about me
art
biz
Chess
corrections
economics
EconoSchool
Finance
friends
fun
game theory
games
geo
mathstat
misc
NatScience
... more
Profil
Logout
Subscribe Weblog

 
The aspect of religion that catches the Darwinian Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene, is its profligate wastefulness and its extravagant display of baroque uselessness. Nature cannot afford frivolous jeux d’esprits and no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth-consuming, hostility-provoking, fecundity-forfeiting rituals of religion, i.e. religion is not some weird anomaly. Consequently, Dawkins reflects on this a priori affront to Darwinism.

To illustrate the central idea an animal example is used to drive the point home: Moths fly into candle flames, and it doesn’t look like an accident. They go out of their way to make a burnt offering of themselves. We could label it “self-immolation behavior” and wonder how Darwinian natural selection could possibly favour it. Entomologists (bug-hunters) theorize that night-flying moths use a distant light source, the moon, as a guidance system. They navigate using a constant flight angle to the moon. In cities, where there are many closer light sources, moths become confused and their attempts to maintain a constant flight angle to close light sources cause them to spiral around the light source. The point is that we see only moths hurling themselves at our lights, and we ask the wrong questions. Why are all these moths committing suicide? Instead, we should ask why they have nervous systems that steer by maintaining an automatic fixed angle to light rays, a tactic that we only notice on the occasion when it goes wrong. When the question is rephrased, the mystery evaporates. It never was right to call it suicide; it’s just the application of a good rule of thumb.

Religious behaviour may be a misfiring too, an unfortunate manifestation of an underlying psychological propensity that in other circumstances was once useful. So what is the equivalent to using the parallel rays from the moon as a useful compass? More than any other species, we survive be the accumulated experience of previous generations. Theoretically, children might learn from experience not to swim in crocodile-infested waters. But, to say the least, there will be a selective advantage to child brains with the rule of thumb: Believe whatever your grown-ups tell you. Obey your parents, obey the tribal elders, especially when they adopt a solemn, minatory tone. The argument about child brains and religion is that natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal elders tell them. And this very quality automatically makes them vulnerable to infection by mind viruses. For excellent survival reasons, child brains need to trust parents and trust elders whom their parents tell them to trust. An automatic consequence is that the “truster” has no way of distinguishing good advice from bad. The child cannot tell that “If you swim in the river you’ll be eaten by crocodiles” is good advice but “If you don’t sacrifice a goat at the time of the full moon, the crops will fail” is bad advice. They both sound the same. Both are advice from a trusted source, and both are delivered with a solemn earnestness that commands respect and demands obedience.

Dawkin’s final conclusion: Darwinian selection sets up childhood brains with a tendency to believe their elders. It sets up brains with a tendency to imitate, hence indirectly to spread rumors, spread urban legends, and believe religions, but given that genetic selection has set up brains of this kind, they then provide the equivalent of a new kind of nongenetic heredity, which might form the basis for a new kind of epidemiology, and perhaps even a new kind of nongenetic Darwinian selection. I believe that religion is one of a group of phenomena explained by this kind of nongenetic epidemiology, with the possible admixture of nongenetic Darwinian selection.

Dawkins' answer to the question “What use is religion?” is that religion has no survival value for individual human beings, nor for the benefit of their genes. The benefit, if there is any, is to religion itself. Cheers.

Thanx to Steffen H. (via email) for that pointer.

heiden
maskodok meinte am 15. Jan, 01:45:
Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon.
Mobil Sedan COrolla,Idrpoker.com agen Texas poker Online Indonesia Terpercaya, Mobil Sedan COrolla, Cipto Junaedy 
cynthia (guest) antwortete am 4. Mar, 18:45:
Choosing a gender when thinking about having a baby is already used even in previous years. Newlyweds in this present day commonly go for a brand new technology in order to have child on their very own gender preference. These artificial methods are called MicroSort and PGD with IVF. Nonetheless, not every couples are lucky enough to have plentiful resources for these procedures so that they choose natural methods as alternatives. Luckily, two amazing scientists known as Dr. Joseph Stolkwoski and Dr. Jacques Lorrain have several intriguing news to couples who'd enjoy having a baby girl. There are many couples who wish to know specifically how to conceive a girl; well then, diet plan is something which must be taken into account. Find out more on http://www.hopingtobeamom.com/
sodik (guest) antwortete am 7. Apr, 12:16:
I am preparing a research paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one post.
alfamart official partner merchandise fifa piala dunia brazil 2014
Unit Link Terbaik di Indonesia Commonwealth Life Investra Link 
dave (guest) antwortete am 7. Apr, 16:30:
The mother of the groom speech is one essential part in a wedding. You should read this article and discover several things specifically if you are a mother whose son is about to get wed. The essential ideas given in this post will help you make the delivery of your speech successful and it you'll definitely sound like a professional in this thing. These ideas are not only for moms preparing their speech, but also to other individuals about to deliver their speeches. 
dscx (guest) meinte am 13. Feb, 08:36:
Si vous voyez replique montres-bracelets Rolex brillantes de votre ami, vous l'admirer, et a décidé de m'acheter un jour. Mais vous verrez quand vous regardez l'étiquette de prix élevé original est copiée montres Rolex montres Rolex magasiner déçu. En ce moment, les montres Rolex comme la grâce salvatrice. Montres Rolex pour répondre aux besoins de ces produits. Les montres Rolex sont l'occasion pour ceux qui viennent avec un budget serré à l'expérience du luxe. Toutes les montres Rolex ont adopté les propriétaires d'origine. 
ARL (guest) meinte am 23. Feb, 05:14:
A great experience Jasa SEO 
asda (guest) antwortete am 27. Feb, 16:21:
this is something that I didn't knew chiropractors 
sharif (guest) meinte am 6. Mar, 13:36:
Wow this is a great post. This contain have many useful information. Please post more information to share with us.
source: Android APK 
Passbeemedia Wallet (guest) meinte am 25. Mar, 09:49:
Passbeemedia Wallet
Kitchen Alternatives is a entire support kitchen area in addition to restroom redesigning corporation that will help Passbeemedia Wallet you build the ideal kitchen area or restroom for you personally residence. In case you are interested in some essential upgrades or a fresh kitchen area we now have the actual expertise to help. 
ttlwu meinte am 20. May, 10:19:
I think
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.
leichte Fallplatte 
ttlwu meinte am 21. May, 13:25:
I think
If more people that write articles really concerned themselves with writing great content like you, more readers would be interested in their writings. Thank you for caring about your content.
https://www.rebelmouse.com/perfectvisiontodayreviews/ 
ttlwu meinte am 25. May, 13:10:
I think
Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks
pure reiki healing master reviews 
ttlwu meinte am 4. Jun, 13:32:
I think
It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!
brustvergrößerung preis 
ttlwu meinte am 7. Jun, 14:06:
I think
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well!
drama method aaron fox 
ttlwu meinte am 10. Jun, 13:40:
I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.
michael fiore capture his heart pdf 
ttlwu meinte am 12. Jun, 13:39:
I think
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
jadimex 
shahbaz123 meinte am 13. Jun, 13:34:
Garcinia 75%
Welcome towards Most recognized Greater london Company Washing Organization -- Aurora Pro Clean. You can expect Top quality, Environmentally friendly Company Washing Products and services in britain on daily, every week monthly or maybe ad-hoc.Garcinia 75% 
ttlwu meinte am 18. Jun, 13:03:
These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future.. http://slideshare.net/textyourexbackforum/text-your-ex-back-michael-fiore-pdf-ebook-review-and-download/ 
ttlwu meinte am 19. Jun, 13:46:
I think
I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
sewing machine reviews 2015 
ttlwu meinte am 25. Jun, 16:51:
irthkklsnfs
I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..
https://rebelmouse.com/textyourexback2review 
thscp1122 meinte am 1. Jul, 13:55:
The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface.
http://girlfriendactivationsystemreviews.com 
thscp1122 meinte am 5. Jul, 13:06:
Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much.
photographe portrait toulouse 
Farby palette opinie (guest) meinte am 17. Jul, 08:25:
the crops will fail” is bad advice. They both sound the same. Both are advice from a trusted source, and both are delivered with a solemn earnestness that commands respect Farby palette opinie 
tsflw meinte am 4. Aug, 11:26:
I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here. tapijtcenter.be 
Safety Harbor Real Estate (guest) meinte am 7. Aug, 11:46:
Safety Harbor Real Estate
political turmoil, peak oil, ...). Interest rate hiking be the central bank would be pretty ineffective except when it leads to a strengthening of the home currency. Safety Harbor Real Estate 
tsflw meinte am 7. Aug, 14:31:
I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. E Shisha Pen 
tsflw meinte am 9. Aug, 15:39:
I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that... flughafentaxi innsbruck 
tsflw meinte am 18. Aug, 13:30:
Great things you’ve always shared with us. Just keep writing this kind of posts.The time which was wasted in traveling for tuition now it can be used for studies.Thanks http://theofficialwebsite.co/christian-h-girlfriend-activation-system-review/ 
ttlwu meinte am 26. Aug, 08:31:
Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work.
asking out a girl out of your league 
tsflw meinte am 1. Sep, 15:27:
Quickly and easily build your web traffic and PR, which provides Web site visitors to add your page to any social bookmarking website.
taruhan sbobet 
uofix meinte am 15. Sep, 12:14:
These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future..
girlfriendactivationsystemreviews.com 
uofix meinte am 16. Sep, 16:40:
I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.
online carpets