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Excerpt from: God In Chaos
by Thomas True
[WARNING: TEXT IS NOT EDITED]
STILL SMALL VOICE
To many, if somewhere in the back of your mind you think that a god is real then when the time of need or the presentation of a religious dogma is presented then you are more likely to believe and follow that belief. It doesn't have to be a structured belief of a strongly held belief just the vague concept of a God. However, if you think that we are just here for a short time, one is more likely to try to improve the condition of humanity. I am sure there are many other stories like mine. Who knows maybe the only place Bible stories will be told in the future are in kindergarten, where the little kids can be thrilled by the imagery but the adults will not subject them to living to its horrible morals, traditions and dogma. It will find itself as a great work of mythology along all the others such as the Iliad we have Today that once were used as a religion. To be honest I see nothing wrong with old religions.
EVOLUTION AND RELIGION
While many reasonable adherents do to one level or another believe in evolution. Why should evolution have any bearing on religion one way or the other? Some of these levels of belief range from belief in “micro-evolution” to accepting most of the concepts and ideas of cosmological and biological evolution, in view of a absent watchmaker. So what scientific reason can evolution have with such a seemingly strong opposing view against it? After all, the Pope commission on science recently said that evolution is compatible with the beliefs of The Catholic Church. [It only took them 150 years to believe that premise of biological science. Gallio had to wait 400 years to be accepted that the Sun was at the center of the solar system..] The basic view is that with religion being a reality in life on Earth, it must be viewed through what purpose it serves evolutionarily. Since evolution is the basis of how life came to be as we know it. I am not referring to abiogenesis . That is a different subject all together. I am referring to after life began, evolutionary processes through natural selection. So religion must fill a natural biological reason evolutionarily. According to Darwin, natural selection drives species to adapt to best fit into their environments according to natural factors that govern the needs of the species to reproduce, and have food and water, and to avoid being a meal for other forms of life. These basic life needs drive the natural tendency to adapt. If a mammal needs to develop better hearing and flight in order to be able to meet their need to catch abundant amounts of flying incests, the process of natural selection will allow the best fit variations in the species in with this adaptation to survive and reproduce. The result with be a natural selection to adapt the species to best fulfill it's biological needs. So eventually bats came about. Some Christians see this in what is called “micro-evolution” as dogs and cats are bred into different breeds. Peppered moths and birds develop different adaptation as they live in areas where the environment puts pressure on the species to adapt. These changes can been seen in just a few decades. So the concept of evolution is not a foreign one for religious adherents to a young Earth. Typically they say, “evolution is going on now that God has set up the Earth but it is not how life became so diverse. There was a designer.” This statement is like getting all numbers of the lottery but on the wrong date. Close, but no cigar. With that said, what does evolution have to do with religion? Nothing. That is exactly the point. How can natural selection, the driving force of how living organisms behave and adapt let something as seemingly bizarre as religion occur? There has to be a biological answer. Religion is a result of natural selection. After all the dance and song of particular birds and behavior of herds of all types of mammals serve a purpose all the way from bees and penguins and all sorts of animal and plants. Plus the adaptation of plants serve a purpose biologically in there native environments. So what is the purpose of the naturally occurring concept of religion? One simple answer is that natural selection has no will. It doesn't act to reach a certain goal. There is no finished product that is produced with natural selection. There are just results of the process. Human beings are one of the millions of results of the process.
The Eastern New Mexico University has a museum with this diorama of the strata where different human artifacts and ancient North American megafauna once lived and were hunted by the Clovis, Folsom and other Paleo-Indian people as far as 13,500 years ago. If man is looking for a purpose for life, he has been looking for a great deal of time indeed.
As a person that has spent much time and money in religion, I have some answers that fall in line with ideas from other skeptics, sociologist and scientists on this topic I have heard and read many items on these topics over the years.
1)Humans like other primates are social animals and coordination of activities help the group overall to form bonds for safety, food and desirable pools for reproduction. 2)Persons that are able to lead, influence or mobilized a group are able to exert their will and power over the desires of the sub-members of the group. 3)Organizing and mobilizing a group can help all members of the group reach goals that advance the scope and influence of the member group with non-member groups. 4)A group in control of a sub-group can provide support or subjugate that group according to the will of the controlling group. (Or if they have institutionalized their will they can act upon that will. We call this dogma) 5)If a group can control the natural human desires for sex, food and socialization the followers will adhere to the group's will in order to get their natural biological needs fulfilled or at least to have some social standing within the mores of the group.
What do the followers of this system of action get for their willing or unwilling adherence? After all, they must be getting something.
1)People following the the will of the leader or the institutionalized will of the group will have a social organization to accommodate their need for sex and food. (Not so much in modern developed areas but in the smaller ancient populations having access to food was vitally important.) 2)Sharing a set of beliefs can aid in the cohesiveness and uniformity of a given societal group. [Group one is better than group two.] 3)The group can be mobilized to work on projects that benefit the common good. [Group one is going to build a wall for protection.] 4)The group can also be used to aid in defense and war of the said group. [Group two is going to attack group two for building a wall.] 5)Can provide for members of the sub group to move up in the society. [John Doe in group two has a way to tear down walls really fast. He is rewarded.]
With the above points, It can be said that the evolutionary purpose of religion can be derived from humans being social animals. Working together for a mutual benefit. But from there it all breaks down. Oddly enough one of the results of natural selection is to actually reject natural selection as a reality and put a supernatural story in its place. It is much more easy to make up a story that fits the facts then actually discover what the cause of the event really was. It seems like most answer though are ones where the deity was angry though. A earthquakes, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, floods, drought, sickness, snowstorms, accidents and other naturally occurring themes leave mankind wanting answers. Religions create answers that seem to fit these events to give the follows peace and trust in a divine order. In seems that the comfort of a created story that fits the events seems to offer more comfort to adherents than the idea of, “We don't know.” These stories surely were around well before any religion came into a structure. Just as a child learns stories as it grows , it can be hard for a child to know if what they say is true or false. Stories about the world around us surely came about early after language started being used by humans. Children are designed to accept what they are told so the stories are not questioned. Here is Homo sapiens with this big brain and really getting along nicely in this world they are living in. “Suddenly” you have more time than needed to keep your basic needs. So while sitting at the fire near the back of the hut or cave, a man or woman that is good at imagining things that have not happen tells a fantastic story. The thrilled listeners are amazed by what images this person can create with just words. Then the story teller acquires an honored place in the group The stories are passed down and build over time. This leads to the ability for a person to lie but it also allows the seemingly less dubious ability of creating stories. Telling stories lead to people believe the stories are true and step by step a religion is created, this, all based upon a seemingly innocent activity of imaginative story telling. Insert non-formatted text here
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