Does religion have an evolutionary role?

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Offline thedoc

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Does religion have an evolutionary role?
« on: 12/01/2016 12:56:24 »
David Spence asked the Naked Scientists:


I would like to ask the question : Is the concept of religion part of the process and development of evolution within a species?

If a particular species of life perceives itself to be superior to other life forms, would that species believe it was created separately, hence the birth of religion? Whether the religion itself has no foundation of scientific truth, is faith itself more dominant due to the necessity to believe in something greater than yourself and to soften the concept of death?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/01/2016 12:56:24 by _system »


Offline alancalverd

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Re: Does religion have an evolutionary role?
« Reply #1 on: 06/08/2015 22:59:18 »
When you were very young, whatever happened during the day, a Man With a Beard would turn up around teatime and mete out justice. "Wait 'til dad gets home" was the cry of the frustrated mother or the injured sibling. And by the age of 5 you realised that judgement and retribution followed every sin, but occasionally good deeds were rewarded at the weekend, by the MWB.

Then you ventured into the big wide world and some slimeball told you that there was a Very Big MWB in the sky who would follow your every move and condemn you to unceasing agony if you told anyone what the slimeball did to you, or if you failed to turn up every Sunday and ask for forgiveness. Or maybe he told you that the perfectly nice family next door were actually oppressing you because they ate bacon and drank beer, which was against the teaching of a MWB who died a couple of thousand years ago, so it was your bounden duty to grow a beard and kill infidels.

In evolutionary terms it means that the majority of homo is no longer sapiens, the stupid and gullible will (because they are told to) outbreed those with the wit to realise that the sole function of religion is to justify actions that would otherwise be considered evil, pointless or perverse, and there will be unending conflict between idiots who listen to Men With Beards who are not their actual fathers but like to be called Father (except by their own children, who are instructed to call them Uncle).

No other species is quite as stupid as to believe in an afterlife, fairies, original sin, the joy of suffering, or ruling deities. Fortunately for the planet, Mankind will probably disappear in a few thousand years.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance