G'day from Australia guys and gals,
Brand new on this forum and was just wondering if i could get an answer to some things that have been on my mind. I'm not quite sure whether it belongs here or in a different thread but moderators please feel free to move it.
Can the the decline of traditional theism be directly attributed to the evolution of the human race?
Just to establish where this line of thought came from in the first place.
I was raised a Christian, i went to a co-ed primary school that had christian roots until grade 4 and it was around the age of 7-8 that i stopped believing in Santa Claus and the concept of god (or at least christianitys perception of it). Since then in my studies of mulitple religious doctrines i've taken up an agnostic deist stance on the whole thing i.e. even if there was a god no one can claim to know the supreme beings mind or comprehend any of its actions let alone claim / deny responsibility based on such an assertion.
But i digress, alright so, back to school. Luckily both it and my parents were rather secular in nature, nevertheless every day at around 2pm we went as a class to the church, went into the pews, kneeled towards the cross and pretty stained glass window and observed around 20mins of prayer.
During this time my knees would be killing me and i absolutely loathed that experience, even worse were the few sundays we did go to church and as most are aware there is alot more standing / kneeling / sitting going on.
I was thinking back to this experience and i remembered a few friends and teachers asking what was wrong as the rest of the students seemed to be fine. I also remember that i was much taller then the average kid for my age.
I make no pretense to be a scientist or understand even a fraction of evolutionary theory, but i do remember reading from a few sources that the average height of humans has increased since the 1900's most likely due to advances in medicine and the industrial revolution creating more resources leading to consumer based economies of scale. It is for some of these reasons that people also mature faster now days then they did a century ago IIRC.
I only have my own experience to go on, but if it is indeed a fact that people are taller then they were, thus the center of gravity has changed for the average human, thus there is more pressure being put on the lower joints during certain actions (kneeling for example).
Is it possible that given how stoic religion must be, by ignoring the evolutionary state of the human race it is contributing to its own demise?
Hence are evolutionary pressures responsible (in part) for the decline in traditional religiosity?
Also for those theists that claim evolution was part of gods plan all along, then is this a sign god wants the destruction of religion?
|Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:30 am||
jester-mwrath wrote:G'day from Australia guys and gals,
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
The short answer to your question about evolution being a driver for the decline of traditional theism is: no.
I'll try to elaborate.
First of all, religion has been changing - dare I say evolving - throughout human history. But there has been no clear end-goal in sight. The same can be said about evolution in general.
The example of human average height that you use does not support your claim, because as far as I know, average height has only begun to increase recently, within the last 100 years or so, and this is generally attributed to better health, better access to abundant food supply and such.
Second, if there is a kind of "God gene", or some genes that make you more religious, then I think it is pretty clear that this gene has its reproductive advantages, as many religious people have a LOT of children.
I believe I've even heard statistics that suggest that the proportion of religious people in the future will actually grow, mainly because of the fact that so many religious people have more children than the average.
The growt of non-theists (mainly through deconversion and such) will simply not be able to keep up.
Third, the existence of theistic evolutionists attests to the flexibility of religious convictions. Religiosity is indeed evolving, and it's shown to be highly adaptable. This, I think, will assure its existence far into any forseeable future.
Lastly, the main driver - in my opinion - behind religious deconversion and decline in traditional theism has always been science and education. This will continue in the future, as science gets even better, and as education becomes more universal, but, as we have seen, even science and education of the best quality in the most advanced societies have not been able to eradicate religion, and I see little reason for this changing.
That's just my opinion, though.
The horse is a ferocious predator.
|Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:27 pm||
I'd hardly call it a driver as it's not something people are really aware or conscious of i was just thinking it could be something else to add to the list of why people are choosing to leave such religion since it did account for it as a factor in my own life.
Also i was quite specific in my questioning in stating "traditional theism"... For further definition im not talking about people who claim they're christian, mormon, catholic, muslim or some other denomination just because they want to fit in or be considered a good person.
I'm talking about the actual rate of indoctrination to hardcore (forgive the analogy) 'bible-thumpers' who must observe their faith and all it encompasses including practices that cause physical discomfort.
Gnug215 wrote:The example of human average height that you use does not support your claim, because as far as I know, average height has only begun to increase recently, within the last 100 years or so, and this is generally attributed to better health, better access to abundant food supply and such.Yes that is what i was referring to. I mean it is 100 years. 2 perhaps 3 generations of people from the same geographic locations (or more depending on the conditions or if they're really slutty). But it's difficult to find a correlation because i don't know where to begin to start measuring when atheism started to get a foothold much less how the numbers have changed over the years.
Gnug215 wrote:Second, if there is a kind of "God gene", or some genes that make you more religious, then I think it is pretty clear that this gene has its reproductive advantages, as many religious people have a LOT of children.I'm not really concerned about genetics in the context of religiosity because as far as i know it's the environmental conditions in relation to the individual that influence the outcome of persuasion for or against. The human mind has no pre-disposition towards religion because as is evident in most other aspects logic and reason tend to prevail (hence why people can be engineers / scientists and still be religious to a degree).
Gnug215 wrote:Third, the existence of theistic evolutionists attests to the flexibility of religious convictions. Religiosity is indeed evolving, and it's shown to be highly adaptable. This, I think, will assure its existence far into any forseeable future.It is adaptable in so far as theists generally commit plagiarism "oh that's how it is god must be cleverer then we thought" and yes it probably will endure into the future. However this is still only relevant in addressing evolved forms of religion. In fact i don't mind the fact if religion is evolving because with every debate, every concession either one of 2 things happen:
a. 'deconversion' of people who figure out it's a con
b. An exposure of the widening criteria that conflicts with their faith which potentially is an improvement to scientific literacy.
This is far preferable to having to deal with non-secular people that will talk at you rather then with you (although it's hard to tell the difference sometimes).
Gnug215 wrote:Lastly, the main driver - in my opinion - behind religious deconversion and decline in traditional theism has always been science and education. This will continue in the future, as science gets even better, and as education becomes more universal, but, as we have seen, even science and education of the best quality in the most advanced societies have not been able to eradicate religion, and I see little reason for this changing.Never claimed it was a main driver (as stated above) it's more of just something that could be attributed.
Thanks for the feedback though.
|Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:48 am||
LaurensPosts: 2916Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male
jester-mwrath wrote:G'day from Australia guys and gals,
How do you mean evolution? Biological? No almost certainly not. We have not changed significantly in our biology in any way that might make us less religious, or less inclined towards traditional theism.
If you mean cultural evolution, then yes, many cultural shifts have led to the decline of religion. The advent of Science and Rationalism for example, the availability of information, political trends toward Liberalism etc.
It seems that you refer to evolution in the biological sense. In that case I disagree. Religion might be based off of certain biological impulses and psychological tendencies, but it is by and large a cultural entity. The decline of religion has more to do with culture than biology.
Hope that answers your question
Welcome to the boards
|Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:55 pm||
Thanks for the response Laurens.
|Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:28 pm||