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Why Religion?

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
It is obvious that we are born with different cognitive abilities, yet do those genetically inherited abilities make a difference when it comes to the acquisition and maintenance of religious faith?
You are saying we're different but still all the same. Alright then.
That isn't even remotely what I said, but nice try. ;)
You've said exactly that just not using the same words. It's as if you think the brain isn't something physical like the rest of the body, that it's some kind of magic organ that determines its own path. If you've ever coached kids you know that kids vary tremendously in their physical abilities. Why exactly do you think the brains in those kids are any different? Some will have a natural gift for math and languages or something else. Some will have difficulties concentrating. You maintain that all these differences are primarily external to the brain. Are you afraid of the truth?

No, that was purely you trying to put words in my mouth to change what I actually have been saying, and I don't understand why you are doing that. Surely, you have been reading my posts, haven't you? I've been very clear that the brain is a physical object, that minds are the product of physical brain activity, and that cognitive development is influenced by genetic predispositions. I have never maintained that "all of these differences are primarily external to the brain". Never. Not once in any post. What I have been very careful to maintain is that we cannot attribute general behaviors, attitudes, and belief systems to a genetic predisposition without some reasonable evidence to support such a conclusion. It strikes me as particularly unlikely that a propensity for deep religious faith is attributable to genetic inheritance, but I'm willing to consider evidence to the contrary.
 
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Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.

If you think that we are saying the same thing, then why are you urging me to go on a Google fishing expedition to prove your conjecture about religion and genetic predisposition right? I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to me in support of your conclusions. In the absence of that, I continue to believe that genetic predispositions have very little direct influence on whether people end up being deeply committed to religion or rejection of religion. Just because people are born with genetic predispositions that affect cognitive development, that does not lead automatically to the conclusion that people are genetically more predisposed than atheists to end up praying to a god. In my opinion, that has more to do with the environment that they grow up in.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.

If you think that we are saying the same thing, then why are you urging me to go on a Google fishing expedition to prove your conjecture about religion and genetic predisposition right? I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to me in support of your conclusions. In the absence of that, I continue to believe that genetic predispositions have very little direct influence on whether people end up being deeply committed to religion or rejection of religion. Just because people are born with genetic predispositions that affect cognitive development, that does not lead automatically to the conclusion that people are genetically more predisposed than atheists to end up praying to a god. In my opinion, that has more to do with the environment that they grow up in.
I haven't presented an argument contrasting genetics/environment in this regard, I've only stated that genetic predisposition does have an influence. If you agree that genetic predisposition exists, then whether you conclude it or not it follows that people will experience/engage with the world differently, and what beliefs they hold on to will differ. I don't disagree that environment has a major influence as well, I'm basically just stating that the structure of the brain also has influence. The structure of the brain influences a plethora of different life outcomes, why would affinity to different belief systems be any different?

Likewise, I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to support your conclusions.

Religious Belief 1.PNG

Religious Belief 2.PNG

Religious Belief 3.PNG
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.

If you think that we are saying the same thing, then why are you urging me to go on a Google fishing expedition to prove your conjecture about religion and genetic predisposition right? I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to me in support of your conclusions. In the absence of that, I continue to believe that genetic predispositions have very little direct influence on whether people end up being deeply committed to religion or rejection of religion. Just because people are born with genetic predispositions that affect cognitive development, that does not lead automatically to the conclusion that people are genetically more predisposed than atheists to end up praying to a god. In my opinion, that has more to do with the environment that they grow up in.
Not just praying to a god, but engaging in all manner of woo behavior. Right now, however, my basal ganglia are asserting their primitive dominance over my prefontal cortex. My brain is just trying to save me - and itself. I understand.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.
We're all saying the same thing to a degree. Copernicus takes a position that is closer to brains being identical, that given the right environments we're all Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamberlains, and that culture is the deciding factor when it comes to woo.

My personal experience with the subject, the fact that members of my family and extended family have brain conditions labelled as "illness," according to scientific medicine, and which affects their behavior and interests greatly, and which is traceable to the architecture in their prefontal cortices, screams at me that brain architecture, genetic cognitive inheritance, is the major determining factor in our lives, no different than physical architecture outside the brain is equally determining in its own right.

Evidence? Someone please explain how the brain is physically different than other parts of my body. I'm no brain worshipper, an act of woo in itself. I just want to know more about how the thing works. We already know a lot. Does smoking really cause cancer and is human activity heating the planet? I demand that someone place the evidence in front of me on a golden platter before I can really know.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Nobody is denying that there are genetic predispositions. That's how evolution works. It selects for the predispositions that lead to more offspring over the long run. However, it is still an unwarranted leap to go from the observation of different behaviors to the conclusion that those behaviors were entirely or partially because of genetic predispositions. To validate an empirical claim of that sort, one needs to have confirmable evidence.

If religious faith is a genetic predisposition in humans, then why has secularism spread so widely throughout Europe and North America in just a few generations? A rapidly spreading genetic change? One can go to absurd lengths to try to attribute behavior to genetic predispositions, and it has never worked out well in the past when people have let their imaginations run in that direction. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, there are plenty of good environmental conditions that promote the spread of religious faith. I think that the Darwinian apostle, Richard Dawkins, was closer to the mark when he suggested that the propensity for faith in God had more to do with an evolutionary misfire than a God gene.

Likewise nobody is arguing that ipso facto religious belief is a genetic predisposition. The genetic predisposition is what makes some people likely to take up religious belief. Those aren't the same statements. Genetics aren't destiny with regards to beliefs. On that we seem to be on the same page. You keep asking me for evidence of this and I've pointed you to Google Scholar where that evidence is.

I'm quite happy to address arguments or evidence that you use here, but I'm not going to go off on a general Google Scholar expedition to prove your conclusions. Please--no homework assignments. :) If you think I've missed your point or some evidence that I haven't already addressed, then it might be a good idea just to remind me of it.

Moreover, if you are claiming that a genetic predisposition "is what makes people likely to take up a religious belief", then you need to support your claim with something specific. Otherwise, it just sounds like an unsupported conjecture on your part. There are other possible explanations, including the fact that people usually learn about religion from exposure to family and society. I can think of no good reason to exclude the possibility that the same general cognitive properties leading people to religious faith are the ones leading them to reject it. If religion has anything directly to do with a propensity for religion, then there should be some good empirical argument to support that conclusion.

To go along with the 'brains are the same' analogy, it is very likely that many of us have a propensity for religiosity, but it exists in varying degrees. Some are easily swayed by ridiculous Christian arguments while others are more savvy but still give undue reverence to something like science. The pattern is similar but exists at different degrees.

Why does that strike you as "very likely"??? I think I've addressed all of the arguments you've made on this subject before, although you seem to think I haven't. When asked for specifics, you direct me to go looking for evidence with Google Scholar, under the assumption that what you have read somewhere on the internet will be equally convincing to me. I don't think that I carry the burden of disproving your speculation regarding a genetic predisposition to adopt religion.
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.
We're all saying the same thing to a degree. Copernicus takes a position that is closer to brains being identical, that given the right environments we're all Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamberlains, and that culture is the deciding factor when it comes to woo.

My personal experience with the subject, the fact that members of my family and extended family have brain conditions labelled as "illness," according to scientific medicine, and which affects their behavior and interests greatly, and which is traceable to the architecture in their prefontal cortices, screams at me that brain architecture, genetic cognitive inheritance, is the major determining factor in our lives, no different than physical architecture outside the brain is equally determining in its own right.

Evidence? Someone please explain how the brain is physically different than other parts of my body. I'm no brain worshipper, an act of woo in itself. I just want to know more about how the thing works. We already know a lot. Does smoking really cause cancer and is human activity heating the planet? I demand that someone place the evidence in front of me on a golden platter before I can really know.

The one addendum I'd make is that there is a subtle difference between inheritance and predisposition. Genetic recombination will assert that there is a range of possibilities when two people mate, which are constrained by the genetics of those two people. So in a set of 5 kids we can see a range of predispositions and traits that aren't so much inherited but present due to the recombination of parent genes.

This is an important point because I think it speaks to Copernicus' point that religious belief isn't inherited. IOW, there isn't a one to one mapping between parents/children, and there isn't really a religion gene, or set of genes. But as a result of recombination children may be more or less likely to find religion attractive.

Granted, if two parents exhibit a clear trait it's more likely that their children will exhibit that trait too.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
If you think that we are saying the same thing, then why are you urging me to go on a Google fishing expedition to prove your conjecture about religion and genetic predisposition right? I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to me in support of your conclusions. In the absence of that, I continue to believe that genetic predispositions have very little direct influence on whether people end up being deeply committed to religion or rejection of religion. Just because people are born with genetic predispositions that affect cognitive development, that does not lead automatically to the conclusion that people are genetically more predisposed than atheists to end up praying to a god. In my opinion, that has more to do with the environment that they grow up in.
I haven't presented an argument contrasting genetics/environment in this regard, I've only stated that genetic predisposition does have an influence. If you agree that genetic predisposition exists, then whether you conclude it or not it follows that people will experience/engage with the world differently, and what beliefs they hold on to will differ. I don't disagree that environment has a major influence as well, I'm basically just stating that the structure of the brain also has influence. The structure of the brain influences a plethora of different life outcomes, why would affinity to different belief systems be any different?

I think that the argument was never that "genetic predisposition does have an influence". You've been taking great pains to disagree with my position that there is no reasonable evidence to support the idea that people of faith are genetically predisposed to be religious. After all, that is the only issue germane to the thread topic. I have explicitly and repeatedly taken the position that genetic predispositions are real and have an influence on behavior. So this looks like a lot of goalpost relocation. I wish that you would not keep restating that my position is different from what I've said it is. OTOH, if you've convinced yourself that I am arguing against the idea that genetic predispositions are real, then I can understand why you've spent all of this time arguing with me. I would also argue with myself pretty vehemently, if that were the case. ;)

Likewise, I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to support your conclusions.

....lengthy images of google search deleted...

That was really quite unnecessary. If you read my comment in the post you were responding to, I already explained that I'm not going to do a Google expedition to try to find evidence for your position. Frankly, even if you yourself had read all of those online articles--which I doubt--you are just flat out wrong to assume that I would interpret their content the same way or arrive at the same conclusion you have. You aren't going to win your argument by waving your hand at a mountain of material and giving me the homework assignment of "look it up". If you've got specific arguments or specific evidence, present it. Otherwise, skip the attempts to overwhelm me with reading assignments. If you insist on keeping up that approach, I've got a couple of Google search lists to prove your Google search lists wrong. ;)
 
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Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.
We're all saying the same thing to a degree. Copernicus takes a position that is closer to brains being identical, that given the right environments we're all Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamberlains, and that culture is the deciding factor when it comes to woo.

In reality I never came close to implying that we would all be "Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamerlains" but for environmental influences. This is about the extent to which religious people are genetically, as opposed to environmentally, programmed to be religious. We aren't talking about prodigies, serial killers, or basketball players. This is about a claim that something in our DNA causes some people to be more prone to religious belief than others. My argument is that there is no reasonable evidence to support such a conjecture and that there are more reasons to believe that people are predisposed to adopt religion from environmental influences. Our brains develop on the basis of instructions encoded in our DNA, but is there any evidence to suggest that there are significant differences in the DNA of deeply religious people as opposed to people deeply skeptical of religion? If so, I am unaware of it.

My personal experience with the subject, the fact that members of my family and extended family have brain conditions labelled as "illness," according to scientific medicine, and which affects their behavior and interests greatly, and which is traceable to the architecture in their prefontal cortices, screams at me that brain architecture, genetic cognitive inheritance, is the major determining factor in our lives, no different than physical architecture outside the brain is equally determining in its own right.

But we aren't really debating that issue. At least, I'm not. It isn't about whether our genetic makeup can make us more prone to certain mental illnesses. Religion is normal behavior across all human societies, so we aren't talking about mental illness. People with deep religious convictions can be perfectly healthy and well-adjusted. People with deep skepticism toward religion can be ill and poorly adjusted. And lots of people change their opinions about religion all the time. Why jump to the conclusion that there is some kind of genetic predisposition one way or the other? There is certainly a lot of reason to believe that environmental factors can predispose people one way or the other.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
The one addendum I'd make is that there is a subtle difference between inheritance and predisposition. Genetic recombination will assert that there is a range of possibilities when two people mate, which are constrained by the genetics of those two people. So in a set of 5 kids we can see a range of predispositions and traits that aren't so much inherited but present due to the recombination of parent genes.

This is an important point because I think it speaks to Copernicus' point that religious belief isn't inherited. IOW, there isn't a one to one mapping between parents/children, and there isn't really a religion gene, or set of genes. But as a result of recombination children may be more or less likely to find religion attractive.

Granted, if two parents exhibit a clear trait it's more likely that their children will exhibit that trait too.

This gets you much closer to my position. A predisposition can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, whereas inheritance is all about genetic factors. And we can agree that there is no apparent "religion gene" or set of genes. That is not to rule out the logical possibility of such a gene or set of genes, but there is no good reason I can think of to merely assume them to exist.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
...
The reason I'm not presenting evidence directly to you is because I don't have the energy to do your homework for you. If you're genuinely curious about this subject I've told you where to look and even what to search for.

But yes we seem to be going in circles and our arguments actually aren't that divergent. If you agree that genetic predispositions exist in the brain then we are essentially saying the same thing.
We're all saying the same thing to a degree. Copernicus takes a position that is closer to brains being identical, that given the right environments we're all Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamberlains, and that culture is the deciding factor when it comes to woo.

In reality I never came close to implying that we would all be "Einsteins or Ted Bundys or Wilt Chamerlains" but for environmental influences. This is about the extent to which religious people are genetically, as opposed to environmentally, programmed to be religious. We aren't talking about prodigies, serial killers, or basketball players. This is about a claim that something in our DNA causes some people to be more prone to religious belief than others. My argument is that there is no reasonable evidence to support such a conjecture and that there are more reasons to believe that people are predisposed to adopt religion from environmental influences. Our brains develop on the basis of instructions encoded in our DNA, but is there any evidence to suggest that there are significant differences in the DNA of deeply religious people as opposed to people deeply skeptical of religion? If so, I am unaware of it.

My personal experience with the subject, the fact that members of my family and extended family have brain conditions labelled as "illness," according to scientific medicine, and which affects their behavior and interests greatly, and which is traceable to the architecture in their prefontal cortices, screams at me that brain architecture, genetic cognitive inheritance, is the major determining factor in our lives, no different than physical architecture outside the brain is equally determining in its own right.

But we aren't really debating that issue. At least, I'm not. It isn't about whether our genetic makeup can make us more prone to certain mental illnesses.
I was only using that as an example of how brain architecture affects behavior. We obviously agree that it does. Now if you are claiming that brain architecture isn't primarily genetically determined maybe we disagree.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
My personal experience with the subject, the fact that members of my family and extended family have brain conditions labelled as "illness," according to scientific medicine, and which affects their behavior and interests greatly, and which is traceable to the architecture in their prefontal cortices, screams at me that brain architecture, genetic cognitive inheritance, is the major determining factor in our lives, no different than physical architecture outside the brain is equally determining in its own right.

But we aren't really debating that issue. At least, I'm not. It isn't about whether our genetic makeup can make us more prone to certain mental illnesses.
I was only using that as an example of how brain architecture affects behavior. We obviously agree that it does. Now if you are claiming that brain architecture isn't primarily genetically determined maybe we disagree.

I don't know exactly what you mean by "primarily genetically determined", but I suspect that the hedge word "primarily" may be concealing some of the issues we disagreed over.
 

rousseau

Contributor
...
If you think that we are saying the same thing, then why are you urging me to go on a Google fishing expedition to prove your conjecture about religion and genetic predisposition right? I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to me in support of your conclusions. In the absence of that, I continue to believe that genetic predispositions have very little direct influence on whether people end up being deeply committed to religion or rejection of religion. Just because people are born with genetic predispositions that affect cognitive development, that does not lead automatically to the conclusion that people are genetically more predisposed than atheists to end up praying to a god. In my opinion, that has more to do with the environment that they grow up in.
I haven't presented an argument contrasting genetics/environment in this regard, I've only stated that genetic predisposition does have an influence. If you agree that genetic predisposition exists, then whether you conclude it or not it follows that people will experience/engage with the world differently, and what beliefs they hold on to will differ. I don't disagree that environment has a major influence as well, I'm basically just stating that the structure of the brain also has influence. The structure of the brain influences a plethora of different life outcomes, why would affinity to different belief systems be any different?

I think that the argument was never that "genetic predisposition does have an influence". You've been taking great pains to disagree with my position that there is no reasonable evidence to support the idea that people of faith are genetically predisposed to be religious. After all, that is the only issue germane to the thread topic. I have explicitly and repeatedly taken the position that genetic predispositions are real and have an influence on behavior. So this looks like a lot of goalpost relocation. I wish that you would not keep restating that my position is different from what I've said it is. OTOH, if you've convinced yourself that I am arguing against the idea that genetic predispositions are real, then I can understand why you've spent all of this time arguing with me. I would also argue with myself pretty vehemently, if that were the case. ;)

Likewise, I am happy to consider any arguments and evidence that you present to support your conclusions.

....lengthy images of google search deleted...

That was really quite unnecessary. If you read my comment in the post you were responding to, I already explained that I'm not going to do a Google expedition to try to find evidence for your position. Frankly, even if you yourself had read all of those online articles--which I doubt--you are just flat out wrong to assume that I would interpret their content the same way or arrive at the same conclusion you have. You aren't going to win your argument by waving your hand at a mountain of material and giving me the homework assignment of "look it up". If you've got specific arguments or specific evidence, present it. Otherwise, skip the attempts to overwhelm me with reading assignments. If you insist on keeping up that approach, I've got a couple of Google search lists to prove your Google search lists wrong. ;)

I'm not trying to be snarky with you, I just really don't want to read through thirty articles and carefully craft a post with them. My life is busy as it is. I'm not trying to prove my point to you, to me it's just a discussion and I'm doing my best to relay information without exhausting myself any more than I already am.

I'm sincerely open to considering your position as well, in addition to evidence, but to date we both seem to be at the point of conjecture.

From what I can gather our positions are similar but you give more weight to cultural forces. To be frank, I'm not even sure that I disagree with you, my position is essentially that cognitive disposition is a significant force without reference to degree. I think if someone was born into a culture where religion was an overwhelming force, obviously that culture has a lot of power. But if the culture is more moderate there is likely more freedom for dispositions to come into play.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
It's a method of social control. Like political correctness of any type, it's a way for the rulers to control the subjects.

Eldarion Lathria
But what is it about some brains that allow the stupidity and subjugation to occur?

'Cult' leaders in Kansas engaged in child labor, beatings and other abuse, indictment says

The group was founded in the 1970s by Royall Jenkins. Jenkins, a former truck driver, convinced his followers that he was "taken through the galaxy by aliens on a spaceship" and shown the proper way to rule Earth, according to the indictment. The group amassed hundreds of followers at one point.
 

abaddon

Veteran Member
... what is it about some brains that allow the stupidity...?

The OP said religious behavior gives some people "support".

If you got an answer about the brain, how would it matter to the OP's point?

It's like someone mentioning there are people take long drives to see a park, and then someone wants to explain it in terms of fuel combustion.

If the brain's a little or a lot behind ALL behaviors, then how's it explanatory about the good or bad in people's choices? Mixed into the braintalk are comments about how mistaken that theist belief/behavior is and how atheists behave more intelligently... but they don't say why that's true. Instead they quickly turn to "conjecture" about brains instead. It looks to me like moralizers trying to make their moralizing seem "objective".

So I'm wondering how a "god gene" or "brain architecture" can support the belief that theist beliefs are a problem. Let's say a fellow believes in God and looking in his head reveals there's only half a brain there. LOL. I wonder, so what? Does that say ANYTHING AT ALL about the rightness or wrongness, or utility, of his god-belief? Even if he's brain damaged and possibly less capable in some way or other than atheists, it doesn't mean his belief is incorrect.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
That was really quite unnecessary. If you read my comment in the post you were responding to, I already explained that I'm not going to do a Google expedition to try to find evidence for your position. Frankly, even if you yourself had read all of those online articles--which I doubt--you are just flat out wrong to assume that I would interpret their content the same way or arrive at the same conclusion you have. You aren't going to win your argument by waving your hand at a mountain of material and giving me the homework assignment of "look it up". If you've got specific arguments or specific evidence, present it. Otherwise, skip the attempts to overwhelm me with reading assignments. If you insist on keeping up that approach, I've got a couple of Google search lists to prove your Google search lists wrong. ;)

I'm not trying to be snarky with you, I just really don't want to read through thirty articles and carefully craft a post with them. My life is busy as it is. I'm not trying to prove my point to you, to me it's just a discussion and I'm doing my best to relay information without exhausting myself any more than I already am.

And I wasn't intending to make you do that. It's just that it looked a lot to me like you were expecting me to do all that work for you in order to refute myself. Then I would need to do even more work to refute the refutation of myself. All that just so you can selfishly indulge yourself by taking care of your kids. :)

I'm sincerely open to considering your position as well, in addition to evidence, but to date we both seem to be at the point of conjecture.

From what I can gather our positions are similar but you give more weight to cultural forces. To be frank, I'm not even sure that I disagree with you, my position is essentially that cognitive disposition is a significant force without reference to degree. I think if someone was born into a culture where religion was an overwhelming force, obviously that culture has a lot of power. But if the culture is more moderate there is likely more freedom for dispositions to come into play.

Fair enough, but I wouldn't say that my position is speculative. I don't claim to know whether or not there is a God gene or combination of genes, but we both know that culture, family, and friends do have a huge impact on religious belief. You have to be exposed to a religion in the first place in order to acquire religious faith. There has to be some genetic influence even to have a brain and a set of beliefs, but there appears to be no good reason to start claiming that theists and atheists fall into their categories because of some special genetic difference in their brain development. Anyone who believes that actually carries the burden of proof, not those who reject the claim for lack of evidence.
 

rousseau

Contributor
...
That was really quite unnecessary. If you read my comment in the post you were responding to, I already explained that I'm not going to do a Google expedition to try to find evidence for your position. Frankly, even if you yourself had read all of those online articles--which I doubt--you are just flat out wrong to assume that I would interpret their content the same way or arrive at the same conclusion you have. You aren't going to win your argument by waving your hand at a mountain of material and giving me the homework assignment of "look it up". If you've got specific arguments or specific evidence, present it. Otherwise, skip the attempts to overwhelm me with reading assignments. If you insist on keeping up that approach, I've got a couple of Google search lists to prove your Google search lists wrong. ;)

I'm not trying to be snarky with you, I just really don't want to read through thirty articles and carefully craft a post with them. My life is busy as it is. I'm not trying to prove my point to you, to me it's just a discussion and I'm doing my best to relay information without exhausting myself any more than I already am.

And I wasn't intending to make you do that. It's just that it looked a lot to me like you were expecting me to do all that work for you in order to refute myself. Then I would need to do even more work to refute the refutation of myself. All that just so you can selfishly indulge yourself by taking care of your kids. :)

I'm sincerely open to considering your position as well, in addition to evidence, but to date we both seem to be at the point of conjecture.

From what I can gather our positions are similar but you give more weight to cultural forces. To be frank, I'm not even sure that I disagree with you, my position is essentially that cognitive disposition is a significant force without reference to degree. I think if someone was born into a culture where religion was an overwhelming force, obviously that culture has a lot of power. But if the culture is more moderate there is likely more freedom for dispositions to come into play.

Fair enough, but I wouldn't say that my position is speculative. I don't claim to know whether or not there is a God gene or combination of genes, but we both know that culture, family, and friends do have a huge impact on religious belief. You have to be exposed to a religion in the first place in order to acquire religious faith. There has to be some genetic influence even to have a brain and a set of beliefs, but there appears to be no good reason to start claiming that theists and atheists fall into their categories because of some special genetic difference in their brain development. Anyone who believes that actually carries the burden of proof, not those who reject the claim for lack of evidence.

My argument is that brain development has an influence, not that it's deterministic. I don't see how there is any less burden of proof in stating that the brain has no influence, and in my case I have presented or alluded to considerable evidence to state my case, just short of directly quoting the many existing research papers that show clear cognitive associations with belief/non-belief. If you don't understand how that evidence correlates, or don't trust me when I state that this is the case, I can't do much about that. On the other hand, if your argument is strictly that brain development isn't deterministic with regards to culture, then I agree with you. Culture is a huge force and has a huge influence, and brains are built to be plastic and adaptable.

To put my argument another way, if you have thirty kids in a math class what is it that makes some of them better at math then others? Is this cultural influence? Some have been exposed to others who taught them math? Or is it stronger innate language and analytical skills? Similarly if you put thirty kids in a class that are being taught to believe in Christianity, what would make some students better at seeing through falsehoods, what factors would cause some students to be more drawn to the arguments? What would cause some to question their beliefs over time? Are the students brains completely arbitrary and only able to internalize and accept what is presented to them? Or would analytical skills and other factors play a role in what the students would accept/reject.

And when we actually measure the cognitive qualities of people with different belief systems we see that belief is more commonly associated with people whose cognitive function has specific characteristics (again, evidenced by many research papers, some of which I posted above), which suggests that there are innate factors that play a role in who will internalize and hold onto belief. Those factors don't guarantee belief, or imply that a person's beliefs will never change, they just make it more likely that this will be the case.

And to get more anecdotal, my analytical skills have been second to none throughout my life. I conquered school, was labelled gifted in elementary school, have read and reviewed books by world class scholars. With regards to religion I don't even remember when I rejected it. I think even at a very early age, despite going to Church, I realized that I was hearing some nice fairy-tales. And now, at thirty-five, I've studied the religion of pretty much every culture in the world, and even integrated my own unique spiritual beliefs into my life. Contrast this to one of my Aunts who cognitively is at the opposite extreme and in her sixties still literally believes that heaven exists. To attribute either of these cases solely to culture just doesn't make sense. Culture will have had an influence yes, but it's also not deterministic. If someone can go decades of their life without seriously questioning or reflecting on something like heaven belief, there are going to be other factors at play then culture.
 

rousseau

Contributor
... what is it about some brains that allow the stupidity...?

The OP said religious behavior gives some people "support".

If you got an answer about the brain, how would it matter to the OP's point?

It's like someone mentioning there are people take long drives to see a park, and then someone wants to explain it in terms of fuel combustion.

If the brain's a little or a lot behind ALL behaviors, then how's it explanatory about the good or bad in people's choices? Mixed into the braintalk are comments about how mistaken that theist belief/behavior is and how atheists behave more intelligently... but they don't say why that's true. Instead they quickly turn to "conjecture" about brains instead. It looks to me like moralizers trying to make their moralizing seem "objective".

So I'm wondering how a "god gene" or "brain architecture" can support the belief that theist beliefs are a problem. Let's say a fellow believes in God and looking in his head reveals there's only half a brain there. LOL. I wonder, so what? Does that say ANYTHING AT ALL about the rightness or wrongness, or utility, of his god-belief? Even if he's brain damaged and possibly less capable in some way or other than atheists, it doesn't mean his belief is incorrect.

FWIW I don't think religious beliefs are in any way a problem, or that people are somehow wrong for holding them. To me this line of thinking is far too linear and assumes that behaviour can be objectively bad toward some end. Usually the implication is that reason is good and lack of reason is bad, which is a far, far too simplistic of a look at human nature and history. Reason and lack of religious belief, in addition to the good it can do, can also mean we exploit each other with more precision, and that we're no longer constrained by religious morals. If God doesn't exist then we can do whatever we can get away with.

In practice, our species doesn't have a raison d'etre, progression, or long-term goal besides mating, surviving, and producing children. Religion continues to exist because, cognitively, people like practising it. Any significant change away from a culture that is dominated by religion begins and ends with a materialistic understanding of nature. Some will find that explanation more appealing, others will continue to find God appealing. Either belief isn't right or wrong in an ethical sense, they're just things that happen given human diversity.
 
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Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
But do you agree that our brains are as different from one another as are the rest of the organism?
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Watched a news segment on gay history this mooring. There was a gay woman who was the first gay pastor at a prominent NYC Baptist church.

Why on Earth would gays want to be Christian? Leviticus prohibits homosexuality and Paul mentions homosexual sex.

What could possibly attract gays to a religion so associated with gay suppression, why religion?

It is like a black person joining the KKK.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
But do you agree that our brains are as different from one another as are the rest of the organism?

I don't quite know what scale of comparison you have in mind for being "as different", but it seems reasonable to say that no two people have exactly the same brains. There are always some differences. The issue under discussion is whether a predisposition to be religious is genetically heritable. So you need to establish the relevance of your question to the issue under discussion.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
Watched a news segment on gay history this mooring. There was a gay woman who was the first gay pastor at a prominent NYC Baptist church.

Why on Earth would gays want to be Christian? Leviticus prohibits homosexuality and Paul mentions homosexual sex.

What could possibly attract gays to a religion so associated with gay suppression, why religion?

It is like a black person joining the KKK.
It's not just the KKK. Why do so many Black folks cling to a religion that was once used to justify slavery of their ancestors? Religion doesn't make sense, so I assume that gay people and Black people find some form of community in religion that they don't find in secular organizations. The Black church has often been used to organize for civil rights, so that might explain part of the attraction to Christianity by Black folks. There was once a liberal Baptist pastor who was a member here. He said that at least half of his church in Atlanta was made up of members of the gay community. Most Christians, regardless if they are liberals or conservatives, cherry pick parts of Christianity that appeals to them. I guess that explains why so many people are fond of Christianity, despite some of the traditional views on slavery, homosexuality as well as denying women full equality with men.

I guess both community and a longing for a superpower of some kind gives comfort to a lot of people. There is also cultural reasons for wanting to belong to something that is popular. In parts of the South, it's hard to make friends if you're not a member of a church. While Christianity isn't as popular in the US as it was in the past, it is still the predominant religion. And, if you live in a place like I do, you would never realize that Christians are decreasing in numbers. In a county of about 70K, we have at least 80 or more churches. These churches are a type of social club. Some offer opportunities to do charity, while others like condemning those outside of the group. There are probably countless reasons as to why people are attracted to religion. As a strong atheist, it's hard to understand the appeal of a god belief, but I get the appeal of having a strong social support group that shares similar values. I'm one who is far more interested in character than in what one believes. So, if you're a decent person who needs a god belief, so be it. We can still be friends without allowing our different beliefs to interfere with our love of each other.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
But do you agree that our brains are as different from one another as are the rest of the organism?

I don't quite know what scale of comparison you have in mind for being "as different", but it seems reasonable to say that no two people have exactly the same brains. There are always some differences. The issue under discussion is whether a predisposition to be religious is genetically heritable. So you need to establish the relevance of your question to the issue under discussion.
Ask yourself if a predisposition to anything is heritable. The obvious answer is yes. Therefore people can be and are predisposed to religious behavior.

Do you have any predispositions? Have the choices your ancestors made and their experiences left you with any predispositions? That has had no effect on your DNA?
 
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Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
But do you agree that our brains are as different from one another as are the rest of the organism?

I don't quite know what scale of comparison you have in mind for being "as different", but it seems reasonable to say that no two people have exactly the same brains. There are always some differences. The issue under discussion is whether a predisposition to be religious is genetically heritable. So you need to establish the relevance of your question to the issue under discussion.
Ask yourself if a predisposition to anything is heritable. The obvious answer is yes. Therefore people can be and are predisposed to religious behavior.

That is nonsense. Just because it is logically possible for someone to be predisposed to a behavior, that does not mean that they are predisposed to it. Just because something might be genetically heritable, that does not mean that it is heritable. Possibility does not mean the same thing as necessity. If you can't tell the difference, then I understand why you have been rejecting my argument.

Do you have any predispositions? Have the choices your ancestors made and their experiences left you with any predispositions? That has had no effect on your DNA?

The answer to all three questions is "yes". For example, my mother decided to raise me as a devout believer in God, and my father decided not to oppose her decision. I spent my childhood as a devout believer. She also encouraged me to do well in school and read books. Besides being predisposed at that point to believe in God, I was also predisposed now to read books about religion. Those predispositions ultimately led me to read books like Bertrand Russell's Why I am Not a Christian and Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth. After considerable soul searching, I lost my predisposition to believe in God, but I retained my predisposition to read books. I don't think that any of that was genetically inherited. My siblings remained devout believers, but they like to read things, too. Different strokes for different folks.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Rousseau, I don't see much value in continuing to repeat the same arguments. My position is that there is no clear reason to believe that some people are more genetically predisposed to believe in gods or spirits or disbelieve in them. AFAICT, such behavior is all attributable to environmental influences after birth, but I am willing to consider concrete evidence of a genetic predisposition. I just haven't seen any. Showing "clear cognitive associations" with certain behaviors in no way proves that those differences arose from a genetic predisposition.
But do you agree that our brains are as different from one another as are the rest of the organism?

I don't quite know what scale of comparison you have in mind for being "as different", but it seems reasonable to say that no two people have exactly the same brains. There are always some differences. The issue under discussion is whether a predisposition to be religious is genetically heritable. So you need to establish the relevance of your question to the issue under discussion.
Ask yourself if a predisposition to anything is heritable. The obvious answer is yes. Therefore people can be and are predisposed to religious behavior.

That is nonsense. Just because it is logically possible for someone to be predisposed to a behavior, that does not mean that they are predisposed to it. Just because something might be genetically heritable, that does not mean that it is heritable. Possibility does not mean the same thing as necessity. If you can't tell the difference, then I understand why you have been rejecting my argument.

Do you have any predispositions? Have the choices your ancestors made and their experiences left you with any predispositions? That has had no effect on your DNA?

The answer to all three questions is "yes". For example, my mother decided to raise me as a devout believer in God, and my father decided not to oppose her decision. I spent my childhood as a devout believer. She also encouraged me to do well in school and read books. Besides being predisposed at that point to believe in God, I was also predisposed now to read books about religion. Those predispositions ultimately led me to read books like Bertrand Russell's Why I am Not a Christian and Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth. After considerable soul searching, I lost my predisposition to believe in God, but I retained my predisposition to read books. I don't think that any of that was genetically inherited. My siblings remained devout believers, but they like to read things, too. Different strokes for different folks.
It is quite obvious that humans are all different with different inherited behaviors, tendencies, abilities, talents, etc. Call these personality differences whatever you wish. If your argument was accurate my interests and abilities wrt religious behavior would all be identical to my siblings but they could not be more different. That's the proof. Why are you making so much noise about the word "possible?" It sounds like you're trying to distract from the weakness of your argument that people are not born with brains that make them different in their interests and abilities, to include religious inclinations. Religious behavior is nothing special. Why are you putting it into a special category?
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Blacks adopted Christianity and created there own version. It was a focal point for community and eventually activism. Black Christianity was conservative., as conservative sexually as white Christians.

As I see the gospels the Jesus message was suffer your troubles, the reward is an eternal glorious afterlife. It gave blacks who were truly suffering hope.

With gays scripture expressly forbids homosexuality.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
It is quite obvious that humans are all different with different inherited behaviors, tendencies, abilities, talents, etc. Call these personality differences whatever you wish. If your argument was accurate my interests and abilities wrt religious behavior would all be identical to my siblings but they could not be more different. That's the proof...

Proof that interests and abilities wrt religious behavior are caused solely by genetic differences???? I think not. Different interests, abilities, and desires are a product of both genetic and experiential development. Your genes are not identical to your siblings, since you aren't identical twins, but your experiences are not identical either. The question has always been how much of a person's development was shaped by nature and how much by nurture. You can't simply jump to the conclusion that it is all genetics without some kind of evidence to back up that conclusion.

...Why are you making so much noise about the word "possible?" It sounds like you're trying to distract from the weakness of your argument that people are not born with brains that make them different in their interests and abilities, to include religious inclinations. Religious behavior is nothing special. Why are you putting it into a special category?

You are so invested in this genetic predisposition conjecture, that you do not seem to understand the difference between a possible truth and a necessary truth. Just because it is logically possible that there is some kind of genetic predisposition to believe in gods it is not necessary that there be such a genetic predisposition. You understand that possibility and necessity are not the same thing, right? You keep pointing out that people related to you are believers, whereas you are an atheist. Then you jump to the conclusion that the reason must necessarily be the result of genetic differences alone. Just because you had the same parents, you conclude that there must necessarily be a genetic difference causing your siblings to have different thoughts, abilities, and inclinations than you do. That is just begging the question. The alternative possibility is that you had some experiences that led you to turn away from religion, and they lacked similar experiences. You can't simply rule out that possibility.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Watched a news segment on gay history this mooring. There was a gay woman who was the first gay pastor at a prominent NYC Baptist church.

Why on Earth would gays want to be Christian? Leviticus prohibits homosexuality and Paul mentions homosexual sex.

What could possibly attract gays to a religion so associated with gay suppression, why religion?

It is like a black person joining the KKK.
Leviticus is part of the Jewish bible, not the Christian bible. Why the Hell would any right minded Christian believe that Leviticus applies to Christians?

Oh right. Protestant Hell and Damnation and Roman Catholic teachings , not Christian teachings mind you, of purgatory and the underworld.

Limit Christianity to the Gospels, They were written before Constantine brought 'Christianity' to the Roman Empire.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
We could have an endless debate on intelligence. One of te best scifi movies was Forbidden Planet.

An alien race develops wireless technology that allows anyone on the planet to bring anything into physical reality by thought. Unwittingly it unleashed d the collective negative aspects of the subconscious on each other leading to destruction.

Philosophically I'd say wisdom and intelligence are two different things. Intelligence is a capacity, wisdom is how to apply capacity.

It is unwise to consume resources like water to total consumption, like the Colorado River. It takes intelligence to figure out how to make things that consume water. Like creating Las Vegas in a desert.

In the USA conservatives have a religious faith that the free market economy left alone will solve all problems. Unwise in the face of reality.

IMO we have failed the Darwin Test.

That you are here to make that claim is proof that it is false.

If you are around to wonder how you are doing on the Darwin test, then you are passing it.

Are we all forgetting, somehow, here, that trees have done about as bad to the environment WRT lignin?

Species do stupid shit all the time. It's a craps shoot every time whether the error is fatal or not.

What the fuck?...over. Trees? Sounds like Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity.

Serendipity is part of evolution and the inverse. You may be the best adapted fish in the lake, but if the lake dries up you are history.

The difference is we are aggressively draining the lake we live in knowing the consequences.
Hey. There's money in it.

Need more be said?
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Watched a news segment on gay history this mooring. There was a gay woman who was the first gay pastor at a prominent NYC Baptist church.

Why on Earth would gays want to be Christian? Leviticus prohibits homosexuality and Paul mentions homosexual sex.

What could possibly attract gays to a religion so associated with gay suppression, why religion?

It is like a black person joining the KKK.
Leviticus is part of the Jewish bible, not the Christian bible. Why the Hell would any right minded Christian believe that Leviticus applies to Christians?

Oh right. Protestant Hell and Damnation and Roman Catholic teachings , not Christian teachings mind you, of purgatory and the underworld.

Limit Christianity to the Gospels, They were written before Constantine brought 'Christianity' to the Roman Empire.
Christians quote the OT ad nauseum. including Leviticus on homosexuality. And there is Paul.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Blacks adopted Christianity and created there own version. It was a focal point for community and eventually activism. Black Christianity was conservative., as conservative sexually as white Christians.

As I see the gospels the Jesus message was suffer your troubles, the reward is an eternal glorious afterlife. It gave blacks who were truly suffering hope.

With gays scripture expressly forbids homosexuality.
Also Christianity developed in Africa before Europe. Augustine was North African.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
Blacks adopted Christianity and created there own version. It was a focal point for community and eventually activism. Black Christianity was conservative., as conservative sexually as white Christians.

As I see the gospels the Jesus message was suffer your troubles, the reward is an eternal glorious afterlife. It gave blacks who were truly suffering hope.

With gays scripture expressly forbids homosexuality.
Also Christianity developed in Africa before Europe. Augustine was North African.
I realize all of that, but the women who lead the Black nonbelievers of Atlanta feel a lot differently about Christianity. And, I was referring to the early Black Christians who were still enslaved but bought into the nonsense of Christianity, the same religion used to justify keeping them enslaved.

The Bible says even worse things when it comes to females. For example, we are commanded to obey our husbands and the concept of original sin is blamed on a woman. No thank you.

But, as I mentioned, all religious people pick and choose what they are most attracted to, when it comes right down to it. And, homosexuality is only mentioned a couple of times in the Bible. I imagine it's easy to over look that or say that it was written during a period of time when people didn't realize that a percentage of people are naturally attracted to the same sex.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Like all groups, blacks are not politically, socially, and religiously homogeneous. Blacks range from liberal to centrist to conservative like white Christians and Jews for that matter.

My point was Christianity was established in Africa by the time of large scale slavery. I'd have to look up if black slaves brought it with them or adapted it in the colonies.

Augustine lived around 400CE and was a major figure in the RCC. He is thought to have been Berber.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
I"m having trouble with the link and I'm also still having trouble with the new IIDB site. Anyway, the link basically says that many enslaved Africans practiced a religion that was very similar to Christianity. I'm beginning to think that nobody really knows what was going on in Africa around the time that many natives of Africa were taken to the US to be forced into slavery. Anyway, there are already too many different conversations going on in this thread so I'll leave it at that.

Maybe our resident gay Christian can explain why so many gay Americans are attracted to Christianity despite its condemnation of homosexuality. As we both know, cherry picking is always part of religious beliefs. I don't have a problem with that, as long as they pick the nicer cherries in their mythologies.

I've never understood why my own mother was suckered into evangelical Christianity, when she was an adult. I know she liked some of the nicer parts of the gospels but I never could understand how she could accept the concept of a loving god sending those who simply didn't believe that Jesus died for them and that he was the actual son of god, would be sent to suffer for eternity. What an absurd cruel belief for a decent person to hold! I guess I don't understand how the brains of religious people enable them to believe the nonsense that they do, regardless of which mythology it comes from.
 

abaddon

Veteran Member
...cherry picking is always part of religious beliefs...

I think that's the reason why - cherry picking. IMV it's the reasonable thing to do, so long as the Christian doesn't also hold that every bit of the Bible is straight from God.

The appeal is likely the big promise that, after a life with misfortune and injustice in it, everything will be made right in the end and you get to live forever ... not the merger one's self into a cosmic totality like in some other religions, but you get to live forever as your individual self along with your loved ones. If your life's painful then this is a promise with a lot of appeal. That there's nastiness in some verses in a book doesn't much damage that appeal, especially not for folk who aren't zeroing-in on logical contradictions or who've rationalized them.

.... the concept of a loving god sending those who simply didn't believe that Jesus died for them and that he was the actual son of god, would be sent to suffer for eternity. What an absurd cruel belief for a decent person to hold!...
For many folk with a conservative cast of mind, when people other than oneself getting punished by God, it will seem like justice served. They don't sympathize so much as want to see things balanced out according to a principle - you gotta pay the price of entry and it's 'too bad' for those who don't. That everyone should get to go to heaven would seem like injustice to such a mind.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad


The appeal is likely the big promise that, after a life with misfortune and injustice in it, everything will be made right in the end and you get to live forever ... not the merger one's self into a cosmic totality like in some other religions, but you get to live forever as your individual self along with your loved ones. If your life's painful then this is a promise with a lot of appeal. That there's nastiness in some verses in a book doesn't much damage that appeal, especially not for folk who aren't zeroing-in on logical contradictions or who've rationalized them.

I agree. But to believe such one has to first believe in the woo. People give up on the present to varying degrees. Most just say it's a god's will.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
Religious behavior is very much a mild case of psychosis. Explains a lot, the christian version certainly.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
Religious behavior is very much a mild case of psychosis. Explains a lot, the christian version certainly.
What about 'pop music' behavior which can be cult like, is that also a mild form of psychoses? The Ozzie Osborn and Grateful Dead zombies. To me that also explains a lot.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
Religious behavior is very much a mild case of psychosis. Explains a lot, the christian version certainly.
What about 'pop music' behavior which can be cult like, is that also a mild form of psychoses? The Ozzie Osborn and Grateful Dead zombies. To me that also explains a lot.
What claims does pop music make? Does it claim to be in contact with a real invisible creature living in the sky who is keeping a book on how you use your sex organs? Does pop music claim that there is a ghost living inside you that is going to fly away to live with the invisible man one day?

Lots of differences I think.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
Religious behavior is very much a mild case of psychosis. Explains a lot, the christian version certainly.
What about 'pop music' behavior which can be cult like, is that also a mild form of psychoses? The Ozzie Osborn and Grateful Dead zombies. To me that also explains a lot.
What claims does pop music make? Does it claim to be in contact with a real invisible creature living in the sky who is keeping a book on how you use your sex organs? Does pop music claim that there is a ghost living inside you that is going to fly away to live with the invisible man one day?

Lots of differences I think.
Pop culture apologetics?

A cult is not necessarily focused on the supernatural. Pop culture is about group identities IMO not much different psychologically than the Jesus identity.

Christians make the sign of the cross. A Jimi Hendrix devotee reaches communion with Jimmy by playing air guitar. People quote Hendrix and lyrics of others. People derive a life philosophy from a band or musician.

When Star Wars came out women had their hair done like Princess Leia. When John Lennon wore granny glasses devotees of Lennon wore fake granny glasses. In the early Beatle days Beatle haircuts and Beatle boots.

People took on the persona of a Beatles. It was called Beatlemania.

The historical negatives are worse relative to pop culture tribal identity, but te underlying psychology IMO is the same.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I tried to find out when Christianity was established in Africa but different sites claim very different dates.
I don't know how accurate this one is, but it might give us a little bit of information as to how and why so many enslaved people became Christians.

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/The-Religion-Of-African-Slaves-F39ZYC2L29BWQ
I found some information that said the slaves from Africa tended to be polytheist. Some colonists wanted to convert them some did not. Conversion meant treating them like fellow Christians.

The never ending selective Christian rationalizing over morality.

Christianity spread through Africa through Rome. Augustine was Roman. Pagan father and Catholic mother. How's that for diversity.
Religious behavior is very much a mild case of psychosis. Explains a lot, the christian version certainly.
What about 'pop music' behavior which can be cult like, is that also a mild form of psychoses? The Ozzie Osborn and Grateful Dead zombies. To me that also explains a lot.
What claims does pop music make? Does it claim to be in contact with a real invisible creature living in the sky who is keeping a book on how you use your sex organs? Does pop music claim that there is a ghost living inside you that is going to fly away to live with the invisible man one day?

Lots of differences I think.
Pop culture apologetics?

A cult is not necessarily focused on the supernatural. Pop culture is about group identities IMO not much different psychologically than the Jesus identity.

Christians make the sign of the cross. A Jimi Hendrix devotee reaches communion with Jimmy by playing air guitar. People quote Hendrix and lyrics of others. People derive a life philosophy from a band or musician.

When Star Wars came out women had their hair done like Princess Leia. When John Lennon wore granny glasses devotees of Lennon wore fake granny glasses. In the early Beatle days Beatle haircuts and Beatle boots.

People took on the persona of a Beatles. It was called Beatlemania.

The historical negatives are worse relative to pop culture tribal identity, but te underlying psychology IMO is the same.
Maybe the underlying group identity thing is the same but none of those people you mention were interested in our sex organs or were going to burn us in fire or...

There's probably degrees of healthy psychology. If a person came up to you talking about invisible creatures, sex and torture you might think that wasn't terribly healthy. Why would you think a group of people spouting the same thing is healthy?
 

lostone

New member
There's nothing a church can usefully do that can't be done at least as well by a secular organisation.

However, even in secular nations, church provision of social services, both formal and informal, frequently pushes out secular provision, leaving religion with a monopoly. As this automatically denies or obstructs service to those of the wrong religion, or of none, it represents a lower standard of service than should be provided.

As a result, even the best intentioned and most valuable provision of social services by religious organisations is harmful to society.

And of course, many church activities are positively harmful and corrosive to society. The good stuff isn't the norm, and isn't as good as an equivalent secular activity would be.
Funerals are a time when I feel the need for a secular organization to assist would be helpful. When we cremated my late wife, I had a small gathering in our home with a lot of pictures of Sara at various stages in her life, publicized the gathering, and invited guests, but it was all improvised by myself.
 

Copernicus

Industrial Grade Linguist
...
But, as I mentioned, all religious people pick and choose what they are most attracted to, when it comes right down to it. And, homosexuality is only mentioned a couple of times in the Bible. I imagine it's easy to over look that or say that it was written during a period of time when people didn't realize that a percentage of people are naturally attracted to the same sex.

Ironically, some of the mythology in the Bible came out of Semitic folklore that went back to the Akkadian epic Gilgamesh tale. Adam and Eve are said to have had Shamhat, a temple prostitute, and Enkidu, a wild animal, as their precursors. In that story, Enkidu started out as a wild beast and was tamed by Shamhat through days of sexual intercourse. She actually transformed him into a civilized human being, teaching him how to eat and dress. This relates to Original Sin, where Eve gets Adam to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Enkidu later meets Gilgamesh, who falls in love with him. So that part of the origin myth had to be edited out. :) When Enkidu was dying, he cursed Shamhat for making him a civilized person, which made him mortal and capable of dying, although he later relented when it was pointed out to him that he had been fed and clothed by civilization. Anyway, Enkidu dies and Gilgamesh could not be consoled. So he set out on a quest to recover immortality for human beings, which had been stolen by the gods, but that's another story. The point is that prostitutes and homosexuals weren't actually disrespected as much back then as they are by modern Abrahamic religions. Being uncivilized was equivalent to being an animal.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
If you look at a wall map of North Africa and the Mid East you will see how small the region is where all the alleged biblical events through the gospels took place. Cairo to Jerusalem is around 300 - 400 miles.

Over the course of centuries cross pollinations of stories and myths would have been unavoidable. Add to that conquest and assimilation.


When you think about it there are only a handful of things on which to base a story. Floods, animals, hurricanes, plagues, and so on. And of course super beings in the form of humans.

Back in the 80s or 90s there was the tsunami in Indian Ocean caused by a tectonic plate shift. After I saw an interview with an island resident on an island that flooded.

He said there was an old island myth that periodically god sends a wave to cleanse the Earth, and when the water suddenly draws back from the shore run for high ground. Which he did. A case of myth originating in natural disaster.

I watched a show tat speculated on Noah. One idea was a river or coastal trader with family on board that got caught in a 100 year kind of storm. Possibly washed out to sea. Resettled somewhere else.
 
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