Evolution and God

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by OldHippie, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. OldHippie

    OldHippie 2,500+ Posts

    This story was on NPR today and cites some evolutionary scientists suggesting belief in God (whether or not God exists) provided advantages for early humans. So perhaps there is some genetic predisposition to believe in God or the supernatural.

  2. Perham1

    Perham1 2,500+ Posts

    Thanks for the post.
  3. mcbrett

    mcbrett 2,500+ Posts

  4. pasotex

    pasotex 2,500+ Posts

    Karl Marx
  5. buckhorn

    buckhorn 1,000+ Posts

    Super Ego

    (science has been slapping the right/religious around lately -- Lomborg, Hawking, the above study -- whap, whap, whap)
  6. Monahorns

    Monahorns 5,000+ Posts

    Belief in God is beneficial = evidence that God is not real?

    Am I understanding the point of your comments? Because that is what it looks like and it's ridiculous.
  7. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  8. I_Live_In_OK

    I_Live_In_OK 500+ Posts

  9. bierce

    bierce 1,000+ Posts

    Ok, we're being told a group of scientists told a bunch of 5-9 year olds that they were being watched by a princess who could magically make herself invisible. The scientists then assume the behavior of the children is affected by their belief they are being observed.

    My question is: who is more gullible?

    A. The children
    B. The scientists
    C. The reporter
    D. The unquestioning reader
  10. Monahorns

    Monahorns 5,000+ Posts

    It can be sure.

    I think the last line of the article sums the whole thing up great though.

    Speculation. That's all.

    Romans 1
    For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
  11. I_Live_In_OK

    I_Live_In_OK 500+ Posts

    You seem bothered by this study. Why?
  12. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  13. I_Live_In_OK

    I_Live_In_OK 500+ Posts

    I'm not. But I sense that posting scripture on this thread reveals some troubled thoughts underneath. I'm kind of interested.

    Obviously, it's foolish to conclude from anything in this study about the existence or non-existence of a supernaturally divine deity. That's clearly not within the scope of the OP.

    But is it equally foolish to at least entertain the proposal that religious belief has been preferred throughout a period of human existence, in such a way as to infer that such beliefs possibly give humans an advantage for survival?
  14. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  15. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  16. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  17. I_Live_In_OK

    I_Live_In_OK 500+ Posts

  18. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  19. OldHippie

    OldHippie 2,500+ Posts

  20. bierce

    bierce 1,000+ Posts

    GT WT, I don't see anything "threatening" in the study. I just laugh at the notion that a group of 5 to 9 year olds would blithely accept the premise that a magically invisible person is watching them. I can't imagine any significant percentage of fourth graders buying that, and my son would have thought the scientists were crazy when he was in kindergarten.

    From that point forward, the entire study seems nothing but a series of assumptions under conditions that are so far removed from those that would confront a population facing survival issues that the whole thing borders on the ludicrous as a study.

    I don't know if I'd say that I'd disagree with the premises that a belief in a overseeing divinity is beneficial as a species survival trait. I just think the study is bunch of crap.
  21. BigboyDan

    BigboyDan 25+ Posts

    Please. Tell kid's that if they don't eat their beans the bogey monster that lives under the bed will come out at night and eat them.

    Scaring people with mysticism ain't new... just ask Glenn Beck.
  22. chango

    chango 2,500+ Posts

    It's foolish to quote the bible in an attempt to argue that the bible is valid.
  23. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    See, that's just the thing: he wasn't attempting to prove that the bible was valid. He was essentially offering up a passage that highlighted the sort of distinction that I later paraphrased. And if my paraphrasing was welcomed by both GT and Old Hippie, then I don't see how they can't also praise the choosing of that passage.

    What is the problem, exactly? The bible passage that Monahorns quoted is absolutely on point, and anyone who praises my paraphrasing of that passage should also praise the passage itself.
  24. Dionysus

    Dionysus Cocky + Relaxed Admin

  25. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

  26. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  27. mcbrett

    mcbrett 2,500+ Posts

    You can see the "faith" style applied in this discussion by some.

    A) You're wrong

    B) Why am I wrong? What makes you say that?

    A) You're wrong because you're wrong

    B) Could you please elaborate? Huh?? I don't get you

    A) You're wrong
  28. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest


    He didn't take the time to read the thread. I stated a fact, which was, and is, that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

    I will remain defensive of the truth.
  29. MaduroUTMB

    MaduroUTMB 2,500+ Posts

    I think that there is a big misunderstanding: People are coming to the thread looking for a fight over the existence of God, which is irrelevant to the study. I am really glad that you posted this- it's a cool experiment. However, the OP suggests that the findings can be extrapolated to humans in general, which is obviously not so. Clearing that up would probably go a long way to raising the quality of the discussion.

    That said, the greatest evolutionary fitness belongs to the group that does not believe in Princess Alice but which can convince a majority of their peers that she does exist and will reward behavior which benefits them and punish behavior which does not. This gets into the larger (and much more interesting question) of intra-species parasitism, in which anti-social creatures can take advantage of their altruistic peers. While there are nearly limitless examples of this, specific findings are confounded by the fact that most individuals will display both altruistic and selfish traits.

    One very interesting way of looking at this question is the horror genre of films and books (since we're on the topic of fantasy): horror generally focuses not so much on the evil/predatory force but on the group dynamics of the people pitted against it. That may seem like a stretch for a thread on 5-9 year olds being watched by an unseen Princess, but the base dynamic is exactly the same.

    Anyhow, I'll keep following this thread because I think that it has potential, even if it hasn't lived up to that yet.
  30. Coelacanth

    Coelacanth Guest

    buckhorn started it.

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