| In everyday usage the question “ Why ? ” can be either about the mechanism by which something occurred or about the reasons for or purposes behind an action. Thus the distinction between reason and mechanism, or between effect and purpose, is often blurred. Religion and philosophy are interested in reasons and purposes, but science cares only about mechanisms. That apparent reduction of the goal is a powerful step that separates modern science from its ancestor, natural philosophy. Modern science focuses our attention on just those questions that can have definitive answers based on observations. Where science does find a path to compare theory with observations, the theories so developed provide a powerful way to understand the world and even to make some predictions about the future. Science offers us new options that may be applied—for example, in technology and medicine—to change the way we live and extend our capabilities. However, scientists tend to forget that issues of reason and purpose are central to many people’s questioning, so the answers they get from science seem inadequate.