Evolution of Religion

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Evolution of Religion

#1  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 19, 2019 1:01 pm

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2019041 ... ion-evolve

Can the roots of spiritual behaviours and feelings be found in other animals? In the first of a two-part special, Brandon Ambrosino examines the evolutionary origins of religion.



There are some mistakes in his thinking, but an interesting article to see on the BBC anyway.
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Apr 19, 2019 1:47 pm

I seem to recall film of a troop of chimps throwing stones at a tree in a devotional kind of way, and that was interpreted as theistic behaviour by the observing scientists...found it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC6mkgjfr8Q&vl=en
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#3  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 19, 2019 2:14 pm

Thanks for sharing that vid as I've never seen it... but devotional way? They're just smacking it with a rock to make a noise! That's chimps for you - they share the human compulsion of sticking bits of their anatomy in holes just to see if it fits.

I'd like to have a word with those scientists. :doh:
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#4  Postby DougC » Apr 19, 2019 4:29 pm

Spearthrower wrote:They're just smacking it with a rock to make a noise!


Sounds like religion too me. :coffee:
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#5  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 19, 2019 5:02 pm

DougC wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:They're just smacking it with a rock to make a noise!


Sounds like religion too me. :coffee:


:lol:

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Re: Evolution of Religion

#6  Postby Svartalf » Apr 19, 2019 9:12 pm

seriously, we know apes have some intelligence, but is that enough to develop the us vs them ideology that underpins most religions?
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#7  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 20, 2019 3:24 am

Svartalf wrote:seriously, we know apes have some intelligence, but is that enough to develop the us vs them ideology that underpins most religions?



Well, the 'us vs them' is apparent even in animals which don't possess much intelligence comparative to humans. Even ants do it, for example - meet ant, antenna antenna, my group - ok, move along.... not my group - battle to the death.

Tribalism is not actually underpinned by intelligence, methinks.

Developing a theology, though, that's something only humans can do as it requires complex grammatical thoughts, language, symbolism etc.
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#8  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 20, 2019 3:54 am

Tribalism might be necessary for self preservation and so that would be an example of an intelligent application
And protecting the genetic purity of the species although it could become hard to maintain in a small population
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 20, 2019 4:21 am

surreptitious57 wrote:Tribalism might be necessary for self preservation and so that would be an example of an intelligent application

And protecting the genetic purity of the species although it could become hard to maintain in a small population



I can't parse your 2nd sentence. What is genetic purity? How does one go about protecting genetic purity of <a species>? Wouldn't a smaller population have more 'genetic purity' than a large population?
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#10  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 20, 2019 4:53 am

A smaller population would indeed have more genetic purity than a larger one
Although if it was too small it would not be possible to propagate the species
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#11  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 20, 2019 7:40 am

You need to unpack what you mean by genetic purity because it's a problematic idea.

Further, any notion of species level genetics necessarily includes any and all genes within that population, so there's no way to preserve that pool of genes other than through making genetic clones of each and every individual.

Tribalism is just one human way of doing intraspecific competition, but other animals unquestionably engage in the exact same behaviors, albeit without the elaborate cognitive justifications.
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#12  Postby Svartalf » Apr 20, 2019 7:49 am

Spearthrower wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:Tribalism might be necessary for self preservation and so that would be an example of an intelligent application

And protecting the genetic purity of the species although it could become hard to maintain in a small population



I can't parse your 2nd sentence. What is genetic purity? How does one go about protecting genetic purity of <a species>? Wouldn't a smaller population have more 'genetic purity' than a large population?

Read Norman Spinrad's Iron Dream, it's all about génetic purity.
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Re: Evolution of Religion

#13  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 20, 2019 7:54 am

I know Surreptitious doesn't mean such a thing, but it is the parlance of such people, and becoming an increasingly used piece of vocabulary today.

However, at least in this case, it's just an honest misunderstanding of genetics, rather than an intentional misunderstanding of genetics.
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