Re: Origin of Religion

From: Sabrina Marr (
Date: Tue 24 Dec 2002 - 19:51:35 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T. Smith: "Fwd: The Origin of Religions, From a Distinctly Darwinian View"

    "effective form of camouflage - Dr. Wilson sees religion as the product of group selection at work."

    Group selection has got some heavy evidence against it... interesting that a 'highly regarded' evolutionist should consider it helpful to his argument.

    "A. Religious believers often compare their groups to an organism, or a beehive. One of the keys to the success of religion is its emphasis on the moral equality of those in the community. You might be rich, and I might be poor, but in some sense you're no better than me. This guarded egalitarianism may be fundamental to the willingness of people to cooperate with others, including those who are unrelated to them, and to become the primate equivalent of a eusocial species like bees or ants."

    In a beehive and ant colony, all of the members are related and thus have a genetic advantage to being kind to the others. It's not about group selection, it's individual genetic satisfaction. Most people have a tendency to immediately disbelieve anyone using group selection as evidence in their theories... I am happily one of them. Wilson seems to touch on memetics but doesn't really use it.

    Sabrina Marr

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