Darwinism Evolutionary psychology Intelligent Design Religion

Here’s a pop Darwin look at the origin of religion

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At the BBC, a writer offers an explanation of the Christian practice of Communion, Darwinism-style:

But food-sharing even predates our Homo ancestors, and is currently observed in chimpanzees and bonobos. In fact, one recent paper even documented research of bonobos sharing food with bonobos outside of their own social group. Barbara Fruth, one of the study’s authors, told the digital magazine Sapiens that meal-sharing “must have its roots in our last common ancestor”. Based on the molecular clock, the last common ancestor, or LCA, of humans and Great Apes lived about 19 million years ago.

When I hear the words “This is my Body,” then, my mind immediately launches into a race to the evolutionary starting line, if you will. Brandon Ambrosino, “How and why did religion evolve?” at BBC

Along the way, he discovers that apes are spiritual:

Goodall has observed a similar phenomenon happen during a heavy rain. These observations have led her to conclude that chimpanzees are as spiritual as we are. “They can’t analyse it, they don’t talk about it, they can’t describe what they feel. But you get the feeling that it’s all locked up inside them and the only way they can express it is through this fantastic rhythmic dance.” In addition to the displays that Goodall describes, others have observed various carnivalesque displays, drumming sessions, and various hooting rituals. Brandon Ambrosino, “How and why did religion evolve?” at BBC News

We await the ape version of the Summa Theologica but in the meantime, we will settle for the Westminster Catechism.

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See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?

and

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

3 Replies to “Here’s a pop Darwin look at the origin of religion

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Oh how Convenient, a piece on the evolution of religion on Easter. This is why people DONT take this seriously. We can’t analyze it because it’s locked up inside them but it’s exactly the same practice as what we do according to him. So I guess it’s been analyzed so we don’t need to talk to them. And he observes (putting him outside and above religious practices making the religious nothing more then observable specimens) this like somehow nobody who is practicing the religion has any idea what they’re doing or is aware of what they are doing it’s all part of the ritual that they are completely out of control and do because we inherited it from an ape millions of years ago that just so happened to start doing it just because, yes quite literally just because.

    I’ll remember this when my animals and dogs start to play, running around, Hooting hollering when the rain comes. It’s primitive religion that they can’t control no differently than us

    I just don’t understand why these people are above this primitive instinct they can’t possibly be aware of. They must be genetically defective, something with left handedness and to many mutant genes. Some mutational load. It’s treated like there is NO REASON why someone might be an atheist or be religious.

    In all seriousness I’m not mocking our atheist commentators here, not even, so I mean no offense, my rant is not directed at you. I rage like PZ Myers when it comes to this. I’m mocking this bbc idiot. It also shows an extreme lack of understanding about the body and blood of Christ. He simply running parallels. One of my favorite psychological experiments is the triangle of dots. There is no triangle in all reality just a pattern of dots, we’re the ones that like to connect the dots, We naturally do this we anthropomorphize everything.

    But this is only one of the million evolutionary psychology explanations why religion exist from food sharing to building communities to survive it is the same formula Darwinian evolution uses for absolutely everything and can explain absolutely anything including the things that don’t exist.

    Things evolve that is real, but Darwinian evolution is simply philosophy, and a crummy one, it’s like Clarissa explains it all, or a reverse god of gaps. I apologize this piece annoyed me. Just to find out that all of those people where brutally killed for food sharing and not belief in Christ, and let’s not forget the Holocaust, maybe the Jews should have shared better food or more food, maybe the other apes wouldn’t have tortured them to death.

    I apologize for the rant

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    >”But you get the feeling that it’s all locked up inside them and the only way they can express it …”
    Someone has been spending waaaay too much time with the primates, and not enough time thinking logically.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “he discovers that apes are spiritual”

    And just what is the definition of ‘spiritual’

    spir·it·u·al
    adjective
    1. relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

    Darwinists would not know how to differentiate material things from spiritual things if their lives depended on it.

    If we define spiritual things as meaning anything that cannot be reduced to a material explanation, then we find that virtually everything we take as being real and meaningful in our lives is to be defined as being spiritual and cannot be reduced to the reductive materialistic explanations, i.e. just-so stories, of Darwinian evolution.

    The following article gives us a glimpse into just how impoverished the reductive materialistic explanations, i.e just-so stories, of Darwinists actually are in regards to ever explaining anything in that is spiritual.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    And in the following article Dr. Michael Egnor lists many ‘spiritual’ things that we humans take for granted as being real. “Spiritual” things that are forever beyond the scope of Darwinian explanations, i.e. just-so story telling. Dr. Egnor states, “Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.,,, Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.
    I stress here the difference between representation and instantiation. Representation is the map of a thing. Instantiation is the thing itself. Universals can be represented in matter — the words I am writing in this post are representations of concepts — but universals cannot be instantiated in matter. I cannot put the concepts themselves on a computer screen or on a piece of paper, nor can the concepts exist physically in my brain. Concepts, which are universals, are immaterial.
    Nonhuman animals are purely material beings. They have no concepts. They experience hunger and pain. They don’t contemplate the injustice of suffering.,,,
    It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    If something is not composed of particles or does not have physical properties (e.g., mass, energy, orientation, position, etc), it is abstract, i.e., spiritual. Numbers, distance, time, beauty, ugliness fall in that category. It is amazing how many things fall in that category even though most of us, including scientists, swear they exist physically.

    In fact, the entire concept of what a Species might truly be is is an abstract “spiritual’ concept that cannot be reduced to materialistic explanations

    If reductive materialism were actually true, the ability to define what a species truly is, i.e. to answer the question of what makes a rabbit truly a rabbit, and what makes an ape truly an ape, and what makes a human truly a human?” becomes impossible:

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: First, the problem of essences. G. K. Chesterton once quipped that “evolution . . . does not especially deny the existence of God; what it does deny is the existence of man.” It might appear shocking, but in this one remark the ever-perspicacious Chesterton summarized a serious conflict between classical Christian philosophy and Darwinism.
    In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known?
    Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually.

    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.

    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    Implications for Bioethics
    This is not a mere abstract point. This dilemma is playing itself out in contemporary debates in bioethics. With whom are bioethicists like Leon Kass (neo-Aristotelian and former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) sparring today if not with thoroughgoing Darwinians like Princeton’s Peter Singer, who denies that humans, qua humans, have intrinsic dignity? Singer even calls those who prefer humans to other animals “speciesist,” which in his warped vocabulary is akin to racism.,,,
    If one must choose between saving an intelligent, fully developed pig or a Down syndrome baby, Singer thinks we should opt for the pig.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    If I were a Darwinists and, as was shown by the preceding article, I could not even define what a species truly is, I would be extremely embarrassed. After all was not Darwin’s book itself entitled “Origin of Species”. Thus, not only have Darwinists never experimentally demonstrated the ‘origin of species’, it turns out that Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, can not even define what a species truly is in the first place! I would call that a fairly dramatic and embarrassing failure for a theory that purports to be the “be all/end all” scientific explanation for the origin of species. 🙂

    As hopefully most everyone reading this can see by now, virtually everything we regard as being real falls into the classification of being ‘spiritual’ and not being material.

    The primary thing, as far as the Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism debate is concerned, that falls into the classification of being spiritual and not being material, is immaterial information.

    That is to say, the very words, i.e. the immaterial information, that the bbc authors wrote in their article to argue that apes are spiritually related to humans, those very words themselves that the bbc authors wrote prove that apes definitely do not have the capacity of human spirituality. As the following article states, “There is no evidence that great apes, however sophisticated, have any of the crucial distinguishing features of language and ample evidence that they do not. Claims made in favor of their semantic powers, we might observe, are wrong.”

    The Siege of Paris – Robert Berwick & Noam Chomsky – March 2019
    Excerpt: Linguists told themselves many stories about the evolution of language, and so did evolutionary biologists; but stories, as Richard Lewontin rightly notes, are not hypotheses, a term that should be “reserved for assertions that can be tested.”4
    The human language faculty is a species-specific property, with no known group differences and little variation. There are no significant analogues or homologues to the human language faculty in other species.5,,,
    How far back does language go? There is no evidence of significant symbolic activity before the appearance of anatomically modern humans 200 thousand years ago (kya).22,,,
    There is no evidence that great apes, however sophisticated, have any of the crucial distinguishing features of language and ample evidence that they do not.48 Claims made in favor of their semantic powers, we might observe, are wrong. Recent research reveals that the semantic properties of even the simplest words are radically different from anything in animal symbolic systems.49,,,
    Why only us?,,, We were not, of course, the first to ask them. We echo in modern terms the Cartesian philosophers Antoine Arnauld and Claude Lancelot, seventeenth-century authors of the Port-Royal Grammar, for whom language with its infinite combinatorial capacity wrought from a finite inventory of sounds was uniquely human and the very foundation of thought. It is subtle enough to express all that we can conceive, down to the innermost and “diverse movements of our souls.”
    https://inference-review.com/article/the-siege-of-paris
    Robert Berwick is a Professor in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT.
    Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT.

    Moreover, immaterial information is now shown to be its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, will never be reducible to, or emergent from, a material basis as is presupposed within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian thought.

    In the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position turns information into energy.

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And as the following 2010 article stated about the preceding experiment, “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,”

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    And the following 2018 article states that, “Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics.”

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

    Thus immaterial information is now empirically shown, directly contrary to Darwinian thought, to be its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, will never be reducible to, or emergent from, a material basis as is presupposed within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian thought.

    Again, if Darwinian evolution were a normal science, instead of basically being a pseuodo-scientific religion for atheists, this should count as a fatal falsification of their reductive materialistic theory.

    As to the fact that humans alone, out of all the creatures on earth, have a unique capacity for language, the late best selling author Tom Wolfe was so taken aback by the honest confession by leading Darwinists in 2014 that they have no clue how human language could have possibly evolved, that he wrote a book on the subject., “The Kingdom of Speech”,,

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    —Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

    In other words, humans have, completely contrary to Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking, managed to become masters of the planet, not by brute force, but simply by our unique ability to communicate information and also to, specifically, infuse information into material substrates in order to create, i.e. intelligently design, objects that are extremely useful for our defense, basic survival in procuring food, furtherance of our knowledge, and also for our pleasure.

    And although the ‘top-down’ infusion of immaterial information into material substrates, that allowed humans to become ‘masters of the planet’, was rather crude to begin with, (i.e. spears, arrows, and plows etc..), this top down infusion of immaterial information into material substrates has become much more impressive over the last half century or so.
    Specifically, the ‘top-down’ infusion of mathematical and/or logical information into material substrates lies at the very basis of many, if not all, of man’s most stunning, almost miraculous, technological advances in recent decades.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: page 5: A: Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, ,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

    What is more interesting still about the fact that humans have a unique ability to understand and create information, and have come to dominate the world through the ‘top-down’ infusion of information into material substrates, is the fact that, due to advances in science, both the universe and life itself, are now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis.

    As Vlatko Vedral, who is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and who is also a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, states

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    By the way, “the ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world.”

    Complex grammar of the genomic language – November 9, 2015
    Excerpt: The ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world. The findings explain why the human genome is so difficult to decipher –,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....140252.htm

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’ precisely because of our ability infuse information into material substrates.

    Perhaps a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God.

    And that just so happens to be precisely the proof claimed within Christianity.

    Thus in conclusion, the Darwinian worldview is a severely impoverished and bankrupt worldview that lacks the intellectual funds that are necessary to cash out and explain everything that is truly unique and important about human life. i.e. It denies everything that is immaterial and spiritual. Immaterial, spiritual, things that give meaning to our lives and also give humans the unique attributes and abilities that are directly associated with us uniquely being ‘made in the image of God’.

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

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