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Thread: A narrow, serious question

  1. #1 A narrow, serious question 
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    The following question is serious, meaning it is related to private research i am doing.

    It is a question for those who may be Atheists or Agnostics, and in addition accept the theory of evolution by natural selection.

    I know their are plenty of folks who accept that and practice/believe some religion/spirituality. But the question may be a tad wierd for them.

    Folks who have a world view that involves religion or spirituality may want to sit on their hands on this one, and lurk if they are curious. This is a purely science related question.

    The question catagory is about the evolution of religion and spirituality.

    Assume for the sake of discussion, a strict Dawkin-like "selfish gene" view. Meaning (for this question), how does X enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes. Therefore, I would appreciate there not being responses about group selection, cultural stuff, etc.

    The setting is the ancestrial landscape, East Africa.

    Question: How would a belief of primitive religion/spirituality (primitive meaning early and simple) enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes?

    I have my own ideas, but would like to hear others take on this. Any relevant responses appreciated.


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    I always believed that the reason for the invention of god was to explain the unexplainable to the more primative man, how else could things like lightning and the heavens be explained, those things still astound today even with our knowledge

    thats how i believe the concept of a god arrived, now add to that the natural disasters than many people would have seen and my gut instinct says that these people would have tried to appease their "god", when things coincidently worked you have a basis or worsip/appeasement

    Over time, this was added to for wider areas of life, and then at some point in the past politics became involved to supress and control the masses. It wouldn't enhance the likelyhood of passing on genes but it would potentially fell like it

    The only other thing to add, is that this worship/religion could have been the inital form of law/rules to live by and potentially keep a group in check

    Thats my gut instinct on it anyway


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    i don't think it would enhance survival value at the personal level

    imo religion is a byproduct of our ability to analyse things, find patterns and predict future outcomes - this goes wrong when the process you try to predict is inherently unpredictable or has a substantial element of unpredictability about it (e.g. weather, earthquakes, volcanoes ...) and the result is some form of superstitious behaviour (see Skinner's experiments on pigeons) which over time becomes codified into religion

    remember, not everything needs to be explained in terms of adaptation, some things can just be byproducts of characteristics that developed as an adaptation for a completely different reason
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    One way would be if the individual achieved a status within the tribe based on his powers as a religious shaman or whatever and was allowed to have sex with all the virgins in the tribe or something like that.

    In general you can't really separate the individual from the tribe, but by helping the tribe survive he would be more likely to pass his genes on to the next generation. An example of this would be if his religious beliefs allowed him to fight bravely in battle, thus defeat the invading hordes. If he got killed, but the tribe survived he would still have some relatives, brothers, sisters, offspring, etc. who survive and pass on some of his genes. If his tribe got wiped out and slaughtered, that would be the end of his genetic line.
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  6. #5 Re: A narrow, serious question 
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    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan
    Question: How would a belief of primitive religion/spirituality (primitive meaning early and simple) enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes?
    Off the top of my head, I have no idea. But you shouldn't assume that something won't happen (or endure for a long time) simply because it's not advantageous from a "selfish gene" perspective. Natural selection simply causes "good" traits to be statistically favored - it doesn't guarantee that only good traits will thrive, or that "bad" traits will be quickly eliminated, and it's entirely possible for a belief (or whatever) that greatly reduces one's chance of passing along genes could appear and thrive in an individual or a population.

    Of course by good and bad I'm referring to whether or not a trait increases or decreases the likelihood of passing on one's genes.
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    the thing you have to remember about selfish genes is that, paradoxically, they thrive if they cooperate well with the other genes in the same body

    meaning that you shouldn't purely think in terms of the gene on its own
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    with nearly all other animal species, there a male dominated structure, an alpha male, who had the power of life and death, who ate who didn't etc etc, his followers would have seen, one thing that had power over all, even there leader, Nature.
    they would have revered it just as is shown in all cultures, the first gods, who knows what the were called or what they were god of, but they were the forerunners of the gods we have today.
    as man began moving from place to place and settling there, and here, the gods changed to suit the environment.
    I can see how a god belief would or could enhance, a culture or tribe, for instances if you had a tribe who lived near the sea, and fishing was there main food, being ignorant of other factors, they would mean having a god of the sea, who always supplied food in abundance, who was worthy of worship, little realising, it was just the cycle of life.
    it always meant all the people working together for the greater good.
    but somehow along the line, it evolved into jealousy and intolerance.
    if you really want to study how religion came about you couldn't go far wrong by studying the american indians religion. I would say thats the closed you could get to ancient cultures, the aborigines are another possiblity for study.

    they did a study, with gorillas or chimps cant remember which, some years ago, whereas, they hung banana's from the ceiling, and put some chairs in the room/cage when an ingenious ape piled the chairs up to reach the banana's
    he was sprayed with water, all of them screamed, they then took the the ape who was sprayed out and replace him with a new one when the new one piled the chairs up the others, screamed warnings at him, they repeated this again and again until eventual no ape would try for the banana's least they recieve the wrath of a the banana god.
    if I can find the original link i will post it.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    this version was published in our company magazine :

    A scientist runs an experiment using a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage hangs a banana on a string and a little set of steps is constructed under it - so that an enterprising monkey might reach it. Sure enough, before long, a monkey tries to go to the steps to start to climb towards the banana.
    As soon as he touches the stairs, the scientist hard-heartedly sprayed all the other monkeys with cold water. Not just a little squirt - a punishin saturation.
    After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are thoroughly doused with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to reach the banana, the other monkeys try to stop him - and prevent yet another dousing !
    Assured that the message "banana equals cold dousing" has been received, the scientist removes one monkey from the cage and replaces him with a new one.
    The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the steps. To his surprise and horror, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack he knows that if he tries to climb the steps he will be assaulted.
    The scientist then removes another of the original five monkeys and replaces him with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. And, significantly, the previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm !
    The scientist continues, replacing the third original monkey with a new one, then the fourth and finally the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is cruelly attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were prevented from climbing the steps or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. But the assaults go on ...
    The scientist duly noted in his report that after replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys has ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. The scientist scratches his head - why not ?
    There is only one conclusion the scientist can offer. He pauses for thought and writes "the monkeys behave the way they do because, as far as they know, that's the way it's always been done around here !"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    What does the monkey story have to do with the thread topic?
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i was just filling in on geezer's story
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What does the monkey story have to do with the thread topic?
    it sort of explains how a religion or a belief in a diety could come about. because at the end of the story all the monkies believed something purely on faith.
    and how it was in there common interest, to not try, to get the banana's
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What does the monkey story have to do with the thread topic?
    it sort of explains how a religion or a belief in a diety could come about. because at the end of the story all the monkies believed something purely on faith.
    and how it was in there common interest, to not try, to get the banana's
    To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by geezer
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What does the monkey story have to do with the thread topic?
    it sort of explains how a religion or a belief in a diety could come about. because at the end of the story all the monkies believed something purely on faith.
    and how it was in there common interest, to not try, to get the banana's
    To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.
    Abraham Maslow
    nice quote, i'll take that as meaning religion then
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    remember, not everything needs to be explained in terms of adaptation, some things can just be byproducts of characteristics that developed as an adaptation for a completely different reason
    Original poster of the query here.
    I agree.

    Here very briefly, is the string I am working on:

    The core is a spandrel of self awareness (in the nueroscience sense).
    Then,
    Apply Theory of Mind ( ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one's own) to anything that moves, (I move, I think therefore if it moves it thinks) which given the state of knowledge would have been rather logical at the time, and you might get primitive spirituality.
    This may have a survival benefit for an individual arising from say, paying more attention to prey or predator behavior.

    Then it may later be an exapation. It might be also over time develop as an anxiety reduction, which would make the phenotype more fit: It could be a repository for the anxiety that accompanies self awareness, “clumping” into manageable abstractions.

    That may increase that individual’s concentration on what is important on the ancestral landscape (food, safety, sex, offspring), better.


    You add language, sharing symbolic objects (or thought objects if you prefer), and decoration etc., and it becomes a “tag” in the Axelrod sense for altruism (in its ethological usage).

    After that, you is off to the races….
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    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan
    Assume for the sake of discussion, a strict Dawkin-like "selfish gene" view. Meaning (for this question), how does X enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes. Therefore, I would appreciate there not being responses about group selection, cultural stuff, etc.

    The setting is the ancestrial landscape, East Africa.

    Question: How would a belief of primitive religion/spirituality (primitive meaning early and simple) enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes?
    In the most primative of all social orders, say...... a pack of wolves. Everyone pretty much follows the strongest wolf, regardless of whether or not he/she has good ideas or can administer a sound social order among them.

    Strength, for this concept, is more strength of personality than raw physical strength, but it's still largely based on whether the Alpha wolf can hold it's own if another wolf should challenge it's authority.

    Now enter religion:

    God is defined as the Alpha wolf. God is infinity mighty, infinity smart, infinity indestructible............ at least by mortal standards.

    The head priest doesn't claim to be in charge, only to be favoured by this almighty alpha wolf for whom he/she is merely a messenger.

    Since god is supposed to be infinity smart, people who disagree with the head priest will challenge his/her edicts on the basis of whether they seem to be accurate representations of an all-intelligent being's will, rather than that being's ability to punish them.

    So........ the introduction of religion was the beggining of the concept of rule by ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Since god is supposed to be infinity smart, people who disagree with the head priest will challenge his/her edicts on the basis of whether they seem to be accurate representations of an all-intelligent being's will, rather than that being's ability to punish them.

    So........ the introduction of religion was the beggining of the concept of rule by ideas.
    Whose genes are being passed on and why?
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    The whole groups/tribes/nations that adopted it, and could use it, were more successful than other groups/tribes/nations that didn't adopt it. This means when they went to war they were less likely to be wiped out.

    On the individual level, societies with a religious organization naturally select against individual members who don't participate in the religion, or believe in it, or at least pretend to believe in it.

    In the church group I attend right now, my chances of finding a mate are greater if I am perceived as conforming at least to some degree with the religion's expectations. Remember: evolution has more to do with who finds a mate and bears offspring than who lives or dies.
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    i wonder whether being a shaman or high-priest in them days was a bit like being a rock star now ? you're not really doing anything useful, but the kudos gives you access to affluence and women, so you live longer + you get the chance to have more offspring
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  20. #19 Re: A narrow, serious question 
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    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan
    The setting is the ancestrial landscape, East Africa.

    Question: How would a belief of primitive religion/spirituality (primitive meaning early and simple) enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes?

    I have my own ideas, but would like to hear others take on this. Any relevant responses appreciated.
    It does not affect genes and is not passed on genetically! We have not evolved in any significant way for the last almost 200,000 years since we became human. We have slightly smaller brains and a few insignificant physiological differences but nothing of significance. You cannot explain religion genetically. It serves a SOCIAL evolutionary function. We have been evolving as social organisms for those almost 200,000 years. The fit ones in the mainstream have been the ones that survived and passed on their "science" and culture to the next generattion of social organisms.
    That would be impossible without religions to bind us into these social entities.
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    1: I am hugely uncomfortable, even for the sake of discussion, adopting a discredited notion such as Dawkin's selfish gene hypothesis.

    2: A belief in religious explanation may not be advantage, but is simply a consequence of other beneficial cognitive processes.

    3: If it is an advantage the advantage is clear. Belief in a 'meaning' for life gives the recipient greater confidence to face the natural trials and tribulations of each day, and so enhances their survival probabilities. (For that individual.)

    4: Charles, if you are going to keep spouting this nonsense of man not having evolved in 200,000 years please start a thread where I can demonstrate the falsity of your arguments while allowing you to retain a small codpiece of dignity.
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    1: I am hugely uncomfortable, even for the sake of discussion, adopting a discredited notion such as Dawkin's selfish gene hypothesis.
    I guess I don't look at it so much as a "selfish gene" More like a "good strategy" gene.

    We can pretty much take it for granted that the vast majority of living and thinking beings want to live, usually even if it means another living and thinking being has to die to facilitate it. I eat hamburgers all the time, so you can plainly see where I stand on that issue. Most people I know eat meat.

    The other animals of the world don't have as powerful a "good strategy" gene as we humans do. The reason so many species are dying off isn't that they don't try to live. It's that they don't succeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    1: I am hugely uncomfortable, even for the sake of discussion, adopting a discredited notion such as Dawkin's selfish gene hypothesis.
    any particular reason why ? it seems like a reasonable working hypothesis to me, a bit like Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis - you don't have to agree with it but it helps the thought experiment of earth as a buffered system along
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    I'm not very familiar with Dawkin's work...can someone please explain to me this 'selfish gene hypothesis'?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    in a nutshell it says that natural selection doesn't work at the level of the organism, but at the level of the genes

    it's basically an extension of earlier work on kin selection
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    1: I am hugely uncomfortable, even for the sake of discussion, adopting a discredited notion such as Dawkin's selfish gene hypothesis.
    any particular reason why ? it seems like a reasonable working hypothesis to me, a bit like Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis - you don't have to agree with it but it helps the thought experiment of earth as a buffered system along
    It's a glib, lightweight concept. Dawkins has back peddled several times from the original idea. Why? Because the idea is flawed. I don't believe it does help clarify anything, but by refocusing attention away from where the action is - the individual and the environment - it detracts from understanding rather than contributes to it.
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    Ophiolite wrote:
    It's a glib, lightweight concept. Dawkins has back peddled several times from the original idea. Why? Because the idea is flawed. I don't believe it does help clarify anything, but by refocusing attention away from where the action is - the individual and the environment - it detracts from understanding rather than contributes to it.
    I think the hypothesis can explain a lot. For example, altruism, or kinship selection. Please provide reference that say the hypothesis is discredited.
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    I don't think Dawkins has backpedaled on the concept of "selfish gene" at all. I think that there are many who have misunderstood the concept, thinking that the gene in question has some sort of unfairly attributed anthropomorphized property. Moreover, I've not read where the selfish gene concept has been discredited or demonstrated to be "flawed." Indeed, the book has recently been re-published with updates. Within that book, the meme concept, which was a small part of the text, has gone through some revisions and Dawkins no longer holds that there is some mechanism for transmitting cultural information without cultural exposure. But meme theory remains a fascinating and viable topic.

    With regard to the OP, this is a question that I have pondered many times and I'm thinking of including it in a Masters Thesis. Without rambling on and on, I'll just mention that I've often considered credulous nature to be a selective advantage as is taking things on faith.

    Imagine the early hominid, walking on the savannah: he imagines he "feels" the stare of a predator like a large cat. The natural reaction is to find safety. Perhaps he does this frequently, climbing to a tree, scanning the thick grass and never spotting danger. But, occasionally he spots a large cat. His "feeling" suddenly has merit even on the times when he doesn't directly see the danger. It doesn't have to be there -he only needs to think it is. Such overly cautious behavior will undoubtedly give selective advantage to the hominid who is able to remain long enough to reproduce.

    Imagine also the hominid willing to migrate to distant lands because he has faith that better foraging will exist beyond the desert, ice, body of water, etc. This all occurred -we have physical evidence showing the existence of hominids all over the globe. These hominids and archaic humans surely didn't "know" there was viable land in Australia -yet there are species that are pre-Homo sapiens found in places like Lake Mungo. There are migrations that occurred across all manner of obstacle to which little more than faith could have assured the immigrants of sanctuary. Certainly some must have been faced with little other choice but to migrate, but can all migrations be explained this way?

    I also speculate that the hardwired tendency to believe or create fantastical explanations for the universe is responsible for giving rise to technology among humans. It helps that humans are a primate species with considerable manual dexterity and bipedal locomotion, but, without belief, we may have remained a foraging society that didn't adopt food production strategies. The earliest granaries often contain the earliest evidence of cult activity with the inclusion of artifacts like Venus figurines such as the one found at Catalhouyouk in a grain storage bin. The consistent association of this plump goddess, often seated and flanked with animals like large cats, is suggestive of fertility and "mother" earth. The very sun in the sky for most cultures of the world represents a father figure and the plants of the earth so very obviously face the disk (sun flowers, etc.) and its warmth (its power) could be felt by even the most skeptical human of antiquity.

    The association of seeds with production of life, the joining of the Sun with the Earth to give birth to plants and animals that provide sustenance to humans could not inspire anything short of awe and wonder. The next natural step from awe and wonder is belief in an outcome if conditions are met: positive outcomes if conditions are right; negative outcomes if they aren't.

    Magical thought is a natural human affliction. At one time in our existence, it was probably a positive selective force.
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    Skinwalker wrote:
    But, occasionally he spots a large cat. His "feeling" suddenly has merit even on the times when he doesn't directly see the danger. It doesn't have to be there -he only needs to think it is. Such overly cautious behavior will undoubtedly give selective advantage to the hominid who is able to remain long enough to reproduce.
    Not necessarily so. Overcautious behavior reduces the risk of imminent danger, but increases the risk of not getting sufficient food.
    I think there are two strategies in competition, risk-taking (over-optimistic) and risk-avoidance (over-pessimistic). As these two behaviors still exist to the present day, it seems that both can coexist as evolutionary stable strategy.

    The association of seeds with production of life, the joining of the Sun with the Earth to give birth to plants and animals that provide sustenance to humans could not inspire anything short of awe and wonder. The next natural step from awe and wonder is belief in an outcome if conditions are met: positive outcomes if conditions are right; negative outcomes if they aren't.
    This is similar to Hazz's comments in the thread about how religion started.
    The idea of how religion started is widely accepted as being because primitive man could not find an immediate answer to how lighting, volcanoes, earthquakes, the sun, moon and stars etc. exist/happen, so they believe (in the logical train of thought) that it must have been brought by someone, or that it is someone, i.e., the egyptian belief in the sun god, and the ancient tribal belief that the volcanoe was a god that got angry and erupted. This then evolved to more complex religions, until we have the religions today.
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    EXACTLY! That is the first good explanation for the function of religion that I have seen anyone else write! Yes, we respond to cues from the dominant male and he and his cohorts consider the group to be theirs, a sense of ownership, so they take good care of it and defend it with their lives.

    That is the way well-run societies operate.

    The world is not now run well. In fact, it is running us into the ground. The Administration loves to attack Islam and turn the whole world into a clash of civilizations. It is bad enough loaded as we are with WMD but to also be clashing over our over-crowded earth's shrinking resources is to magnify the threat.
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    Evolution is the effect of "survival of the fitted"

    A persons beliefs affect their ability to get along with others and find a mate.

    But it also affects their ability to cope with life in general in order to accomplish the same. Therefore, the religion of the individual can and does effect evolution of the family line.

    But as this family line progresses, the religious beliefs find themselves in a new situation. With any new situation, the same belief as before might not work to the same end. The son might believe in the same religion as the father, but the father believed it for different reasons and applied it differently to a different situation. The genetic coding that helped the father could hinder the son.

    Thus it becomes critical that the religion not merely be something capable of assisting survival, but also ensuring that it does not create its own destruction as it alters the situation of up coming generations.

    The Catholic, for example, creates and environment of "acceptors" of something told to them rather than a gathering of thinkers watching for what might be possible. When a huge number of people become acceptors, the situation and needs of the up coming generations have changed from when the Catholic religion first began.

    It is a very serious effort in many religions to ensure that their concepts are always applicable regardless of any situation. This would allow all new generations to follow the same religion without need of amending or altering it. But in such an effort to find that perfect formula, it must be considered that the new generations won't have to be looking for it. That makes their situation very different. If they have nothing to search for or struggle for, then what incentive have they to live at all?
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  32. #31  
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    But Siau, surely you are not saying that important genetic human change is caused by a mere generation of religious change! There is no evidence of any genetic change in the last 200,000 years that can account for the growth of the human cultural heritage. We have been biologically almost identical all that time. That is why the different races have all had civilizatrions. They just build them at different times, then become corrupted by them.

    I like your last paragraph because few others seem to have noticed that a major function of religion is to provide a goal, to provide, therefore, "purpose" to people. Otherwise, people have no purpose and feel worthless, rootless and fill with stress. That is the problem with our secular society.

    Regarding "receptors," what you say about orthodox Catholics would also, I think, be true of Baptist, Evangelical and Penticostal fundamentalists. This is why religious reaction weakens a society and civilization. It has happened often in world history.
    Brough,
    civilization-overview (dot) com

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  33. #32  
    Time Lord
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    I see it as the ballance between using the right tactic, and uniting effectively to implement that tactic.

    Religion helps people unite effectively around a tactic to implement it effectively. It's not very good at choosing the right tactic, unfortunately. Or rather, it often takes several generations for religion to adapt to a new situation, and begin applying new tactics appropriately to that situation.

    In the case of WMD, this is very scary, because one wonders whether we have enough time to wait for religion to catch up with it before we all just get nuked by the hard core fundies.
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  34. #33  
    Forum Freshman Nova's Avatar
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    The only way I would see religion benefitting survival would as a behavioral control.
    It could be used to dictate many things from mating behavior to birthrates.
    Carpe Diem
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  35. #34  
    Forum Sophomore BioHazard's Avatar
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    Strengethen Co-operation between hunters/Farmers, make tribe more willing to go to war (and insure survival of tribe), and unite tribe generally.
    Answered after reading initial post only.
    "When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of it, he renders it immediate. His defence is to deny it. He cannot deny that his body will die and rot - the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the problem by the invention of the immortal soul" Desmond Morris
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  36. #35  
    Forum Freshman Nikolas_Miller's Avatar
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    could religion have played in influence in developing knowledge and intelligence? (at least in early man)...for memorizing/practicing storytelling, creating art and what not?
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  37. #36 Re: A narrow, serious question 
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    Quote Originally Posted by moynihan
    The following question is serious, meaning it is related to private research i am doing.

    It is a question for those who may be Atheists or Agnostics, and in addition accept the theory of evolution by natural selection.

    I know their are plenty of folks who accept that and practice/believe some religion/spirituality. But the question may be a tad wierd for them.

    Folks who have a world view that involves religion or spirituality may want to sit on their hands on this one, and lurk if they are curious. This is a purely science related question.

    The question catagory is about the evolution of religion and spirituality.

    Assume for the sake of discussion, a strict Dawkin-like "selfish gene" view. Meaning (for this question), how does X enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes. Therefore, I would appreciate there not being responses about group selection, cultural stuff, etc.

    The setting is the ancestrial landscape, East Africa.

    Question: How would a belief of primitive religion/spirituality (primitive meaning early and simple) enhance the survival and passing on of an INDIVIDUAL'S genes?

    I have my own ideas, but would like to hear others take on this. Any relevant responses appreciated.
    It would make the enhancing and passing on of genes more certain, if God and His angels did this deliberately, and it was not just by chance.

    [Female ufo abductees claim that ufo aliens (maybe angels) are mixing there genes with ufo aliens by impregnating them with half human half alien babies and then re abducting them and taking the babies out. This you may understand as evidence of ongoing gene enhancement.]
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  38. #37  
    Forum Freshman Swordsmith's Avatar
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    Okay, I've now finished laughing at ghost7548's comment about UFO abductees and can type.

    I don't know if its been said, but here's the way I see it, from an evolutionary psychology standpoint:

    Religion started as a means of building society (couple with God of the Gaps psychology). This social interaction kept memebers of the species near to eachother, thus promoting more mating.
    "Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis." - As Laplace said when Napoleon wondered how the famous mathematician could write his book without mentioning God.
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