Author Topic: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?  (Read 4656 times)

Seahunter

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
    • The God Hypothesis
Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« on: February 17, 2012, 05:32:10 PM »
They say we are pattern seeking animals and that aspects of our evolutionary genetics determine how we view the world.  It has been said that "Religious" belief, or belief in some being larger than you, may be just such an adaptation somewhere in our genetic history.  I was wondering if this sounds plausible.  What role belief in a higher power would play in evolutionary adaptation to the environment and how this would add to variable survival success is something I have a hard time getting my mind around.

zerospin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 08:48:55 PM »
It is possible that belief is necessary for the early evoluton of an inteligent species, in order to satisfy the burning questions our minds ask about the world surrounding us. It calms the mind, and lets you go out of the cave, without the fear the heaven will fall on your head, etc. Also the knowledge that the spirits of the animals or a god are protecting you, will give you strength during a hunt, therefore you won't starve so easily. So it would work very well as an adaptation. However with time as we develop more complex and precise tools of reasoning, it becomes more of a problem than an useful trait.

Sandra Piddock

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 01:37:56 PM »
I think that perhaps faith rather than belief is the evolutionary adaptation - if indeed there is such a thing. I don't mean faith in God or a higher power, but the leap of faith that has to be taken every time something new happens. Those early leaps of faith must have been quite significant, and it seems logical that from that, a belief system could have developed.

For example, when prehistoric man made his first weapon and killed a beast for food, he must have had faith that his weapon would kill the beast before the beast killed him. As he went on to kill more beasts, he may - or may not - have developed a belief that something was protecting him. As time went on, that basic belief evolved into the belief systems we have now. I'm not saying that's how it happened - just offering it as a possibility.

meowcow

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 02:17:32 PM »
I believe that it is part of evolution, but far from being the end. It is natural for conscious beings to question how things came to be, and to make stories based on those questions. It is in these stories that we can start to question again as a stepping stone and find out real answers. So it might have been necessary for us as a society to make this step, but it is not the end answer to our questions.

Beyonder

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • Beyond News
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 04:55:29 PM »
Ancient law - propaganda to seek justice for war, revenge, greed and stigmatize those who follow.

It is based on ancient belief that the sun gave life - when we did not understand the logic of time and space.

Eek_Eek

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
  • It's All Good
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 02:38:34 PM »
Well just look at different cultures. How radically different the western hemisphere was in spiritual belief than that in the eastern. The evoulution of the native tribes radically variable to one another. genetic maybe. but still spiritual belief is culture, culture is a view, and the view is your environment. so i would say the key adaptation features leading to evolution of culture or spiecies are envirornment, view(belief), intellegence, time, and technology.
Do not look for Natures merriment, for it will show all asperation that she harbors.
Let not her pretense lead you to demise
is it not for her nexus to die?
A meaning abandoned without reason,
Threw trickery of our hearts.

taskeinc

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 140
  • Gender: Male
  • Together Acquiring Strength Knowledge & Excellence
    • View Profile
    • TASKE INC
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2012, 09:50:07 PM »
I think it's more cultural conditioning more than anything. If you're born in the middle east you're probably Muslim, or Buddhist, if you're born in the West you're probably Christian, as your parents were, grand parents, and so on.

There was a woman who lived in a forest (I forget what country) and grew up with wolves. She was "rescued," brought back into civilization, but after being there a short while, "escaped" back into the forest.

My point, that's all she knew, that was her life, that was her conditioning. I think most people are the same way with religion and their religious beliefs. There are many Muslims and Christians who just KNOW that their way is the ONLY way to nirvana, and it doesn't matter what you say, what you present, or how you present it to them, their mind is made up.

It's conditioning and brainwashing, plain and simple. If a child is raised with dogs and learns how to bark like a dog, he will think he's a dog. Religion, to a lesser degree, is the same way. If you're raised a Christian you can only think like a Christian; raised a Muslim, Allah is the only way.

In my opinion, belief is not an "Evolutionary Adaptation" but more of a "Cultural Adaptation."
taskeinc - together acquiring strength knowledge & excellence

writer811

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 06:58:54 PM »
I think it's more of a side-effect than anything. Like how mayflies have no mouths so they can focus all of their energy on breeding. The side effect of that is they can't eat. Blind belief is a side effect of us developing intelligence and reasoning. We learned many new things but there were questions beyond our capability to answer so we made up stories to answer them. The problem is a long term one, the stories become so powerful and prevelant in one's mind that new things learned are rejected if they conflict with the story.

soffty

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2012, 07:08:03 PM »
Very well put 811. Any faith is an effort to overcome the single problem that we all share as humans, and almost never deal with. It is an action, rather than words. It is doing something rather than as we now do...nothing.

We all routinely seek convenience. We all routinely avoid the sole primary purpose of this life. Humanity is a delusionary species who is saturated by deceit. The person who rises above and seeks truth is RARE, yet we will routinely lie about all of it to place convenience at the top of the list.

You go out into your world and only tell the truth, and you will lose all of your friends, lose your job, and receive HATE.

We think we are doing a good job just by examining faith. Admit to this...you are selfish. Do that, then go to step 2.

DEAL WITH TRUTH.

Yes, you hate me. Simple math.

Wade

Pointing2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 48
  • Always Upwards, towards the Highest
    • View Profile
    • Karma Acceleration
Re: Is belief an Evolutionary Adaptation?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 01:54:28 AM »
Hi, nice idea!
My take is this: there is an inherent search for meaning in everything we are engaged in. We see something and we attribute meaning to that. This is important for our survival as a species. We see an ear in a bush and get the meaning that there is a tiger sitting in the bush. We hear a particular sound uttered by our mother/father and we get the meaning behind that sound.
We, as humans, are conditioned by life to find meanings in the things around us, so that we can survive another day. If we didn't see the meaning behind food, we would not put it in our mouths and therefore would starve to death.
Since we are conditioned in this way, we also attempt to find the meaning behind the sun, the stars, etc. We also attempt to find the meaning of our existence. We attempt to find the meaning of this universe. We attempt to find the meaning of existence as a whole. So, we come up with the notion of a god. Why not!?
That's just the way we are conditioned for survival purposes.
All kinds of ideologies have sprung up around this attempt to find the meaning of everything.
"What does it mean to be human?" "What do you mean by your statement?" Etc.
Be well.
Chris K.
PS: I hope you know what I mean :))


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
1788 Views
Last post August 02, 2008, 08:39:52 AM
by TheCreator
0 Replies
1069 Views
Last post August 11, 2008, 09:21:14 PM
by TheCreator
0 Replies
1058 Views
Last post August 12, 2008, 01:35:31 PM
by TheCreator
0 Replies
1867 Views
Last post August 14, 2008, 10:52:04 AM
by TheCreator
2 Replies
2347 Views
Last post July 23, 2009, 03:34:01 AM
by antaltilla
12 Replies
4774 Views
Last post August 29, 2009, 03:31:27 AM
by uplana
5 Replies
2204 Views
Last post August 07, 2012, 09:58:12 PM
by taskeinc
0 Replies
2488 Views
Last post April 18, 2010, 10:22:59 AM
by omanda

Return