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Evo psych on the Pope’s visit

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The Origins of Religion: How Supernatural Beliefs Evolved

But not everyone agrees that religious thinking is just a byproduct of evolution — in other words, something that came about as a result of nonreligious, cognitive faculties. Some scientists see religion as more of an adaptation — a trait that stuck around because the people who possessed it were better able to survive and pass on their genes.

Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary psychologist and anthropologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom whose work focuses mostly on the behavior of primates, including nonhuman primates like baboons. Dunbar thinks religion may have evolved as what he calls a “group-level adaptation.” More.

The first thing that strikes a person reading this ridiculous effort at evolutionary psychology is the effrontery of people imagining that they are doing any kind of science.

They are telling boring folk tales with featureless characters. People didn’t used to get paid for that.

Here’s what Stone Age religion probably looked like. The Pope, as it happens, represents a form of religion (revealed religion employing philosophical propositions) that has largely replaced Stone Age religion. But trust evo psych to get everything wrong by conflating the two.

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?

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I still don't understand how anybody thinks that one type of belief, religion, has evolved without realizing they are making the case that ALL beliefs (including for example the belief in materialism) have evolved. The point is that any belief that has "evolved" contains no indication that said belief represents reality. It is merely an adaptation for survival. Truth or falsity does not enter into it. Further to the point... There is a simple statement that CANNOT possibly be true. "I have correctly chosen to believe in materialism." 1. Suppose materialism is true. Then "I" really does not exist because there is no independent causal agent that constitutes "I". The "I" as a personality is just a sum of genetics, hormones, and experiences acting upon a set of related particles acting under purely natural forces. There is no "I" to do the choosing. If the set of hormones, genetics, and experiences determine that the package labeled "I" believes materialism that is what it will believe. It has nothing to do with whether that conclusion comports with reality because there is no power to alter the choice. When one cannot choose, one cannot be a determiner of what is transcendental truth, one can only be determined to believe some ideas. 2. If materialism is false, then it is possible that some ID has provided the set of hormones, genetics, experiences and particles with an immaterial soul capable of somehow interfacing with the material world. Then a real choice can be made. The problem here however is the choice of believing in materialism is incorrect. JDH
Unproven (and unprovable) Assumption #1: That there was a point in the past where nobody believed in God (or anything else that was non-material). EvilSnack
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