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But why do people believe in Discover Magazine?

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Tom Gilson
Tom Gilson

Presumably, a fix of Darwinism goes down well in a complex world:

Discover magazine tells readers why people believe in God. It’s simple: Evolution fooled us! But in fact the article is a perfect case study in how a sweeping story of “evolution” gets credit for just about anything.

That’s the story, says Alex. Evolution wired all that into us; but it messed up, too. It didn’t include a “stop” switch to tell us where not to use those tendencies. We see patterns that aren’t real, and we conclude falsely that someone must have put them there on purpose. Some things we learn by imitation aren’t so good after all. So for example we see patterns in weather, and we attribute them to some kind of person. We call that person a god; then we imitate one another in worshiping that god. Voila, it’s religion!

Therefore, she concludes, “It doesn’t take supernatural beings to explain why so many people believe in them — just natural evolutionary processes.”

Like a teacher unpacking a really bad essay for the student, Tom Gilson offers five points for reflection, including

You have to assume your thinking is rational, even while you’re building a theory of pervasive human irrationality. Tom Gilson , “How ‘Evolution’ Fooled Us Into Believing In God (Wink, Wink)” at The Stream

That way lies, as J. P. Moreland says, post-modernism and, as some of us think, the progressive war on science.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

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See also: J. P. Moreland: How scientism leads to post-modern relativism Could the progressive war on science be obliquely influenced by scientism? That is, if all beliefs are inherently evolved illusions, scientism cannot protect beliefs about science. So why not a war on math and correct answers, if it is politically advantageous?

If naturalism can explain religion, why does it get so many basic facts wrong?

Evolutionary conundrum: is religion a useful, useless, or harmful adaptation?

and

Imagine a world of religions that naturalism might indeed be able to explain

2 Replies to “But why do people believe in Discover Magazine?

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    Um, again: go watch “The Gods Must Be Crazy”.

    Pre-modern humans lived in small, closely related groups where it was unlikely that you would meet even ONE person in your life who was not some flavor of aunt or uncle or cousin (or mother or sibling: it is a SMART monkey who knows his FATHER).

    You REGULARLY SAW, with your own two eyes, female humans and animals swell with new life and plants bud with new fruit. There was no doubt where Life came from: it grew Naturally, but with enough exceptions and complications to suggest that Someone, most probably the Earth Mother, had a hand in it.

    Modern Science simply explains HOW the Earth Mother accomplishes Her work. But Science can’t explain WHY the Earth Mother chooses to DO it. If you want to know Why, you need to spend a night with the shamans. And when Dawn comes, spend the rest of your life continuing to ask, “Why?”

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If evolution causes us to believe in illusions because that is what is best for human fitness and survival, then is trying to dispel these illusions a threat to human survival?

    Is Discover Magazine committing a crime against humanity?

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