[ExI] Rick Warren on religion

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 00:09:41 UTC 2018

On Wed, Dec 5, 2018 at 1:04 PM Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> *Religions are directly selected for or against based upon their
> teachings.*

I think a religious meme (not gene) can be directly selected for. The meme
that infected the 911 hijackers, that its a good idea to kill yourself if
by doing so you can kill lots of disbelievers, has been very successful;
from the meme's point of view crashing a airliner into a skyscraper was a
wise move in that it increased its chances of being reproduced in other
minds.  A meme that says "if you believe in me you will get 77 virgins when
you die but if you don't God will torture you for a infinite number of
years" has obvious potential for reproductive success in other minds.

* > How is it not obvious that religion is a trait selected for by
> increased reproductive success?*

Increased reproductive success of the meme not the gene, biological
Evolution works so much slower than cultural Evolution I don't see how it
could play a significant part. The only important gene involved would be
one for a tendency of very young children to believe what adults tell them,
and that goes far beyond religion, without that we wouldn't have science or
art or any of the other good things civilization brings. So be careful what
you tell very young children because they'll probably believe you, possibly
for life.
> *Therefore any religion that makes it a sacred duty to procreate is
> certainly no spandrel.*

The reason Saudi Arabia is almost entirely Muslim and Israel is almost
entirely Jewish is not because the two populations have radically different
genes  (70% of Jewish men and 82% of  Arab men inherited their Y
chromosomes from the same paternal ancestor) but because they have
radically different memes.

John K Clark
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