Religion in Evolution
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05-06-2013, 12:25 PM
Religion in Evolution
http://www.robertbellah.com/religioninhu...ution.html

I am reading this great book, that no it doesn't argue for religion, it is examining what role religion played in human evolution since religion is man made.

The book deals with psychology, philosophy and history and pretty much any field of study, so I had no idea where to put this topic.

What role do you guys think religion played in early human development?
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05-06-2013, 12:42 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
I started a thread on this a while ago.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Evolution

Other members have also mentioned it in other threads.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid305582

Most of the stuff I've read said that religion served the function of strengthening group bonds. In addition, Frans de Waal believes that religion popped up to take the place of the natural system of checks and balances (i.e. early hierarchical morality) once the population outgrew it's influence.
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05-06-2013, 12:47 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
There are a number of ideas on this from religion playing an active role to religious experience being done kinds of hijacking of separately evolved traits.

Personally I think that religion as the earliest form of state has probably played a role in which groups survived. I don't know if this impact is enough to change allele frequencies but probably has been enough to shape society.

I think when you can visit a distant people and have some confidence of shared values and culture that can influence success and survival. People with no shared context to work from will trade less and war more. I think this role in modern society has been largely taken over by the state.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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05-06-2013, 01:01 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 12:42 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I started a thread on this a while ago.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Evolution

Other members have also mentioned it in other threads.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid305582

Most of the stuff I've read said that religion served the function of strengthening group bonds. In addition, Frans de Waal believes that religion popped up to take the place of the natural system of checks and balances (i.e. early hierarchical morality) once the population outgrew it's influence.

The author mentions all of this in his book, but he starts out much further back. He compares views of "play" among mammals as ways of relieving ones self from the grind of daily life, and it's this space that allowed humans to develop and think about religion. Humans had to be advanced enough to have time to practice religion.

They guy says unwittingly I think how religion, play, in human cultures are counter to the typical evolution view (the survival of the fittest view). For mammal and some birds, to play, to do ritualistic dances or acts is not very productive to survival, there is no hunting going on and in fact makes one vulnerable to attack from prey. Which means that evolution isn't just survival of the fittest, otherwise living species wouldn't have evolved highly complex languages (humans) or the idea of play among mammals to exert energy that wasn't related to strictly survival.
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05-06-2013, 01:26 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 01:01 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(05-06-2013 12:42 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  I started a thread on this a while ago.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Evolution

Other members have also mentioned it in other threads.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid305582

Most of the stuff I've read said that religion served the function of strengthening group bonds. In addition, Frans de Waal believes that religion popped up to take the place of the natural system of checks and balances (i.e. early hierarchical morality) once the population outgrew it's influence.

The author mentions all of this in his book, but he starts out much further back. He compares views of "play" among mammals as ways of relieving ones self from the grind of daily life, and it's this space that allowed humans to develop and think about religion. Humans had to be advanced enough to have time to practice religion.

They guy says unwittingly I think how religion, play, in human cultures are counter to the typical evolution view (the survival of the fittest view). For mammal and some birds, to play, to do ritualistic dances or acts is not very productive to survival, there is no hunting going on and in fact makes one vulnerable to attack from prey. Which means that evolution isn't just survival of the fittest, otherwise living species wouldn't have evolved highly complex languages (humans) or the idea of play among mammals to exert energy that wasn't related to strictly survival.

Evolution is not 'survival of the fittest', and no evolutionary biologist would say it is.

That phrase is an oversimplification of Darwin's thesis, coined by Herbert Spencer.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-06-2013, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 05-06-2013 01:47 PM by Rahn127.)
RE: Religion in Evolution
At least this is an honest topic. I might give you a positive rating for that.

Religion can divide groups of people as well as land masses can and when you do that, you limit diversity.

http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/...netic.html

If you limit a small population to only breed within that population, then you begin to build a recipe of genetic disadvantages.

If you have a religion that doesn't isolate itself but instead expands outward bringing new people into the flock then you may not see as many health issues. So evolutionarily speaking people belonging to groups that expanded or allowed new members into the group may have gained a health advantage over groups that isolated themselves.

Cooperation also helped groups to better survive. Living together in groups helps too.
We are social animals and we attained those social skills through evolution.

Evolution can in part be about the survival of a population and the changes that can promote or hinder survival.
Religion can do both. The religions that promote survival will in turn also survive.

So in many ways evolution will help to guide which religions will survive or if any will at all.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-06-2013, 01:41 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 01:30 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  At this is an honest topic. I might give you a positive rating for that.

Religion can divide groups of people as well as land masses can and when you do that, you limit diversity.

http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.com/...netic.html

If you limit a small population to only breed within that population, then you begin to build a recipe of genetic disadvantages.

If you have a religion that doesn't isolate itself but instead expands outward bringing new people into the flock then you may not see as many health issues. So evolutionarily speaking people belonging to groups that expanded or allowed new members into the group may have gained a health advantage over groups that isolated themselves.

Cooperation also helped groups to better survive. Living together in groups helps too.
We are social animals and we attained those social skills through evolution.

Evolution can in part be about the survival of a population and the changes that can promote or hinder survival.
Religion can do both. The religions that promote survival will in turn also survive.

So in many ways evolution will help to guide which religions will survive or if any will at all.

I don't know know who you are but ok.

The book implies that language, is related closely to and developed around the same time as using symbols, since both are abstract representations of a culturally agreed upon concept. Cooperation among and living in groups was made stronger when using bonds like religion.

Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk writes that humans create bubbles on personal and societal scale, these "bubbles" or "spheres" never spread and accept others into the fold, they simply burst and don't exist anymore. No form of thought or belief extends itself to change, it is changed from outside.
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05-06-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 01:01 PM)I and I Wrote:  For mammal and some birds, to play, to do ritualistic dances or acts is not very productive to survival, there is no hunting going on and in fact makes one vulnerable to attack from prey.

You know what can make one vulnerable to attack from prey - SLEEPING for a few hours at a time or longer.
What could help your survival if you and people like you MUST, at some point, sleep. Answer - living in groups. The more people around you, the less likely a predator is to get YOU.
And while living in groups, what can help that group to have some cohesiveness ? - Answer - playing, ritualistic dance, having fun

I like being with groups of people that like to have fun. Being in that group also increases my chances of finding a mate and thus reproducing.

Arguing that playing within a group makes that group vulnerable to a predator is simply wrong.
We are always stronger together.
It's why the phrase "Divide and conquer" came into being.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-06-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 01:45 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  
(05-06-2013 01:01 PM)I and I Wrote:  For mammal and some birds, to play, to do ritualistic dances or acts is not very productive to survival, there is no hunting going on and in fact makes one vulnerable to attack from prey.

You know what can make one vulnerable to attack from prey - SLEEPING for a few hours at a time or longer.
What could help your survival if you and people like you MUST, at some point, sleep. Answer - living in groups. The more people around you, the less likely a predator is to get YOU.
And while living in groups, what can help that group to have some cohesiveness ? - Answer - playing, ritualistic dance, having fun

I like being with groups of people that like to have fun. Being in that group also increases my chances of finding a mate and thus reproducing.

Arguing that playing within a group makes that group vulnerable to a predator is simply wrong.
We are always stronger together.
It's why the phrase "Divide and conquer" came into being.

They guy says that play itself makes one vulnerable, not play among groups, he would agree with what you said, he also talks about sleep.

This just strengthens my view that individualism does nothing good for society in the long term, hence capitalism is bad...The End. Smartass
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05-06-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(05-06-2013 01:41 PM)I and I Wrote:  I don't know know who you are but ok.


Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk writes that humans create bubbles on personal and societal scale, these "bubbles" or "spheres" never spread and accept others into the fold, they simply burst and don't exist anymore.

As for who I am, that's pretty self evident. I'm Rahn Big Grin

This author you speak of apparently has never heard of nomadic tribes that, you know, travel around and encounter other tribes. They might socialize together, trade or barter items, eat together, share stories, etc. Some may even stay with the new tribe for a while and others go with the other tribe leaving in a new direction.

Has this author even read any history books at all ?
Oh wait, he's in a bubble isn't he Smile

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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