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Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests

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posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests


www.newscientist.com

God may work in mysterious ways, but a simple computer program may explain how religion evolved.

By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition to pass along unverifiable information, the program predicts that religion will flourish. However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out – perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on May, 27 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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This pretty much verifies what I already suspected. Go ahead and believe in whatever fairy-tales or superstitions make you feel better about yourselves, because in the end it doesn't matter a hill of beans!

Now if people would kindly quit trying to force their version of "morality" down each others throats, and accept that there is no such thing as "absolute good" or "absolute evil", this species may still have a chance!

Peace!


www.newscientist.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by keeb333
 


up to now the computor is less smart than the programmers, its just faster------if he/she puts errors in thats all the computor can put out----faster



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:18 AM
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However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out – perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion.


I can field this one, or at least one version of it.

I readily do what I can to keep those who are in a religion, and cannot bring themselves out of it, in it.
Why would an Atheist do this?
Because those who cannot formulate conclusions would perform rather poorly without someone instructing them as to how they should act, and what they should believe. It is therefore in their best interest, and in the interest of others, for Atheists to do what they can to keep the religious in religion.

Quite frankly, if person X needs a book to tell him how to act in society, I'm not going to take that book away, I wouldn't be able to trust person X if he wasn't being told how to act.

Atheists and agnostics however, have formulated their own morals based on what is best for everyone. (If they don't, they don't last very long.)
Anyone who is able to do what is right, without any form of input, simply because they know it's best for everyone, I can trust to the end.

Anyone who doesn't formulate those morals. I do what I can to ensure they end up in a religion. At least there, there will be some form of control over them.


This system of freedom based on ability to self regulate works so well, that I'd be willing to bet Atheists and Agnostics created religion so we have somewhere to shove the people who can't self regulate.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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"Virus"

A virus invades a host cell, turns its faculties into a virus-producing-machine, replicates copies of itself (with occasional mutations) and then passes the results onto other cells.

A virus has no life of its own, and could not exist without the energy of the host cell. They seem to have no purpose biologically, and are analogous to parasites.



"Meme"

A "meme" is an idea, concept, or story that, through the ability of acquiring attention and contemplation, is processed within the mind of a host, using energy of the mind to achieve communication of itself to other hosts, sometimes in a form not identical to the original concept.

A meme cannot exist without the energy of the host mind. Continual revision and communication throughout a population is necessary for the meme to survive, with the most virulent ideas being those that for whatever reason command attention of the host and are likely to be communicated with others. Memes exist outside the purpose of ordinary communication and survive not by validity or merit in the concept, but rather simply by the durability of the concept to survive and multiply during the process of communication from host to host.





[edit on 27-5-2008 by ianr5741]



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by yahn goodey
reply to post by keeb333
 


up to now the computor is less smart than the programmers, its just faster------if he/she puts errors in thats all the computor can put out----faster


So, what is the error that you are asserting was input here? From reading the article, it seems like a statistical simulation. I'm sure assumptions were made at some point, but when are they not?

The point of the news article is to point out a biological mechanism by which religion (and our propensity to hold beliefs, true or not) could have come about.

Haven't you ever met anyone so stubborn they will stick to their version of the "facts" despite being clearly shown otherwise? Pretty much the same thing going on with religion.

[edit on 27-5-2008 by keeb333]



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by johnsky
 


Well put, johnsky! Some people definitely need religion to function in society, while some of us do not.

I think the premise of the article is at the very least quite interesting.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:31 AM
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The supernatural exists because of evolution according to a computer program?
Some people have been saying this for years.
(they're still wrong.)
.

People get PAID for this research?
I haven't been able to find a decent paying job, yet.


Well, Johnsky (if that is your real name.)
aren't people priveledged (or stupid) to have you as a shepherd for their ignorance and weak-willed character?
How philanthropic of you.




[edit on 27-5-2008 by Clearskies]



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Clearskies
aren't people priveledged (or stupid) to have you as a shepherd for the ignorant and weak-willed?



Just like all those televangelists who will take every dime you can send them and tell you you're going to hell unless you send more!

There are plenty of people out there taking advantage of the ignorant and weak-willed, and they are called priests, rabbis, ministers, reverends, bishops, popes, and whatever else.

Whoever needs to believe, then believe. It hurts no one, until you try and force your beliefs onto someone else that does not want them.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by keeb333
Just like all those televangelists who will take every dime you can send them and tell you you're going to hell unless you send more!


Some of us have read the Bible about the wolves in sheep's clothing , eating up the flock, greedily.
With their mercedes benz while the little old lady gives much of her monthly pension!
Jesus said it long ago.
Some of us are new believers who don't know any better.
I do, though.





There are plenty of people out there taking advantage of the ignorant and weak-willed, and they are called priests, rabbis, ministers, reverends, bishops, popes, and whatever else.


Opium for the masses.......Hey, where have I heard that before?
Stalin, Marx?


Whoever needs to believe, then believe. It hurts no one, until you try and force your beliefs onto someone else that does not want them.


Some of us don't NEED to believe, it hit us like a 2 X 4 right between the eyes!
But, thank you for your freedom of religion allowance!

[edit on 27-5-2008 by Clearskies]



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by keeb333
 


Oh my good grief!!! So because a computer program suggests something it has to be proof. Whateva !!! Believe what you want, but you are really reaching with this story.

I really needed that laugh.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by keeb333


This pretty much verifies what I already suspected. Go ahead and believe in whatever fairy-tales or superstitions make you feel better about yourselves, because in the end it doesn't matter a hill of beans!

Now if people would kindly quit trying to force their version of "morality" down each others throats, and accept that there is no such thing as "absolute good" or "absolute evil", this species may still have a chance!

If you allowed yourself to have "the holy spirit" in you. You would be thinking differently. Guarantee it!



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:18 AM
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So,
the old religion has been replaced by the new religion of "science"

Just as I don't believe that religion has all the answers, nor do I believe that science has all the answers either.

An interesting side effect of the information age is that western society has become more secular, in the sense that people are turning away from organised religion, but this is being replced by an increase in spirituality and personal religious beliefs i.e. not beliefs handed out by a bloke in a cassock etc

There is a deeply entrenched and perhaps fundamental need that humans have, and that is the need to believe in something, whether that be science, "mother earth", organised religion etc - they are all products of humanity in one way or another and serve to address this need.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by budski
So,
the old religion has been replaced by the new religion of "science"

Just as I don't believe that religion has all the answers, nor do I believe that science has all the answers either.



one difference between science and religion is that science is looking for the answers, and accepting of changing ideas based on new observations, while religion claims to already have the answers and tends to be somewhat rigid and difficult to effect change within.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Guided
 



What is this "holy spirit" you speak of? Is it some sort of adult beverage?

I don't believe in the supernatural. If it exists, it is natural, and bound by the observable laws of the universe as we understand them (or maybe as we have yet to understand them).



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by budski

There is a deeply entrenched and perhaps fundamental need that humans have, and that is the need to believe in something, whether that be science, "mother earth", organised religion etc - they are all products of humanity in one way or another and serve to address this need.



I believe this is the point of the news article...that such a deep fundamental need exists and is a product of evolution.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by ianr5741
"Virus"

A virus invades a host cell, turns its faculties into a virus-producing-machine, replicates copies of itself (with occasional mutations) and then passes the results onto other cells.

A virus has no life of its own, and could not exist without the energy of the host cell. They seem to have no purpose biologically, and are analogous to parasites.



"Meme"

A "meme" is an idea, concept, or story that, through the ability of acquiring attention and contemplation, is processed within the mind of a host, using energy of the mind to achieve communication of itself to other hosts, sometimes in a form not identical to the original concept.

A meme cannot exist without the energy of the host mind. Continual revision and communication throughout a population is necessary for the meme to survive, with the most virulent ideas being those that for whatever reason command attention of the host and are likely to be communicated with others. Memes exist outside the purpose of ordinary communication and survive not by validity or merit in the concept, but rather simply by the durability of the concept to survive and multiply during the process of communication from host to host.

[edit on 27-5-2008 by ianr5741]





Except that a Virus can quite easily kill a meme, by killing the hosts.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by keeb333
reply to

I don't believe in the supernatural. If it exists, it is natural, and bound by the observable laws of the universe as we understand them (or maybe as we have yet to understand them).


You are correct! You don't have to believe in the supernatural. You just have to believe in the power of your "soul" and how it guides you.



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Anti-Tyrant
 


What are you getting at?
You don't believe in the virus or you don't believe in the meme.?



posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by Guided

You are correct! You don't have to believe in the supernatural. You just have to believe in the power of your "soul" and how it guides you.


Could you please point to the "soul" on a diagram of the human body? I can't seem to find this particular item anywhere...



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