"Also, note: a split between "scientific" and "religious" explanations of the world is a modern, western-in-origin one."
Yes, thanks for mentioning that. In my normal life I'm perfectly aware of that, and don't really think there would be a split as great as in our world in any of my cultures - basically I've put the "scientific" there as a just-in-case thing. Just in case there IS some degree of split.
[Also, even if there isn't a great split, you can still have differences in the official religious and the not-so-official scientific worldview (even if the scientists and the religious authorities themselves don't make a distinction between science and religion). Like, a geocentrist absolutely convinced that God literally stopped the sun when it was needed and an early heliocentrist can both believe in the same god - only the latter doesn't believe it was the sun he had stopped, and he knows perfectly well why he doesn't believe that. Might better speak of authority-based and observation-based explanations there :)]
And thanks for the plot idea, too. It could come in handy some time in the future, although I have plenty of basic plot ideas to work on, the problem's the actual working on, which never seems to produce anything :(