Evolution and religion
Jun 14, 2005 Dov, in IHS forum
(1) You muse "But how to explain its (religion's) magnetism among peoples without a history of oppression, like American WASPs?".
I think that, like in most biological/social systems, the explanation comprises a conglomeration of factors including warm secure conservatism, ambient societal factors and phenotype survival.
(2) I was not familiar with the term you use, "inclusive fitness". Looked it up now via Google. Appears to refer to what I, in my basic English, term the syndrome of "high self esteem".
(3) After your following items a,b,c, I quote relevant paras from my postings elsewhere:
(a) BH: "Once you accept that the Gods are not real, you seek an alternative explanation for morality and values".
(b) BH: "If physiological evolution, which is extremely well-documented, is true, then psychological evolution must also be true, including the explanation of morals and values"."Natural selection explains morals and values perfectly". "Then you seek an explanation for the resistance to (the) explanations". "The science of resistance to science".
(c) BH: "Why are people willing to persecute or even kill other people to preserve antiquated, unsubstantiated ideas? This is how religion curses humanity. Humanity will not persevere if we continue attempting to resolve the wills of imaginary gods. We will either destroy ourselves via ecological collapse or be unable to persevere natural catastrophy".
Dov about above a,b,c:
I think that religion should and certainly can be discussed scientifically just as the ribosome and the immune system of organisms. Religion evolved by humans and functions for humans in the same manner and for the same ends as the inter- and intra-cell biological factors function for humans and for all organisms.
Most "scientists", technologically/informationally experts in specific subjects, regard themselves "religious", which is possible since "religious" means different things to different persons. And this is scientifically possible and ubiquitous as religion is a tool for humans for fasioning various human phenotypes just as a ribosome is a tool for a genome for constructing various proteins.
Most of the "scientists" I know or whose writings I read relate human existence, faithfully, to an acknowledged vague ultimate reality, i.e. they are unable to accept that death of some or of all human primates, unlike the death of other organisms regardless of their physiological complexity, is the definite absolute cessation of the totality of its occurrence-existence and is the incorporation of the ex-life system into the totality of the relentlessly dispersing-diluting universe…
Earth's human population, including all human phenotypes and all of human education-socio levels, and including , yes, almost all "scientists" and all editors of printed and electronic scientific communications, are not yet rationally capable and certainly not yet emotionally/psychologically prepared (must display and voice RESPECT to "Spiritual"/"Religious"/"Holy" matters…) to understand and accept that all aspects of human cultures and civilizations are just other manifestations of, and parallel to, intra- and inter-cell biological factors, evolved by humans for their survival-replication.
My attitude is that religions are not "based on a lie to control the masses", but that in the historical circumstances their evolutions were possible and enabled based on blind faith. I would love to see each and every aspect of "holliness" completely deleted from religions, while leaving an element of 'pseudofaith' based on "rational moral conviction" and offering the most efficient/effective set of values/behaviour, combined with the group's traditions (phenotype), for fair/secure preservation/proliferation co-existence with fellow humans. My reasoning and feelings are that some form of 'pseudoreligion' is required even for rational, and certainly for emotional, urging and convincing of all humans to live in an effective fair cooperative mode…
Finally re your item (d), BH: "It is well-argued that evolution is not perfect, and has in fact led many species to extinction due to over-specialization".
Per what I have learned and observed in my life evolution is evolution is evolution and fractal is fractal is fractal for everything, repeat, everything, in the universe since the Big Bang (or its pre bang) including the universe composition and its dynamic behaviour and its chemical constituents and, even, the very rare bubbles of energy on planet Earth which we call Life. Evolution can be unfolded ONLY backwards; it cannot be calculated/predicted forward since it inherently progresses into ever more complicated constellations and consequently at an ever increasing rate, see the universe…