Religion is apart of evolution?
I am a theist; yet, I am simply trying to understand the views on this board.
I have a question about religion and evolution. It seems that most atheists proclaim that theism served some purpose in our evolutionary past. This explains why the majority of humans believe in a god or in a plurality of gods.
Why is this is this the only argument brought forth? Why can’t it be the religion was a defect, something that did not enhance the continuation of our species? Why does everything have to be "useful" to keep being past down the evolutionarily line?
I admit I am a layman on evolution. Yet, based on what I have studied, I am perplexed that many seem to conclude that any present trait must be a useful trait or it would not be present. Thus, religious beliefs are present and must have served a purpose in the past. Why can’t it be that humans simply had a vast majority of "useful" traits and religion was in fact a defect that was passed along with these useful traits? Thus, religious beliefs did not manifest as a an evolutionary gain; rather, religious beliefs were defects surrounded by actual useful traits.
Is this a likely scenario according to atheistic evolution? I am just asking because many on here argue religious beliefs were a "benefit" yet, if atheism is true, isn’t it also likely that religious beliefs could have also been a defect protected by truly beneficial traits?