Re: Origin of Religion

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Wed 25 Dec 2002 - 10:06:50 GMT

  • Next message: Gudmundur Ingi Markusson: "Re: Origin of Religion"

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Ray Recchia
      At 11:51 AM 12/24/2002 -0800, you wrote:
      "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.
      You might have a point there. I was agreeing more generally with the idea that regardless of its truth, religion creates social cohesiveness in societies. Going back to the sociobiology angle, we have a certain level of altruism built into us that evolved when we operated in small tribes. Larger social groups may require larger levels of altruism than we are predisposed to, and religion, with its reward of an afterlife, might provide that.

    >> Maye so in the old days, way back then, but what with the understanding that religion,
      as such is loosing its touch, or do you see religion more as just the words of any god !?
      Do you catogorize, for example, the belief in freedom as a ' religion ' or do I get it wrong !?
      Are there new ' religions ' on the block, if so, what are they !?

      And that altruism- bit is IMO debatable, that is just a way of looking at things_ it is not that
      we count such an adaptation as favorable that it is an ' evolved- so- good ' one
      I think the kind of altruism you 're talking about wasn 't that at all when we moved around
      in small groups, co- operation, yes maybe, but IMO surely no altruism, that is something
      of a much late date.

      David Wilson does seem to be using religion as tool to push a group selection theory, but I'd have to understand more to get a better feel for what he is saying before offering an opinion.

    >> My point too, I didn 't read his book, but the extract already doubted me, and that is not
      so good....maybe I am biased...

      There is remarkably little genetic diversity among humans. There is only small fraction of one percentage point of difference between all of us.
    >> If I reacll correctly, todays European population comes from only 8 ancestors....

      Wilson is definitely not a fan of the memetics movement.

      Atheist or not, nice atheist or not, IMO he isn 't a fan of ' non- believing ' people either....


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