[ExI] de Waal

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 24 16:50:28 UTC 2018

genes that tend to make children believe what authority figures tell them
propagate through the gene pool faster than genes that don’t.   john

John - let me ask you a personal question:  have you had any children?
Have you heard of the terrible twos?  Teenage rebellion?  This reminds me
of John Watson and his famous boast about getting 30 children at random and
making them into anything he wanted.

Obedience in youth is often by force - eat or go hungry - make up your bed
or no TV, and so on.  I also wonder what the statistics are about children
growing up and following their parents' religion and other beliefs.
Conformity is at an extreme in the teens, but not to parents' wishes!!
Read "No Two Alike" - two sisters of a famous psychologist who were raised
together by her and could not have been more different.

Sometimes we look up on people as sheep, and sometimes they act that way.
But often there is more pushback there than you think.

bill w

On Sat, Feb 24, 2018 at 9:59 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 8:29 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com
> > wrote:
> *  > was left with the impression that de Waal is just as mystified as the
> rest of us about the origin of religions. *
> Children are born knowing nothing so there would be an obvious
> evolutionary advantage if they tended to believe what their parents or
> authority figures told them. Most people don't have hallucinations but some
> do and they will tell children about them and they will tend to believe
> that its true, particularly if the hallucination is comforting. It is
> obviously an evolutionary advantage to fear death but we know someday we
> must face it and that thought is unpleasant, but even if you only half
> believe there is life after death that would make you feel a little less
> unhappy.
> And it wouldn't take long for some to figure out this is a way to gain
> control over other people. If I can convince you that only I am in contact
> with the person (God) who can give you this life after death then you will
> do what I tell you to do. The more people who believe what I say the more
> powerful I become. And the best way to get people to believe what I say is
> to teach them it when they are very young, so I set up religious schools.
> And if I wish to remain in power I would need to violently persecute
> anybody pushing a hallucination different from the hallucination I'm
> pushing.
> But all this stems from the simple fact that genes that tend to make
> children believe what authority figures tell them propagate through the
> gene pool faster than genes that don’t. If this theory is correct then we
> would expect to find a very strong correlation between 2 things that at
> first sight seem completely unrelated, the particulars of religious belief
> and geography.  And that is exactly what we do see.
>  John K Clark
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