[ExI] Rick Warren on religion

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 17:40:31 UTC 2018

Perhaps you can explain how "performing rituals" or not doing so had a
survival advantage to genes?  Keith

Maybe some of you know and can point me at some articles as opposed to my
Googling it:  dance.  I notice that many religions, esp. the ones still
practiced by what we call tribes, involve dancing.  One thing that stands
out to me about dance is that it gives a person a change to 'shake their
booty'.  So aspects of a personality come out in their dances as well as
the opportunity to show off their bodies.  This could give some people
reproductive advantages over others.

Now why our big religions think dance is Satanic I just dunno.  I do think
dancing is in the Bible somewhere.  Of course it is sexual - it can't help
but be sexual.  Just moving, even if she is wearing hoop skirts, is
sexual.  Why are so many religions down on sex and dance?  Why is the idea
of Jesus dancing, or even having a good time, upsetting to Christians?
Gods don't like to have good times?  Serious all the time?

And a Happy Monday to y'all.   bill w

On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 10:37 AM Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>

> On Sun, Dec 9, 2018 at 9:47 AM "Stuart LaForge" <avant at sollegro.com>
> wrote:
> smo[
> > In so far as the brain is our fastest evolving human organ, having
> tripled
> > in size in the last two million years, I would think that evo-psych would
> > be one of our fastest evolving traits.
> I can't parse that.  Please try again.
> snip
> > But religion itself is a moving target that has been evolving alongside
> > our capacity for it. Depending on how you define religion, our
> > "hunter-gatherer ancestors" may not have actually had religion.
> I am not talking about religion, no matter how you want to define it.
> I am talking about the human *capacity* to have religions.  It is so
> widespread among human populations that, like capture-bonding, it is
> nearly universal.  That is an indication that the capacity to have
> religions was under serious selection over a long time.  I agree with
> you that the capacity to have religions developed long before
> religions themselves.  The most serious selection factor in those days
> was war between groups of people.
> snip
> >
> > But on the other hand, if you define religion as the copying of sacred
> > rituals from one generation to the next, well that is very old and there
> > is likely a genetic component to that. Curiously chimpanzees and
> elephants
> > are known for performing rituals too.
> Perhaps you can explain how "performing rituals" or not doing so had a
> survival advantage to genes?
> > > It seems really unlikely in a hunter-gatherer world long before birth
> > > control that religion or anything related to it made any difference in
> the
> > > number of children a woman had. The proximate limit to human
> populations
> > > in those days was war with other humans (top predator argument). The
> > > ultimate cause of the limit was the (fluxuating) capacity of the
> > > environment to feed them.
> >
> > War does not require religion  as attested to by the warring of apes and
> > ants but learning how to awaken the fire spirits inside wooden sticks is
> > vital for survival and that requires you to trust your elders.
> War, even among ants, is episodic.  Bonobos don't fight.  Chimps are
> hostile to other groups all time.  Human wars depend on the situation.
> I suspect that the mechanism that turns on wars between human groups
> is the same underlying psychological mechanisms that are behind our
> capacity to have religions.  This speculation will eventually be
> tested as the tools get better.
> > > But, as I have pointed out in other postings, the model shows that
> > > human genes do not profit from war unless the alternative (such as
> > > starving) is worse.
> >
> > Does the model account for the benefits of genetic out-breeding as a
> > result of war?
> No.  Do you have a way to put numbers on this benefit?
> > > So you would expect genes to get this judgment for "a time for war"
> > > correct, and genes that get the tribe into "attack mode" when needed
> would
> > > be positively selected.
> > >
> > > The major religions where we know something of their historical
> > > origins seem to have started as a set of xenophobic memes.
> > >
> > > I have been thinking about ways to locate the genes and brain
> > > structures behind these traits.
> >
> > What do you think of Dean Hamer's so-called God gene VMAT2?
> From the Wiki article, support seems weak, but this is the kind of
> genetics that would lie behind the capacity to have religions at all.
> Keith
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