Is Religion Adaptive?

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peter63
Atheist Ireland Member
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Is Religion Adaptive?

Post by peter63 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:33 pm

A group of Darwinian theorists discuss the evolutionary bases of religion: Scientific American article
“God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed” Luis Buñuel. Quoted in The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
brianmmulligan
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Location: Sligo

Re: Is Religion Adaptive?

Post by brianmmulligan » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:44 am

peter63 wrote:A group of Darwinian theorists discuss the evolutionary bases of religion: Scientific American article
Peter, they seem to be discussing the genetic basis for religious belief. Also of interest is the 'memetic' theory outlined in Dan Dennett's book "Religion as a Natural Phenomenon". (Dawkins' theory of memes is that 'ideas' inhabit brains and replicate and compete with other ideas in a fashion similar to genes - those that survive tend to confer some survival advantage on the holder)

By the way, the guy who wrote that article is based in Queens in Belfast and I think he is one of us as I have seen a contribution of his in "The Edge " question this year ((Jesse Bering )) - this is a high powered, invitation only forum. We should get him to give us a presentation sometime. He could be our own home-grown Dawkins (even if he is imported - guessing from the name).
Brian
bockedy
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Re: Is Religion Adaptive?

Post by bockedy » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:37 am

I would agree with Dawkins who suggests that religion itself isn't adaptive, rather, it's a by-product of things which are evolutionarily favourable. There's a good treatment of this in The God Delusion.
May Ea smite thee with the might of his fist!
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