[ExI] Human evolution model (was Iranian riots)

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 12:26:22 UTC 2009

2009/7/14 hkhenson <hkhenson at rogers.com>:

> Back to what Stathis wrote
> "They are making changes tending towards greater secularisation, which
> is the historical trend over the centuries. There may be temporary
> setbacks but ultimately religion is doomed, or at least doomed to be
> watered down until it's inoffensive."
> The model indicates that a positive future outlook, i.e., good economic
> prospects for you and your children will turn off the switch to pass around
> and be strongly influenced by religious (xenophobic) memes.  The current
> world situation, especially the energy situation, leads me to predict that
> religions (and wars or related social disruptions) will be a major problem
> in the coming decades unless we solve the energy problem.  Of course since
> the detector is tripped on per capita, low or negative population growth
> helps a great deal.  To keep humans out of going to war, delta
> income/population must be positive or at least not negative for all segments
> of the population.

This seems like a good explanation and is consistent with the
observation that most of the time increasing prosperity correlates
with decreasing religiosity (although this doesn't seem to apply to
the US and the Middle east oil states). However, alternative
explanations are possible. For example, religion exists as a
side-effect of the tendency to adopt group customs and beliefs
(however silly they may be), which has obvious benefits in building
community cooperation. When people are wealthier and better-educated,
they are just as keen to belong to a community, but they can't help
seeing through the silliness and therefore find other things to bind
them together.

Stathis Papaioannou

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