Religion in Evolution
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11-06-2013, 10:30 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(11-06-2013 10:16 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(11-06-2013 09:53 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Blink

There is a thing called evolutionary psychology. It's about applying psychology to our ancient pre-recorded historical past.

Unlike psychology where all your ideas for causes and treatments begins by testing them on people, ending with results. Evolutionary psychology tries explain behaviors with out being able to test them, because all their subjects are dead. With out being able to work with their subjects, it's all speculation at best. Still a fun subject, just not verifiable.


Evolutionary psychology applies modern tested and demonstrable results to past human behavior, based on the end results from the past that we do have to examine.

It's not unlike reverse engineering and since the human brain has been relatively inert in its evolutionary change for thousands of years, it is not purely speculation.

I'll grant that it is fun, but it is also an informative and useful component of evolutionary science.

We wouldn't study how the first automobile was propelled while ignoring its engine. And if we did... we wouldn't be doing science.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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11-06-2013, 10:36 PM (This post was last modified: 11-06-2013 10:42 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Religion in Evolution
(11-06-2013 10:30 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(11-06-2013 10:16 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  There is a thing called evolutionary psychology. It's about applying psychology to our ancient pre-recorded historical past.

Unlike psychology where all your ideas for causes and treatments begins by testing them on people, ending with results. Evolutionary psychology tries explain behaviors with out being able to test them, because all their subjects are dead. With out being able to work with their subjects, it's all speculation at best. Still a fun subject, just not verifiable.


Evolutionary psychology applies modern tested and demonstrable results to past human behavior, based on the end results from the past that we do have to examine.

It's not unlike reverse engineering and since the human brain has been relatively inert in its evolutionary change for thousands of years, it is not purely speculation.

I'll grant that it is fun, but it is also an informative and useful component of evolutionary science.

We wouldn't study how the first automobile was propelled while ignoring its engine. And if we did... we wouldn't be doing science.

Not really. How can you test the psychology of a tribesman who doesn't even have a written language and has been dead since prehistory?

I'll accept you can say tribe X does Y and this may have happened with our emergence and migration across the globe, but you cannot say that they thought this or that for a fact with out written language at the least. Even then it's speculative.

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11-06-2013, 10:58 PM
RE: Religion in Evolution
(11-06-2013 10:36 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(11-06-2013 10:30 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Evolutionary psychology applies modern tested and demonstrable results to past human behavior, based on the end results from the past that we do have to examine.

It's not unlike reverse engineering and since the human brain has been relatively inert in its evolutionary change for thousands of years, it is not purely speculation.

I'll grant that it is fun, but it is also an informative and useful component of evolutionary science.

We wouldn't study how the first automobile was propelled while ignoring its engine. And if we did... we wouldn't be doing science.

Not really. How can you test the psychology of a tribesman who doesn't even have a written language and has been dead for since prehistory?

I'll accept you can say tribe X does Y and this may have happened with our emergence and migration across the globe, but you cannot say that they thought this or that for a fact with out written language at the least. Even then it's speculative.

I didn't say we could test it. I said that because we can determine through testing the remaining biological evidence of past humans that their brains were almost identical to ours, we can apply modern, proven psychological knowledge to the evidence they've left of their behavior.

Written language doesn't define how the human brain reacts to stimuli. It defines how the human brain communicates its perception of stimuli.

You could argue that before written language, perceptions weren't communicated well and, that would be true. But that doesn't mean that the brain responded differently to its environment. And the topic of the post is religion. Religions might form without written communication but they cannot form without communication.

If you want to apply your comment to an historical period that predates the modern structure of the human brain, you'll get no agitation from me.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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11-06-2013, 11:06 PM
Religion in Evolution
(11-06-2013 09:50 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  
(05-06-2013 12:25 PM)I and I Wrote:  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?

I like your topic.

First things first applying psychology to the past will always be a fun speculation. Do not confuse it with science or truth.

After that point, I think it's fun to think of ways it could have been useful. I'm going to use bullet form to point out some things I think religion might have been useful.

*It allowed smaller groups of people to create a larger in-group. Ie you believe in my gods, you are my brother.

*It gave people things to do to becomes more emotionally close to one another. IE dancing, coming of age rituals, etc

*and all the classical things humans need emotionally, false sense of control over the world, explanations of the world, etc.

All of these things would have been important to an emergance race of hominids that needed to socialise. Because those things would help them survive in groups.

The sad thing is in modern times and antiquity there have been tribes who haven't even heard of doing such things and never gave god, or gods any thought.

Which means that if you use these tribesman as analogues for early humans it simply wasn't a requirement.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirah%C3%A3_people

That depends on the philosophical approach a psychoanalysis takes. The Freudian is the idea that the internal can explain the external activities. Many others take the opposite approach which is better suited for studying earlier psychology of dead people, they state and I believe also that ones behavior is a result of their mode of living. Both require some guessing, but the Freudian approach requires alot more guessing. One can make better guesses about psychology by examining cultural habits, rituals, societal hierarchy etc.
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