Darwinian Evolution Getting Into Religion?

Let’s see, they keep telling us that science is science, and religion is religion, Stephen Jay Gould stated that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science? Does this mean science by their definition is now unto religion?

Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article in science about the origin of religion using the evolutionary framework.

“How and when did religion arise? In the 11th essay in Science’s series in honor of the Year of Darwin, Elizabeth Culotta explores the human propensity to believe in unseen deities. No consensus yet exists among scientists, but potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself. Some researchers, exploring religion’s effects in society, suggest that it may boost fitness by promoting cooperative behavior.”

“And in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwin’s lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind. This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought.”

Now they have sociologists who are studying the propensity of humans to explain things when they happen. Also, psychologists investigating “theory of mind” explanations that compare mental states with others and evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion. Elizabeth admits there are huge gaps when it comes to this part of evolution concerning the origin of religion.

Don’t fall for this story line, it’s explanation of nature is highly flawed let alone trying to explain where the belief in God comes from. This study has no evidence whatsoever that religion or Christianity comes from evolution, it’s only in their imagination which is confined to a certain framework evoked on the population known to be “evolution.”

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2 thoughts on “Darwinian Evolution Getting Into Religion?

  1. Michael’s puppeteer: “Let’s see, they keep telling us that science is science, and religion is religion, Stephen Jay Gould stated that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science? Does this mean science by their definition is now unto religion?”

    Sorry about that. Stephen Jay Gould proposed a “separate magisteria” framework for avoiding what he saw as conflicts between science and religion. Not many scientists accepted this framework, and it has since become almost a dead letter. Almost no theologians ever bothered with it. At any rate, separate magisteria was a philosophical or more likely only a political concept, not a scientific one.[1]

    Prof. Culotta’s article[2] should not come as a surprise to anyone. Anthropologists and archeologists have written many research papers and even entire books on the historical origins of spirituality, morals, and organized religion.[3] Others have investigated the evolutionary aspects of religion. What evolutionary advantages might it provide? Is there a physical substrate for belief in unseen entities?[4] How do morals actually operate?[4]

    Michael’s puppeteer: “Now they have sociologists who are studying the propensity of humans to explain things when they happen. Also, psychologists investigating “theory of mind” explanations that compare mental states with others[6] and evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion.”

    The purpose of science is to explain things. Why are you surprised that science would attempt to explain religion?

    Drone Michael: “This study [7] has no evidence whatsoever that religion or Christianity comes from evolution, [sic] it’s only in their imagination [sic] which is confined to a certain framework evoked on the population [sic] known to be “evolution.” [8]

    Why do you say there is no evidence? What is in all those papers and books that you haven’t read? For example, Marc Hauser’s Moral Minds finds that humans have two distinct moral senses, one in the limbic system and one in the neocortex—by giving subjects different moral choices, by employing fMRI brain scans, and so forth Lots of experiments and observations, lots of data analysis—lots of evidence, in other words. Michael, I’d prefer to think you are merely ignorant here, rather than deliberately lying.

    Ironically enough, evolutionary research into the history and purposes of religion may lead to a rebirth of religion. In economics, for example, research into evolutionary strategies of reward and punishment have led to new methods for trading goods. Mathematical results concerning the n-slice cake problem have led to new ways to divide multiple finite resources among individuals so that each will be satisfied with his share. What is wrong with trying to find out how religion satisfies human needs? Why do you prefer ignorance to understanding in the very subject that concerns you the most?

    ============
    [1] Scientists are people too, not just lab denizens.

    [2] It’s a review article, not a research paper. Creationists never seem to know the difference.

    [3] Even theologians have written on this topic. For example, Karen Anderson’s controversial A History of God (Random House 1993).

    [4] It is common knowledge, for example, that young children attribute the actions of inanimate objects to agentive forces within the objects. As they mature, most children gradually realize that the objects are governed by physical laws, rather than by internal spirits. The early Greeks retained the agentive view—a stone falls because it “wants” to rejoin its common element, earth. Fire rises “in order to” fulfill its goal of rising to the greatest heights.

    [5] In-group cohesion is an obvious one, as Michael notes The Bible itself makes this plain for the henotheistic stage of Judaism.

    [6] Where did your source pick up this concept of “theory of mind”? What a howler! “Theory of mind” refers to the capability of a first human to realize that a second human may be acting on different information than the first one has. This capability appears quite suddenly in children at age 2 1/2. Chimps seem to have this ability to some degree, but very few other animals can attain it.

    [7] Once again, this article is not a “study.” You don’t know what a “study” is; you just use it a buzzword.

    [8] Michael, I really meant the previous comment about asking your source to clean up his grammar and thought processes. Took a while to unravel that one. Do you assume that your readers really don’t care what you say, as long as it sounds somewhat as though you’re on their side? Well, that probably is the case, come to think about it.

  2. I agree completely with Olorin: why can’t science study where religion, which is completely man-made, comes from ? That does not mean that science now starts to make religious statements !

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