True2Ourselves
Already a member? login
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
Divider
  
+
Register FAQ A-Z directory Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > Religion and Evolution

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-04-2009, 03:35 AM
Ciaran's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 29
Default Religion and Evolution

Anyone care to offer some thoughts or explain religion in Darwinian terms?
Or in other words, according to evolution, why does religion exist?
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-04-2009, 06:11 AM
Suspended for Review
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,359
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciaran View Post
Anyone care to offer some thoughts or explain religion in Darwinian terms?
Or in other words, according to evolution, why does religion exist?
Good question. I'm a believer in evolution, but I don't think that it has played a part in the development of religion. And maybe we should agree here that religion and a belief in God (or gods) are not the same thing. At least, to me they're not. So anything I say here is does not relate to God in any way, just to religion.

I've just finished reading Daniel Dennet's 'Breaking the Spell' about (as the blurb has it) religion as a natural phenomenon. I'm not sure if anyone would have read it as he's one of the infamous four horsemen of the apocalypse, referring to the 4 usual suspects brought up in any conversation about the 'new age' atheists, the others being Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens.

He doesn't believe that there is a gene responsible for religion per se, and neither do I. Dawkins has brought the subject up on occasion, using Marx's 'opiate of the masses' comment to suggest that there may be something akin to a sweet tooth that would need religious experience to satisfy it.

It is possible that there may be something akin to Chomsky's Universal Grammar that doesn't 'teach' us how to learn a language (from childhood) but gives us the ability to recognise structure and order in a linguistic sense. Perhaps this Universal Religiosity gives us the ability to recognise a shared consciousness in a religious sense. But if this was genetically passed on, as Dennet constantly asks, 'Cui bono?' Who benefits? Where is the evolutionary advantage? I don't see one, especially in such a small time frame.

I think Dawkin's idea of a cultural replicator comes closest to tying in Darwinian evolution and religion without resorting to the discredited idea of Cultural Darwinism. His calls these replicators 'memes' and they act as genes, but in a social rather than biological manner.

I believe that man in his early days (sorry, not 6,000 years ago...) would have almost automatically believed in a super natural world and with a realisation of his own mortality coupled with rituals developed in the burial of group members would have resulted in a proto-religion very early on.

Dawkin's memes would then 'spread the word'. Whether a belief in gods sprang from this, or developed in tandem, is debatable (from my viewpoint). Or maybe, from a Christian perspective, the religion became associated with God.

Last edited by Brad : 03-04-2009 at 06:14 AM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-04-2009, 08:52 PM
Justus1983
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Evolution does not explain a cultural phenomenon like religion. However, it is clear religion has been created by nearly all the cultures of earth to explain what was not possible by the people in those times. So now the question becomes; what evidence do you use to choose the religion you follow?
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-05-2009, 03:15 AM
Ciaran's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 29
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Yeah, I've been reading Dawkins' 'The God delusion' and he explains his meme theory. He also explains a theory that it may be the result of misfirings of certain aspects of human psychology. Like a child's tendency to always believe what their parents tell them.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-05-2009, 05:23 AM
mirutsa's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 261
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciaran View Post
Yeah, I've been reading Dawkins' 'The God delusion' and he explains his meme theory. He also explains a theory that it may be the result of misfirings of certain aspects of human psychology. Like a child's tendency to always believe what their parents tell them.
The problem with Dawkins and his credibility in this regard is that he is neither a psychologist nor a philosopher, but rather an evolutionary biologist and ethologist.¹ As I see it, his science, especially in fields like genetics, is top-notch. On the other hand, his ideological musings are essentially eloquently phrased, and often unsupported, opinions.

¹edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/dawkins.html
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-05-2009, 06:19 AM
Suspended for Review
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,359
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirutsa View Post
The problem with Dawkins and his credibility in this regard is that he is neither a psychologist nor a philosopher, but rather an evolutionary biologist and ethologist.¹ As I see it, his science, especially in fields like genetics, is top-notch. On the other hand, his ideological musings are essentially eloquently phrased, and often unsupported, opinions.
I agree. The God Delusion fails to a certain degree because of that. I'd certainly go with Dennet if you need the psychological/philosophical approach.

Dawkins is much more convincing when he's writing about his own field of expertise. The Blind Watchmaker and The Ancestors Tale are outstanding (well, as long as you accept evolution, that is).
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-19-2009, 09:34 PM
christkid777's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,081
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

In order to examine religion from an evolutionary standpoint you would first need to determine just what gives rise to religion in the human mind. You would have to establish a "class" of emotional/psychological responses in order to determine if religion is "normal response" or "abnormal response". You would need to show that there are many abnormal class responses in order to include any one response. If religion were the only response it would not qualify. In other words did evolution give rise to numerous abnormal behavioral responses and is religion one of them. The criteria for inclusion would have to be carefully considered. Frequency of occurrence would have to be one of them. I think you would find the propensity for the human mind to produce religious ideas would weigh very heavily in favor of "normal" behavior. Religion exist in every human culture. From a Christian view it is the empty part of us longing to be filled with God. As was pointed out earlier answering this question has no bearing on the question of God's existence. You really should throw away those silly books you mentioned and seek God's answer. He is not afraid of this subject and you would find Him to be very insightful.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-20-2009, 12:28 PM
jrodmc's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 30
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirutsa View Post
The problem with Dawkins and his credibility in this regard is that he is neither a psychologist nor a philosopher, but rather an evolutionary biologist and ethologist.¹ As I see it, his science, especially in fields like genetics, is top-notch. On the other hand, his ideological musings are essentially eloquently phrased, and often unsupported, opinions.

¹edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/dawkins.html
And I would also wonder how he's managed to uproot the meme or virus of religiosity in his own life. Or maybe he, like the other four clown princes of atheism/evolutionary theory, have just evolved further. It's funny when you hear atheists like Dennet explain that religion is 'evil'. How does someone so intelligent make a statement like that, that's so inherently incoherent?

Dawkin's has always had a penchant for explaining the value of evolutionary theory in terms of it's 'elegance'.

I've never quite understood how things like 'random mutations' and 'survival of the fittest' qualify as 'elegant.'

And would any of the evolutionists on here like to explain away the subtitle of Origins of Species? Or is that just too passe'?
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-20-2009, 03:54 PM
Heneni
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Well i dont know... religion basically makes us 'feed' off a higher source. What did the first fish eat?

Heneni
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-20-2009, 07:23 PM
RobMisek's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 90
Default Re: Religion and Evolution

Any religion merely keeps members of society working together.

This life is barbaric. Victoms of torture often feel love for their captors when the torture ceases. We similarily are succeptible to a desire to believe that in death we will be at peace. Many religions claim that admission to that peace requires complete compliance in life. It is a powerful force, well known by religious leaders and terrorists.

Observing many of the posts here, people do readily dismiss intelligence, honesty, logic and science when it exposes error in their beliefs. They believe that only blind faith offers the promise of eternal peace.

Jesus spoke of the spirit of truth. Truth is not a blind faith. It is real and can be demonstrated and discerned. If truth were discerned by belief and faith alone, then all the conflicting beliefs in the world would be true. Truth and reason would be meaningless.

Those blinded by faith may believe the truth is meaningless, but Jesus didn't and neither do I.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Evolution Olsen Christianity & Science 412 05-02-2013 07:30 AM
Do saved Christians believe in evolution? irondumpty General Discussions 174 04-15-2012 03:23 PM
Evolution being taught in public schools!? Truth7 Christianity & Family 189 03-03-2011 10:14 PM
Evolution; Do saved people believe it? irondumpty Theology 92 03-11-2009 02:52 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:21 PM.


true2ourselves
 
 
 

Flashcoms

You need to upgrade your Flash Player.

Version 8 or higher is required.

download from http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29