[ExI] Human extinction (and religion)

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Wed Aug 27 18:57:31 UTC 2008

At 09:56 PM 8/26/2008, Lee wrote:


>(Please excuse the misleading nature of my religious analogy:
>of course, the religious must spread the word because God
>has commanded it and because allowing others to go peacefully
>to hell isn't very nice anyway.)

Religious "beliefs" are a species wide typical 
behavior.  Evolutionary theory says that the mechanisms behind such 
behavior were selected.  What advantage did such mechanisms/behavior 
have during the long evolution of the human species?  (Keep in mind 
Hamilton's inclusive fitness when formulating a proposed answer.)

Stefano writes

>>Mmhhh, I think this is a psychological consequence, albeit of a very
>>metaphorical and indirect nature, of my "gene whisper" that tells me
>>"reproduce! reproduce! leave something behind!".
>Then take Dawkin's parting words to heart:  "We must rebel against
>our genes!"..., or, well, something like that. Anyway, whenever we
>have a heart to heart talk, I make it perfectly clear to *my* genes
>who is boss.

There are vast numbers of people in the past who did not 
reproduce.  They are not our ancestors.

>Yes, we all still strive for status. However, to admit that is the 
>example of what I call a "Henson-truth", a verity that though factual, honest,
>candid, an appropriate, nonetheless merely increases the discrimination
>inflicted on one.  Even in a court of law, if you can believe it!

At some level judges are aware that their own decisions traded income 
for status.  They are spectacular examples in the modern world of 
people who seek status at considerable economic cost.


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