From Katherine Hignett at Newsweek:
Religious people tend to live healthier, longer lives than atheists.This trend has puzzled academics for some time, but social scientists may have discovered the reason why.
Research published in Evolutionary Psychological Science has linked a rise in atheism to increasingly prevalent mutant genes.
Lead author Edward Dutton from the Ulster Institute for Social Research explained the research to Newsweek. He says: “Maybe the positive relationship between religiousness and health is not causal—it’s not that being religious makes you less stressed so less ill. Rather, religious people are a genetically normal remnant population from preindustrial times, and the rest of us are mutants who’d have died as children back then.” More.
Mutant genes? Maybe we should have covered this for our occasional sci fi frite nite…
Evolutionary psychology is still looking for a problem it can solve. In the real world, religious people live longer because most long-surviving religions embody lifestyle rules and social structures that promote longevity. One is less likely to die in a church than in a crack den, irrespective of whether one has children.
Note: A friend writes to observe that atheism is there classified as “not religious.,” That is a dead giveaway for ignorance and incompetence in writing about the subject. Atheism means “not believing that there is a God/gods.” The Dalai Lama is an atheist; is he not religious? Humanists who strive to live by their principles may claim they are not religious but, sociologically, they are.
See also: “The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”
If naturalism can explain religion, why does it get so many basic facts wrong?
Evolutionary conundrum: is religion a useful, useless, or harmful adaptation?
Imagine a world of religions that naturalism might indeed be able to explain