This comes to mind in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. If ours were a religious culture huge events like this would have a greater impact on us because religious people have something that secular people don't: a mythic life. Science may not be a religion but we would be better off if we treated it like one– a faith with a creed and a god who looks after us like a parent and tries to warn us when we stray. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy I wonder if we can't get a glimps of how a science-focused culture like ours is at a disadvantage.
There is a mythical meaning to some huge natural event like Sandy but of course we will ignore it, believing that myth is passe. Our is the first culture in history to not embrace a religion. I don't think that enforcing religion is a good thing, but what if we thought of our science-centeredness as a real religion? Our God of Science has been trying to gently remind us that we are a part of nature and we cannot escape the responsibility we have to it. This god's warnings have been increasing in intensity and yet we believers choose to ignore them. One could even say that this god will cast us into hell if we do not heed the warnings. Because we don't believe in the God of Science, we think we can run from the responsibility but that is simply not true. If we treated our faith as a religion we would not miss the mythical meaning of the hurricane; in fact any disaster. Instead when the hurricane hit we would be seized with fear (in what some would call a "primitive" way) and the population would spring into action to mitigate our angry god by making sacrifices. That sounds like a very intelligent recipe for survival to me.
Whether you think of this as "religion" there is a real mythical truth here that we ignore at our peril. I am afraid that what "secular" means is that we give ourselves permission to ignore the context in which we live, by refusing to acknowledge we are in relationship with something bigger than ourselves. That's the kind of thinking that will get us killed as extreme weather events increase. Used in this sense, human survival will depend on our becoming more religious.