In terms of religion in terms of a creator or creators, there are decreasingly few avenues of legitimate routes to maintain some form of belief, whether it’s part of an organized religion or otherwise.
The concept of using “God” as an explanation for the unknown is known as The God of the Gaps. The argument continually retreats as long as there is something ultimately unknown in which it can provide an “answer.” At the inception of the Abrahamic religions, those gaps were massive. At present day, they’re virtually non-existent.
I have thought often for much of my life about such questions that religion however brashly claims to answer. The scientific theory for the beginning of the universe as we know it is the well-known by name, Big Bang theory. There are some things that are not well-known and cause some inane arguments, similar to evolution.
The Big Bang theory states that all the matter in the universe once was part of a singularity (a simplified description being matter compacted very densely), which then rapidly expanded from that point. All observable evidence shows everything moving away from a central location, providing heavy support for the general theory.
What is misrepresented, however, is anything more than that. What is unaccounted for and is speculative at best are the origin of the singularity and time prior to the Big Bang. These are separate cosmogonous questions that do nothing to disprove the Big Bang theory, which is a theory providing the answer to where all stars/galaxies/planets/etc. originated but not when matter was first created.
This and related cosmological study on the progression of matter over time gives a general knowledge of the timeline of the origin of the current state of the universe up to the point of life’s existence on Earth. The Miller-Urey experiment has shown that organic material can be generated from inorganic material, even that which is meant to simulate the state of an early Earth.
From the point of life on Earth, Evolutionary biology, again in general terms, has described pretty much the entire timeline of the tree of life on Earth. This includes an extensive fossil record of human evolution as well as arguably even stronger DNA evidence.
What this means is that it’s basically known to science the general process from the formation of the universe to the current state of the universe and life on Earth as it is now, over the course of 13.7 billion years. This leaves few options for religion. In fact, I am now at the conclusion that the possibilities left in terms of a creator that are subject to known science are limited to two options:
1. Everything we know and see was created as is at some unknown point in time. That is to say, this falls under the category of our perception of reality itself is subject to the physical confines of our own psyche, or that the only thing we can be sure of is our own mind (solipsism). Basically the argument could be put forth that an all-powerful being hypothetically could have created everything, including our own memories of the past, just 5 minutes ago.
2. Matter provided sometime prior to the Big Bang was put forth divinely. There is very little agreement on the origin of matter itself, if it even has an origin.
Religion was founded on answering the, at the time, unanswerable. Well, we’ve answered nearly everything in general terms. As long as “moderates” insist of maintaining their religion, they need at least understand what they have no choice if they want to live in reality to believe. There are two options, and clearly the first is crazy (though I guess that would fit right in, then).
Religions should actually take this very well. It should be unifying. Since the holy texts really have no relevance, there may as well be a collaboration. You’re all “religions of peace,” right?