh.
As per the current scientific knowledge, our universe was born about 13.8 billion years ago. There are more than 500 million galaxies in the universe. ‘Milky Way’, the galaxy in which Sun is located, contains about 500 million stars. Our Sun is a yellow dwarf star in Milky Way. It is a relatively small star. Eight planets revolve around Sun and our Earth is a small planet, third from Sun in distance. Our Sun is about 5 billion years old and will die after about 6 billion years. The whole universe will die in about 10 to the power 100 years in future.
Genetic similarity between Humans and chimpanzees is 98.4%. Both human and chimpanzee evolved in Africa. The split into two genuses from a common ancestor occurred about 6 million years ago. Human like creature ‘Australopithecus’ first developed ‘upright posture’ like humans as ‘inherited characteristic’ in East Africa during 3-4 million years ago. About 2.5 million years ago human like creature called ‘Homo hebilis’ roamed in Kenya. This human ancestor had 40% more brain than chimpanzee. About 1.6 million years ago another human like species ‘Homo erectus’ migrated from Africa to Europe and Asia. This species lasted for about 200000 years. The brain size of the species was between ‘Homo hebilis’ and modern men. About 500000 years ago a more human-like species ‘Homo sapience’ evolved in Africa and approximately 150000 years ago ‘Homo sapience’ further evolved into human, i.e. ‘Home sapience sapience’ in Africa. About 60000 years ago first human left Africa.
About 50000 years ago human species becomes anatomically and behaviorally modern man. Neanderthals (‘Homo neanderthalensis’) considered by most scientists, as separate human like species roamed in Western Europe and Central Asia between 600000 – 35000 years ago. Most scientists believe that Neanderthals never lived in Africa. Their DNA difference with modern man is only 0.3% as against the 0.15% difference among current humans. This suggests that interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans occurred between 80000-50000 years back when modern humans had recently migrated from Africa. Neanderthals lived on earth till 45000 years from now.
Development of language (both oral and written) in humans was due to evolution of jaw bones, larynx and improved wiring in brain and structural improvement of hands/fingures through tens of thousands of years. Self-consciousness and intellectual capacity in modern man also took place gradually over a similar period. God/Allah/Bhagawan came to humans through contemplation and language.
Ritual relating to disposal of dead bodies (if one likes to call this as ‘religion’) was prevalent with Neanderthals, i.e. 600000 years ago. Cave painting, as symbol of contemplation by human mind, is about 60000 years old. The Egyptian religion can be considered the oldest religion. Its origin dates back beyond 3000 BCE. Abraham preached in about 1800 BCE. Vedic religion organized in around 1500 BCE. Torah began to be written in about 950 BCE. Jainism, Taoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam follow later.
Religion in the form of a crude authority came in the hands of ruling elites of early human society and was coloured as divine sanction. That practice went on for tens of centuries. From the beginning, the human society was thus divided into ruled and ruler classes. Then to retain power and hegemony, contractors of each religion started teaching their followers the cult of ‘we are ok others are not ok”. Religions are now like international corporate houses with huge asset, employees and marketing strategies. At times religions act(ed) as imperialistic in nature and function. Every religious group is promoting its own religion as true and best religion. To establish this they don’t even mind killing innocent people.
Against the background of above cited already known information, let some old questions be repeated:
• Are God, Allah and Bhagawan etc. same or different?
• If God/Allah/Bhagawan had created universe, then who created God/Allah/Bhagawan?
• Where God/Allah/Bhagawan are/is located now?
• Why God/Allah/Bhagawan are/is HE and not SHE? (Hindus have a few ‘she’).
• What God/Allah/Bhagawan were/was doing before creation of Universe and what will they/he do after the extinction of human race (no use to talk of universe) on earth?
• Why religions are concerned with the humans on earth only which is a non-entity in comparison to the vastness (in terms of time and space) of the universe.
• Are/is God/Allah/Bhagawan only related to humans and have/has a very indirect and vague relationship with the universe beyond humans?
• Why God/Allah/Bhagawan are/is so shamelessly pre-occupied with humans and supposedly keep(s) on telling them all the dos and don’ts of life like frustrated teachers? Why can’t they/he make automatic changes in the humans?
• Why our nearest primate chimpanzees do not have God/Allah/Bhagawan?
* Why there is no corelation between genetic difference within humans and their difference in religious beliefs?
• Why all religions claim about the presence of places like paradise and hell for humans and not for other animals?
• Who needs whom? Is it humans who need God/Allah/Bhagawan or it is other way round?
Since neither we nor our God/Allah/Bhagawan can change the course of universe why to give credit to them/him post facto for everything? As we don’t like to be fooled by the lure of any religion for going to the fictitious paradise after death, we should try to live peacefully in this world with only three principles (one may call religious teachings if she/he wants).
1. “Live and let live”.
2. “Don’t do anything to others which you don’t want to be done on you”.
3. “Shuno re maanush bhai, sobar upore maanush satya, tahar upore nai”.