Ah, I get you. Sorry for being dense.
We can, hypothetically, claim if some of those claims match reality. Obviously some we can't. Sure. Can't really argue that point.
My question is why. Why is it so important to some people (not necessarily you) that science can be proved to "beat" religion. Noone ever checks the real world implications of my taste in reading or food. Because its just not important enough. But suddenly when it comes to religion everyone turns into Spock and insists to see all kinds of evidence for a fundamentally non-scientific thing.
Noone in the world is as logical as those same some people claim to be once they get on the subject of religion. Have you tested the foods you eat - made them different colours, pureed them, ate them blindfolded just to test whether its the texture or appearance or whatever you like? Of course not, thats the behaviour of a psycho. Have you takena black marker pen and removed all the nouns from Anansi Boys, all the verbs in a different copy, every 8th word in a third just to see what gives you the most pleasure? Of course not. Psycho.
You admit that reading and taste in food are a set of claims about the universe as is religion. Yet for some reason you are utterly happy that those beliefs and opinions are exempt from scrutiny as simply a personal belief. But religion isn't.
To take a different tack - I'm assuming you believe gay people aren't stupider on average than straights (and frankly, even if you did I assume you'll pretend not to
). Are there peer reviewed articles confirming that? Single blind tests? I have no idea whether there are or not, not my field at all. But I'm happy enough to say there is no meaningful difference in intelligence. The burden of proof is also on me there but noone ever demands I show it.
But for some reason religion is exempt from this. Religion, despite not being a scientific endeavour, must be scientifically scrutinised and it is oh-so-important that every single aspect of the scientific method is followed in its discussion.
I don't know your personal feelings, Samnell, so some of the above may not apply precisely to you. But even if it doesn't, I'm sure you know precisely the type of people, the types of criticism of religion, to which I'm referring.
Does that answer your query?