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^^^^My response is to paraphrase Penn Jillette: if every single reference to religion somehow disappeared from the planet, none of them would ever be recreated in exactly the same way. Religions are too culturally and historically and geographically specific. And obviously, religions are invented by particular people in particular times and places, for certain reasons.

Rastafarianism could never have arisen in 10th century India--it is a reaction to early 20th century discrimination against black people in Jamaica. Mormonism would never appear spontaneously in China or Africa-- it is rooted in a 19th century US setting. Ancient Norse, Greek or German pagan gods would not appear in a 21st century Mexico already saturated with Christianity.

But if every reference to science somehow disappeared, it would all be rediscovered eventually. Given time, we would have the same science and techonology all over again. Because the facts underlying physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, medicine, geology, botany etc really do exist. Science does not depend on any one prophet or any single historical accident.

Sooner or later, someone else will notice that birds' beaks are matched to their food sources; or realize that earthquake and volcanoes happen in the same places; or that people who survive certain illnesses never get sick from them again; or will drop an apple and wonder why it falls.

And science starts up all over again.
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