[ExI] Rick Warren on religion (Stuart LaForge

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Sat Dec 15 15:50:30 UTC 2018

On Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 9:52 PM  "Stuart LaForge" <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:

> From:
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Rick Warren on religion
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> Keith Henson wrote:


> > Translating into something that could be measured, your expectation
> > would be that the percentage of captives (almost all women) who adapted to
> > being captured would have gone up over the period where the brain
> > expanded.
> But capture bonding is just a single EP trait,

I wish you would be more careful with the terminology.  "EP trait"
doesn't work.  A psychological trait that resulted from evolution

As for it being a single trait, if you want to measure a number of
traits, you do it one at a time.

Capture-bonding is one of the few psychological traits that have an
obvious selection mechanism.

unless there are
> differences between sexes in which case there may be two different traits.
> But I think rather than trying to measure individual traits you would be
> better off counting the number of traits by keeping track of when they
> emerged.

We don't have the time machine to go back and see, so this is entirely
academic   But I do wonder what others you would put in a list to see
when they emerged.?

> Incidentally one of the tenants of Evolutionary Psychology (this time I
> mean the discipline) that I hold exception with is that "our modern skulls
> house stone age minds". If minds could not evolve faster than genes, then
> there would be no point to having evolved minds in the first place. Minds
> went from cave paintings
> >> How do you distinguish this capacity for religion from any other
> >> cultural phenomena that allows memes and social constructs to override
> >> genes? It is certainly more sophisticated in humans but it occurs across
> >> the spectrum of social animals.
> >>
> >> In wolves for example, typically only the dominant pair of alpha male
> >> and female breed.
> >>
> >> Why would the average (non-dominant) wolves in the pack allow this? Why
> >>  would these average wolves cooperatively hunt, protect, and help feed
> >> pups that are unrelated to them effectively throwing their own genes
> >> under the bus?
> >
> >> Sure one could argue that they are related so this is some kind of kin
> >> selection going on but this is typically true only of the females who
> >> tend to be siblings. The males are typically completely unrelated and
> >> randomly get adopted into packs.
> >
> > Can you provide a URL for these statements?  It's been a while since I
> > read up on the subject.
> https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/5210739
> http://zbs.bialowieza.pl/g2/pdf/1495.pdf
> >> The upshot of the Nature article is that humans are about six times
> >> more likely than the average mammal to die by the actions of a member of
> >> our own species. Based upon paleontological and archaelogical evidence
> >> during the Stone Age about 3.5% of humans died by the hand of another
> >> human. This fluctuates throughout history, with a maximum during the
> >> middle ages where approximately 12% of humans died by another's hand.
> >
> > Some places much higher
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Before_Civilization
> >From what I have been able to gather, Keeley's claims in "War Before
> Civilization" rest more on the behavior of tribes that remained
> isolationist all the way into the 20th century. That likely means there
> would a heavy bias toward xenophobia. The only ancient evidence he touts
> are remains from a single grave site in the Sudan. From what I have been
> able to gather independently from this source:
> https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/new-study-of-prehistoric-skeletons-undermines-claim-that-war-has-deep-evolutionary-roots/
> "The most ancient clear-cut evidence of deadly group violence is a mass
> grave, estimated to be 13,000 years old, found in the Jebel Sahaba region
> of the Sudan, near the Nile River. Of the 59 skeletons in the grave, 24
> bear marks of violence, such as hack marks and embedded stone points."
> So the only hard evidence Keeley has is 59 skeletons 24 of which were
> killed by violence.

He has a lot more:

For example, at Crow Creek in South Dakota, archaeologists found a
mass grave containing the remains of more than 500 men, women, and
children who had been slaughtered, scalped, and mutilated during an
attack on their village a century and a half before Columbus's arrival
(ca. 1325 AD). The Crow Creek massacre seems to have occurred just
when the village's fortifications were being rebuilt. All the houses
were burned, and most of the inhabitants were murdered. This death
toll represented more than 60% of the village's population, estimated
from the number of houses to have been about 800. The survivors appear
to have been primarily young women, as their skeletons are
underrepresented among the bones; if so, they were probably taken away
as captives. Certainly, the site was deserted for some time after the
attack because the bodies evidently remained exposed to scavenging
animals for a few weeks before burial. In other words, this whole
village was annihilated in a single attack and never reoccupied.[7]


> On the other hand, one planet can only sustain so many of us sacred
> monkeys when even the insects are dying. So we are going to have to make
> some tough choices soon. But a war to thin the herd is not the best or
> only option.

I would really like to know what you consider other options.


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