That's one of the main problems with religions. Always overstating the importance of certain things. For instance, while we live in an amazingly vast universe of billions of galaxies, each containing billions (and sometimes trillions) of stars, there are still those who believe the most important thing in all of existence was some carpenter thought to have lived on Earth around 2000 years ago.
It's going to be really really awkward for them when we do discover some form of life in the universe. Even if it was only a single cell, it would still imply that humans aren't alone in the universe and that there's a chance that God (if he/she/it exists) has his attention focused on a much superior species living somewhere out in the universe. It would really kill the Pope's authority.
Well there is some evidence of microbes on Mars. Unfortunately, this has not gotten quite the attention it deserves, cause microbes are not considered exciting enough (though I personally find the discovery of even the most basic non-terrestrial life to be quite exciting).
However, even if we made contact with an alien civilisation, the religious extremists would stand their ground. They'd likely just claim the aliens were demons trying to deceive us or some shit like that. Fortunately, while alien contact may not change the minds of existing religious extremists, it may well reduce the chances of such people arising in later generations.
Looks like you took my suggestion, lol. This is pretty hilarious, I never understood why God hated Babel so much. I read that particular section just recently, and it doesn't really explain why God did it. Oh well. I like your interpretation of this story MUCH better.
Both you and Tarturus suggested Babel. The bible actually doesn't go into much detail as far as I can see. " And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." Apparently God doesn't like people being able to accomplish amazing tasks. Hell, Genesis didn't even tell us how it was destroyed. All we have now is a series of inconsistent (go figure) accounts of how it was destroyed. It's a shame it didn't get more time in the bible. As far as stories go, this is probably one of my favorite because it's one of the few things that could be relevant to modern humanity (working together to accomplish great tasks).
That's another thing I have a huge problem with. The Bible has plenty of stories of God interacting with people, but you never see that today. I wonder if Christians have ever stopped to think about that.
Other than the people who claim God's talking to them (they need serious help), I don't think it really comes up much. If I were to guess, most people probably think their normal life has a series of interactions with God. Much like how people of the past though the common wars, well known plagues, and mysterious natural disasters were also god's doing. Funny how it went from the Romans attacking and city destroying Earthquakes to scoring a touchdown and healing an injury (AFTER the doctors operate on it).
Have you ever thought about what a perversion the idea of Sunday School is? A school which teaches children not to ask questions. Rather than give the children a greater understanding of the realities of the world and the fragile, shifting nature of morality, they instead preach the Christian doctrine of absolutism and passive submission in the face of aggression or ignorance. The story of Babel just reinforces everything wrong with the Abrahamic faiths, they reject human endeavour, they both exult God for his omnipotence and cast him as a vicious thug with an inferiority complex, they oppose progress on the grounds that humans should happily wallow in squalor and barbarism.
Some ideas come from good intentions but turn out wrong. But the key intent of Christianity, Islam and Judaism is to trap humans in an endless cycle of shame, repentance and self-denial. Making humans ashamed to be human.
I always found the idea of having to teach your kids religion to be a bit odd. You'd think that if your religion was correct, people would automatically believe in it as time goes by because of the overwhelming evidence for your religion. Instead, people have to be taught about Jesus/Muhammad/The various Hindu deities because they probably wouldn't believe in them if they weren't.
Ironically, the Tower of Babel is probably one of the favorite stories in the bible. It at least shows that humans are worth something and are capable of creating great things when working together. It's the only bible story I can think of where humans did alone without a god to help.