Consciousness is a philosophically "hard problem." Ordinary scientific progress -- in psychology or neuroscience, say -- do not seem capable of addressing it, even in principle. As the philosophers Thomas Nagel and David Chalmers argue, normal science cannot grapple with "what it is like" to be something; subjective experience stands quite apart from science's (reductive) explanations. This may make consciousness more of a philosophy problem than a scientific problem.
The theoretical reasoning of philosophy and religion created dualism, which split the world into mind and matter. This is not just a cosmological distinction: in everyday human life, dualism is the unseen foundation of thought, and it has caused the major problems we face today.