[ExI] Evolutionary psychology and religion

Seien seienchan at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 16:33:59 UTC 2007

Two points I would make on this email. Firstly, I would have said that
religion was a combination of two phenomena: antirational memes, and the use
of best available explanations. In a time when people had barely any
knowledge about How Things Work, the best use it seemed they could put their
creativity to was inventing mythologies to explain the things they saw. In
the absence of any real knowledge, this *was* the best available explanation
for the natural phenomena they experienced. However, due to its obviously
irrational qualities, religion/mythology very quickly became an antirational
meme, resisting criticism through stubbornness rather than any kind of deep

>Of course any *specific* religion is a meme (or complex of memes) so
>there is certainly a cultural element (memes *are* elements of
>culture) to the particulars of any religion.  But the general human
>ability to "have" religions is virtually certain to be rooted in genetics


"*Growing up in a religious environment was said to have little effect on
belief. Dr Hamer, who in 1993 claimed to have identified a DNA sequence
linked to male homosexuality, said the existence of the "god gene" explained
why some people had more aptitude for spirituality than others."*
Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for instance.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20071210/34a86c79/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list