[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Josh Cowan jcowan5 at sympatico.ca
Wed Apr 25 13:44:01 UTC 2007

For a decent survey of the lay literature on Religion as feature or  
spandrel check out Dr. Barash's article in the Chronicle of Higher  
Education: "The DNA of Religious Faith"


On Apr 24, 2007, at 3:27 PM, Keith Henson wrote:

> At 10:06 AM 4/24/2007 -0700, samantha wrote:
>> Mike Dougherty wrote:
>>> On 4/24/07, Keith Henson <hkhenson at rogers.com> wrote:
>>>> The mental mechanisms in brains where religion "resides" and runs  
>>>> was
>>>> shaped by evolution going back millions of years.  What manifests as
>>>> religions today is the result of these mechanisms.  Now there are  
>>>> two
>> major
>>>> choices, the mechanism(s) were selected for something else and  
>>>> happen
>> to be
>>>> used by religions, or they were directly evolved for something like
>>>> religion.  In either case, because they are so widespread, there  
>>>> must have
>>>> been a considerable selection advantage for these mechanisms.
>> The alternative is that religion or the thinking and psychological
>> patterns that give rise to it are a by product of one or more
>> evolutionary advantageous developments.   If this is so and if  
>> religion
>> in moderns is problematic then it may well take a pretty active
>> conscious set of decisions and some energy to counteract this effect  
>> in
>> oneself.    Certain types of magical thinking, superstition,
>> authoritarianism and so on may be roughly defaults in human beings.
> That's not an alternative, just a restatement.
> Keith
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