Robert Rowthorn, well noted professor of economics at Cambridge University has developed a model that shows the genetic components that predispose a person toward religion are currently hitchhiking on the back of the religious cultural practice of high fertility rates. Even if some of the people who are born to religious parents defect from religion and become secular, the religious genes they carry (which encompass other personality traits, such as obedience and conservatism) will still spread throughout society, according to the models numerical simulations...
This article brings to mind how some of the Europeans tried to breed with the aboriginies of Australia in an effort to make the race a more perfect species. In their perception more like to that of their own.
I doubt very much that fertility rates have anything to do with the religious gene. Perhaps it is more to do with lack of contraceptives. Perhaps too these amish people prefer to allow nature to take its "natural course".
That would upset Richard Dawkins considering he is an atheist and is concerned about over population. Isn't he the one that theorized the religious meme or gene? If his natural selection works the way it does then the selfish gene is reproducing theists. Survival of the fittest didn't he say.
On the other hand
If the birth defect is present then according to natural selection the gene might delete itself or cease to duplicate itself in future generations and therefore their birth rate may dwindle or eventually depopulate the world of mormons.
Apparently the gene will only choose those traits that ensure its survival. When it eliminates those traits that are not useful in the next generation the gene will have adapted. So over time if the traits have replaced itself in a non inherited way that are not useful it will eliminate them too. Therefore diminishing ones ability to procreate or have longevity. This is how different species have become extinct.
I'd say the breeding is not from a gene, but rather from their religious expectations - the girls 'marry' as young as 12, and then are baby factories, producing a child each year - many of the women have at least 10 children each. No birth control allowed
I again submit my request as to WHAT you define as a believer regarding me (since I am the one who posted the OP). Surely you do not conclude I am either "sensationalist" or "equationist", do you? If so you are sadly, sadly self deluded. You all look the same to me -science/theist. One prides, the other one swears to it. LOL
What "purpose" is it you are chirping about? And what do you mean by "out of hand" .
It sure is funny that atheists favor to ignore experts when it suits them, without even providing a single "expert" to prove their arguments in all arguments. Or disprove an argument. They result to posturing and nitpicking.
Oh that would not be all atheists, that would be just you.
Some atheists are actually pretty on the money with their science (albiet clueless about other things)
Yes, but it is often taken for granted by the scientific community those accepted theories boasting mountains of evidence need not be put forth time and again to those who are supposed to understand them, considering their failed attempts to refute them with an "expert".
Is there any evidence for this so-called "god gene?" I expect the real reason people of a strong religious faith have more children is because their faith requires them to do so. Most religions have expected their followers to produce offspring to continue the faith. Roman Catholics used to have large families, as do many muslim families, because that is what those religions expect. Atheists however do not have such a motivation, and are more likely to use family planning methods. So the result is obviously going to be that more people will be born to religious parents. How this has been interpreted as evidence of the existence of a god gene, I fail to understand.
So, one of the funny things about this thread was the title, which no one picked up on...
"Science" "Predicts" "Religion". The key word is predicts. It further 'proves' a case that science is religion and after all these years of trying to prove it isn't, has proven exactly what was suspected --it is
Well, just make sure you're sure before you post a thread on it. Don't want you to kill yourself running back and forth trying to defend it like some have recently. LOL (man, I have got to learn how to use emoticons on this thing)
Well said, love, well said. I think I'll will leave it at this:
The term science has existed since man engaged a single property of himself and disregarded the other properties. This indulgence became a "morphic resonance" and sent him on a quest of knowledge. As science, the word is translated, means knowledge. The term and by all historical applications of the term/practices, suggest --highly-- man once knew and lost that knowing. The result -- 'in search of..."
The article references the Amish. One of the key characteristics of the Amish is their isolation from the rest of modern civilization. So if the Amish population ever does reach into the millions, it seems likely that a fair number of Amish will indeed "defect." After all, who can resist iPods, velcro and the occasional trip to the topless bar?
In any case, it's certainly an interesting idea, but nothing more. The "model" is simply an assumption layered upon a hypothesis wrapped in a hunch. (This gets back to the fact which someone mentioned above that this professor is an economist--which, if anyone is familiar with economists, explains a few things )
"The model predicts that the religious fraction of the population will eventually stabilize at less than 100%... Overall, nearly all of the population will have a genetic predisposition toward religion, although some or many of these individuals will lead secular lives, Rowthorn concluded."
The big deception of this model is that the headline doesn't reflect the actual substance. That is, the headline is all about "religion" and "secular" but in reality the model deals simply with a set of traits and qualities (like obedience, subservience, respect for authority, orientation toward tradition, etc) which, in the context of culture and society, tend to support religion. But the model does not actually claim the existence of a "religion" gene per se.
Accordingly, the model authors make a second error by assuming this whole process of religious expansion begins today. What about the countless generations of humans that have come before us? Hasn't the same process been occurring for thousands of years? Of course it has, and this is why the aforementioned types of traits are extremely common throughout humanity.
And that, in turn, helps to explain why religion has become so powerful and widespread over time in human cultures. But obviously these qualities of traditionalism, obedience, etc can be manifested very well in a purely secular sociocultural framework, too.
One last thing. The second comment to the article says
"Religionists will continue to fight and kill each other off by Design... This has been the Formula for the last few millenia, and the world has gradually gotten saner as a result."
This is a great point, and it is a huge factor the model's authors fail to consider. Religion's general assumptions of absolute and exclusive truth almost guarantee that it ultimately has only one of two options in human society: (1) violence and oppression, or (2) peaceful tolerance and acquiescence.
The former ensures its indefinite survival (as it did for thousands of years), and the latter ensures its eventual demise and secularization.
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