The role of God or magic in everyday life is getting squeezed into smaller and smaller gaps in our knowledge.
God sends the rain. Hydrological cycle theory
God throws thunderbolts. Electrostatic theory applied to air masses
God places a blue dome over the Earth. Atmospheric theory
The Earth is flat and has corners. Round earth theory
God hangs planets in the dome of the sky. Solar system theory (Copernican)
God places the moon in the dome of the sky. Theory of gravity applied to Earth-Moon binary planet
God hangs the sun in the dome of the sky and makes it move. Rotating earth theory
God hangs the stars in the dome of the sky. Theory of interstellar space
Demons invade people and make them act crazy. Psychiatric theories of mental illness
Illness is punishment for sin. Germ theory
To avoid punishment for sins, punish a scapegoat. To feel better, admit doing harm and make amends. (It works for me.)
Women’s periods make them unclean. Menstruation is part of reproductive cycle.
God punishes sinners with lightning. Electrostatic theory with grounded lightning rods prevents damage
God makes the plants and animals. Evolutionary theory
Angels can make you pregnant. Virgin birth element of hero myth (or 1/100,000,000 chance–thanks, Don!)
God wants offerings of meat, blood, oil, and grain. Priestly class eats well on the offerings.
Heavenly aether transmits electricity by God’s will. Electricity comprises moving electric charges
Congenital defects are punishment for sin. Genetic theory, mutation theory, embryology, and teratology
Looking at spotted sticks makes goats bear spotted young. Genetic theory
God wants childbirth to be painful It is our duty to relieve suffering.
Gods and goddesses cause volcanoes to erupt. Lava under pressure breaks though Earth’s crust. (h/t Mr. Kirk)
God created the universe by speaking a magical command.
Steady State theory. Big Bang theory. (h/t Mr. Kirk)