[ExI] Rick Warren on religion

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 18:24:19 UTC 2018

 warfare might have served as the
primary method of gene transfer between tribal gene pools which might have
otherwise become too homozygously inbred.  stuart

I ran across these astounding statistics, which show that people are not
learning very fast about being inbred:
The U.S. is the only western country with cousin marriage restrictions. It
is estimated that *20 percent* of all couples worldwide are first cousins.
It is also estimated that *80 percent* of all marriages historically have
been between first cousins!
bill w

On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 12:03 PM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> Keith Henson (KH) and John Clark (JC) wrote:
> KH>>  The trait of having religions, like all else in living things,
> >> evolved.  It was either directly selected or it is a side effect from
> >> some other trait that was selected. *
> Religions are directly selected for or against based upon their teachings.
> Compare Catholicism to Shakers for example.
> JC> I don't see any way religion could be selected for directly, maybe it
> > helps something else that is selected for directly but I think it's more
> > likely religion is a Evolutionary Spandrel; I wouldn't be surprised if
> > music appreciation was one too.
> How is it not obvious that religion is a trait selected for by increased
> reproductive success? After all, repeated bouts of conjugal bliss is a
> much easier way to grow a religion than proselytizing strangers at the
> point of a pen or a sword. Prohibiting masturbation and contraception
> while demanding that the faithful "be fruitful and multiply" is a sure
> recipe for Darwinian success.
> Therefore any religion that makes it a sacred duty to procreate is
> certainly no spandrel.
> https://fullymyelinated.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/religion-and-family-size/
> Of course some religions had historically prohibited sex entirely like the
> Shakers and thus as of 2017, there are only two Shakers left in the world:
> Brother Arnold Hadd, age 58 and Sister June Carpenter, 77.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers
> So it would seem that the most successful of religions are those whose
> edicts are most conducive to reproductive success of its members. This
> leads to the somewhat paradoxical situation that, on average, those that
> don't believe in evolution are actually better at it than those that do.
> KH>> The trait to have religions is widespread.  This indicates that at
> >> some point in our past, the trait was under strong selection. What
> >> situations in our evolutionary past would have led to a strong selection
> >> for this psychological trait? War. *
> There is certainly a correlation between religion and war but they are
> both complex traits and it is doubtful that one is necessarily causal of
> the other.
> Admittedly religion facilitates war by giving participants a shared tribal
> identity to rally around as a tribal totem or battle standard.
> Also religions tend to assuage fear of death in it's participants with
> promises of after-lives for the faithful who die in battle: Valhalla,
> Heaven, Paradise, Nirvana, etc.
> JC> I'm skeptical that religion will in general help to get a gene into the
> > next generation, for one thing one of the main causes of war is religion
> > and the genes in young men killed in religious wars end up going nowhere,
> >  and for another in the last 60 years death from violence has dropped to
> > the lowest level in human history and the general trend toward violence
> > has been declining for centuries.
> Well in a strictly historical context, the vanquished soldier's genes were
> nonetheless perpetuated by his sister and children who got raped and/or
> sold into slavery by the victors. Modern warfare with all its rules of
> engagement and Geneva conventions? I would agree that there is not much of
> a selective advantage for warfare in modern times.
> Conversely however, in ancient times, warfare might have served as the
> primary method of gene transfer between tribal gene pools which might have
> otherwise become too homozygously inbred.
> KH>> *>I make a case that "Surrendered people obey God's word, even if it
> >> doesn't make sense" has its origin in the same psychological trait that
> >> worked up our ancestors in a resource crisis to kill their neighbors.*
> I think it runs deeper than that. It has to do with status hierarchies as
> well and that is tied up in our primate natures. The word primate itself
> is the derived from the Latin word primus which means "first". Who does
> the alpha male of your tribe answer to? The gods.
> So I think religion is the psychological extrapolation of your primate
> status hierarchy beyond the monkey that you fear the most. It is probably
> very much tied up in ones susceptibility to perceived authority. That is
> there is probably a strong correlation between a person's religiousness
> and whether Stanley Milgram in a white lab coat can get them to
> electrocute other study participants.
> JC> I think it's more likely religion results from a tendency of very young
> > children to believe what their parents tell them. Without that tendency
> it
> >  would be impossible to pass on valuable information from one generation
> > to the next, like how to make a fire or how to hunt a Mammoth or how to
> > plant seeds etc.
> Well yes, of course but I think it is the rituals that children see their
> parents do that cements religions into their minds more than what their
> parents say. This is because I think animism and magic predate religion
> and religion likely evolved from the other two. Magic is about the use of
> rituals to influence real world outcomes. As the nature spirits of animism
> gave way to anthropomorphic gods, magic gave way to prayer, sarcrifices,
> ablutions, and other means of influencing the favor of the gods.
> If you see your father pray to a god for success before setting out on the
> hunt, you are likely to do so as well especially if he comes back with
> meat. Who is this god person? Your chieftain's boss.
> Stuart LaForge
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