This is an image that has floated around the Internet for the last little while in atheist and anti-religion circles on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter (among others). For those who might have trouble reading the text in the image, here it is:
Suppose that every memory, written word, and piece of technology on Earth was destroyed all at once, leaving humanity to start completely from scratch. Everything we have come to know about science would eventually be discovered again. Given a few thousand years, people would figure out chemistry, and rediscover the same elements we know now. People would once again understand biology, including its evolutionary origins. People would eventually see the motions of other galaxies in the sky, and work out the details of the Big Bang. This is the glorious part about science – it can and would be replicated. I can assure you, however, that your story about a talking snake would be gone forever.
Specific stories – Genesis and the story of Adam and Eve chosen for this argument – would certainly not come up again. Likewise, any specific parts for any religion likely wouldn’t resurface. But it’s probably safe to assume that tribes and groups of people would make up new religions. During the phase of rediscovery, there would be gaps in the knowledge, and religion would surely be invoked to fill those gaps.
You could even go so far to say that certain themes in would also return – creation, miracle births, resurrection, saviors, apocalyptic threats, elemental worship (worshiping the sun, water, air, etc) and a spirit world for good and evil (heaven and hell). We’ve seen these themes arise in pre-Christian religions – for example, the Mayans and Egyptians – so there is already precedent.
It’s saddening to think that conflict and wars would be fought all over again. Humanity would end up right where it is today.
Here’s what part of the Facebook community had to say: