Religion part of Evolution?

neutrino
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Religion part of Evolution?

I have an idéa of religion being a part of a kognitive evolution. A defect in a humans brain that makes us more vulnerable and somehow moore lacey too accept an answer instead of being more critical to It.

 


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 You would not be the first

 

You would not be the first to have that conjecture. Allow me to rip from a couple of sources on this:

 

Have you ever walked into a dark room and seen a shadow that looked like some animal only to flip on the light and find out that it is just some harmless object? Say for example that what you thought to be a huge snake turned out to be a belt on the floor.

 

That happens because part of your brain “throws out a best guess” first and tends to err on the side of something that merits fear. The interesting thing is that it probably does that because of an evolutionary pressure to do so.

 

If you would like to consider the possibilities in a 2x2 matrix, you will see how this is so.

 

Row one stipulates no real danger present. Either case costs you nothing for the bad guess.

 

Row two stipulates that there really is some danger. Guess right and you live another day. Guess wrong and you might end up dead.

 

Looked at this way, there is a selection pressure for bad but safe guesses.

 

So our caveman ancestors see lightning and guess that there is some malevolent being in the sky causing it. Perhaps if you just do certain things, that being will not direct his anger at you. Then after thousands of years and at least that many bad guesses, what do you have?

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neutrino wrote:I have an

neutrino wrote:

I have an idéa of religion being a part of a kognitive evolution. A defect in a humans brain that makes us more vulnerable and somehow moore lacey too accept an answer instead of being more critical to It.

 

It is not a "defect" as much as it is that evolution isn't about perfection or seeking knowledge. It is merely getting to the point of reproduction. Having the right answers isn't the goal of evolution.

We did evolve to seek patterns, what we did not evolve to do is test those patterns to insure quality of data. Groups form as an advantage to get to the point of reproduction. So the claims that group makes because they have incerted a false answer can benefit in the sense that the more like minded a group is the better chances they have to spread their genes.

Our age of technology is helping us to some degree overcome this "defect", WHICH in reality is more aptly described as deficit or gap.

But we ARE vulnerable and more likely to insert an answer into the gap precisely because evolution isn't about getting it right all the time, just getting whatever gets you to reproduction.

Dawkins discribes this flaw in evolution in "The God Delusion" as a moth mistaking a light bulb with the natural moonlight it evolved to guide itself by.

Placebos work, not in the sense that they are real, but because it has the potential to create group think that can lead to more offspring.

 

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neutrino wrote:I have an

neutrino wrote:
I have an idéa of religion being a part of a kognitive evolution. A defect in a humans brain that makes us more vulnerable and somehow moore lacey too accept an answer instead of being more critical to It.

So.....you're defining "religion" as a tendency to not be completely rational?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Supposedly god people

 

live longer because they have less stress. They definitely seem to have more children. I'm sure the catholic church's opposition to contraception is a pragmatic push for higher body counts. Human brains are definitely profoundly flawed. Believing the maker of the universe made you in his image is a bizarre assertion but as a former christian I can say it's a soothing balm to the brain.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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neutrino wrote:I have an

neutrino wrote:

I have an idéa of religion being a part of a kognitive evolution.

I think it has more to do with our social evolution. Societies have often used myth stories as an organizing motivation. A way to hold a group together and have them work toward common goals rather than the pursuit individual pleasures. A way to make men go to war, control peoples' sexuality and behavior. Myth has always been a tool for leaders to maintain control.

The people religion benefits in societies are the rich and powerful. The poor and weak just get an opiate for their suffering. Politician and the media still embrace religion because it is useful to attain and maintain power.

Hopefully it has outlived it's usefulness, survival now depends on the proper use of technology, rational social structures and a rational political system. Religion has little to offer in this type of world.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I just wanted to highlight

I just wanted to highlight the link Cpt Pineapple posted. I'm going through it right now and it talks about many of things you all are mentioning.  

 


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I think that being

I think that being self-aware, somehow makes human beings search for a sense of purpose. If I went to sleep and woke up in a strange place I did not understand, my natural questions would be.....Where am I, how did I get here, and where do I go from here.  Religion may seem neccessary to an extent, as an avenue for answers, but, the blind cannot lead the blind, though they try really really hard.  Im sure, that at some point in our early evolutional history, a cave man needed an explanation for something he/she couldnt explain.  Not being the most intelligent people at that time, they created an answer that made sense, hence the reason the majority of religions come and gone were of a natural sense. Sun Gods, Rain Gods...etc They observed the natural world around them, and in their ignorance every aspect of life was then dictated by those gods they gave names to.  As a society, the more intelligent we became, the more complex our theology became, until now, when people are slowly but surely taking the next step into atheism.  It took man millions of years to get to a point where it could explain nature without Gods, it could take a million more before we can totally break this bad habit, lets hope not.

 

a great but simple post, thanks for making me think.

 

 

"We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." – Richard Dawkins

 

"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche


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lalib wrote:I just wanted to

lalib wrote:

I just wanted to highlight the link Cpt Pineapple posted. I'm going through it right now and it talks about many of things you all are mentioning.  

 

 

You might also like the book by the same author

http://www.amazon.ca/Gods-We-Trust-Evolutionary-Landscape/dp/0195178033/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299435106&sr=8-1

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: You

 

Thanks, Cpt. I'll definitely check it out after this week of midterms.