[ExI] Evolutionary psychology and religion

John desertpaths2003 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 11 00:23:25 UTC 2007

Seien wrote:
  why should it promote genetic survival? If Religion is an antirational meme, it will behave in ways that promote its memetic survival. If there's a gene that makes people more likely to be fanatics, well, okay. I don't see necessarily why this gene can't behave in a self-promoting way anyway, although my knowledge of genetics is pretty poor compared to my understanding of meme theory. But WRT the meme, Religion is one of the strongest antirational memeplexes next to parenting and romance, so we're likely to see a lot of self-preservation behaviour from this meme. Memes are not dependent on genes to explain the ways they behave.  
  I think a successful meme would promote genetic survival or even better reproductive "prosperity (lots of offspring who survive long enough to have offspring of their own)" so it has lots of guaranteed new recruits in the upcoming generation.  And keep in mind that the early years of childhood are a time of mental filters not being in place so the mind is like a sponge that will soak up just about any teaching/meme set.  In Islam, Mormonism, Fundamentalist Christianity, etc. you will often see the having of large families very encouraged (even in the developed world).    

  I don't see how parenting or romance is an anti-rational memeplex.  Parenting is crucial to successfully raising up offspring (got to get my genes into the next generation!) who are very vulnerable for quite a number of years.  And that big brain we homo sapiens have from the very beginning contributes to a very helpless and top heavy baby being born that will need lots of parental devotion.  Parental memes and biological drives *drive* reproductive success.  Romantic memeplexes are coupled with biological instincts to seek out the highest quality mate possible, again for reproductive success.  Memes and genes have a very fascinating interplay.
  John Grigg : )  

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