In the contemporary world, scientific evidence is often conflated with proof, producing a science that is closer to the aims of modern theology than experimental practice.
If we seek a “new” religion that valorizes science and exalts human forms of consciousness, the Epic of Evolution fits the bill. But if the goal is to foster ethical sensibilities that encourage reverent and responsible coexistence with the natural world and its myriad beings, the evolutionary epic stands on much shakier ground.
A funeral accomplishes many things. It ceremonializes the traumatic rupture of death, and thus creates a sanctioned space for the horror and loss experienced by the bereaved.