[ExI] Evolutionary psychology and religion

Kevin Freels kevin at kevinfreels.com
Mon Dec 10 20:11:20 UTC 2007

Seien wrote:
> 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 truth. 
This would work if religion were only about irrational and unreasonable 
explanations for the world around you. But it is much deeper. Deeply 
religious people will put the religion before everything else - 
including their own lives and the lives of others. Faith is more 
important than fact. There has to be some underlying benefit to this 
behaviour or it wouldn;t have made it out of the first few people into 
the general population. Maybe it's a side-effect - as an overdeveloped 
sense of hope and there just happens to be a net benefit.
> Secondly,  
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/14/ngod14.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/11/14/ixnewstop.html 
> <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/14/ngod14.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/11/14/ixnewstop.html>
> "/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.
> -- 
> ~Seien
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