Yes, yes, yes...homo sapiens are social animals, they want to be loved and accepted because it ultimately helps form societies which are beneficial for survival and procreation from an evolutionary perspective. Religion is simply a misplaced attempt to pursue something that truly is good, social behaviour.
You are avoiding the thrust of LiveFree's comment. Telling.
Heros? Heros are for religions, you can't have Buddhism without Buddha, you can't have Islam without Mohammed, you can't have Christianity without Jesus.
I agree with all of your assessments here, but have to tell you the Muslim possibly, the Buddhist definitely, would not. The source documents of early Isalm would contradict your Muhammad>Islam: they claim, somewhat like what you claim for science, that he taught only what was already there. Even Mahayana Buddhism does not claim any special status, ontologically speaking, to Buddha: he did what all of us are supposed and can do (so they say).
Yes, no Jesus, no Christianity, no matter how much Liberal Protestantism teaches otherwise.
But with science, it's the idea that is significant
Yes, that's how Newton felt about Leibnitz over calculus, and used his position to cast the latter into obscurity. Mr. Enlightenment himself, Voltaire, helped him do it.
...if Pascal hadn't made his discoveries, someone else would no doubt have...
...and if Ptolemy hadn't made his discoveries, someone else would no doubt have...
he was the first to see something, but by no means the only person in history capable of doing so; even without him science would have advanced. In fact, religion has long been the bane of science and human advancement, even in great minds.
Pythagoras had an absurd religious adversion to irrational numbers, had he simply focused on the mathematics and forgot about the philosophical non-sense who knows how much further he could have pushed the boundaries of mathematical knowledge?
Yes, maybe we could have developed nuclear weapons by the dark ages.
Likewise with Pascal, had he not been such a fool as to abandon the pursuit of science for such useless trivia as religion and philosophy perhaps he could have made even greater contributions to science, instead the opium of masses stole from science and human progress a few precious years of his research.
Pythagoras only got involved with numbers because of his religious beliefs. Otherwise he could have just as well lived his life in obscurity. In other words, no religion, no math, so no, he would have not pushed any boundary in math anywhere.
Religion can be the bane and humiliation of great men, but never their glory.
As Pythagoras shows, it is what makes them great men in the first place.