Thursday, February 12, 2009

How we all evolved by natural selection to disbelieve in evolution by natural selection

Humans can anticipate future events, remember the past and conceive of how things could go wrong - including their own death, which is hard to deal with. You've got to figure out a solution, otherwise you're overwhelmed. When natural brain processes give us a get-out-of-jail card, we take it.

"Love of godhood is a result of intellectual organization." - Charles Darwin.

Happy Birthday, Maestro:


Blogger kurt said...

Love the headline.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Happy Birthday Charles!
Let's raise a pint to Darwin:

9:28 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Similar to music and very different from language:

The following piece refutes the conventional rationalist view (also rejected by Hitchens) that "people have religious beliefs because they fail to reason properly", pointing out (among many other things) that:

"A variety of mental systems, functionally specialised for the treatment of particular (non-religious) domains of information, are activated by religious notions and norms, in such a way that these notions and norms become highly salient, easy to acquire, easy to remember and communicate, as well as intuitively plausible […] In other words, religious thought activates cognitive capacities that developed to handle non-religious information. In this sense, religion is very similar to music and very different from language. Every normal human being acquires a natural language and that language is extraordinarily similar to that of the surrounding group. It seems plausible that our capacity for language acquisition is an adaptation. By contrast, though all human beings can effortlessly recognise music and religious concepts, there are profound individual differences in the extent to which they enjoy music or adhere to religious concepts. The fact that some religious notions have been found in every human group does not mean that all human beings are naturally religious. Vast numbers of human beings do without it altogether, like for instance the majority of Europeans for several [sic] centuries."

Read the whole thing, even if you’re not really interested in religion per se — (as I am most definitely not.)

5:29 PM  
Blogger Will said...

By the way... I am working on growing a big fuck off beard mesell at the moment just like Chuckie and Karl. A talking point at dinner parties like.

PS. Also want to smoke myself to death with cigars and pipe tobacco and shit like that. And a few carbunkles wouldn't go amiss also.

Gotta love the carbunkles.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"In this sense, religion is very similar to music and very different from language." Well, you see? This is what I've been thinking for some while but am insufficiently edumacated to express. Its function actually might be quite closely related to language in its social origins, I seem to have read somewhere (I believe Nicolas Wade's 'Before the Dawn') but in any case, I often get the strange sensation when I'm listening to even the most brilliant anti-religiosity polemics that the argument is at least partly moot, owing to the protagonist's tin ear.

I also should have gone with this beautiful piece of writing:

"Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

"Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

Which of course is the context of the usually out-of-context citation of Marx. And anyway you said once before you were going to grow a huge beard and ye never did ye lying Prodishthaunt basthard.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Me wife dinnae like beards or I'd join ye, Will. I'm with ye in "spirit" though (hehe).

6:44 PM  
Blogger Will said...

The beard is coming full on this time -- forsure

wor lass isn't too pleased about it mind you -- she can fuck off as well tho but .

6:47 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Aye, laddie, but don't be tellin' the wee bonnie lassie about our plot or we may be hearin' 'bout it nigh till hell freezes over and regretin' every thin' we said and sufferin' the revenge of the bairns as well:

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...godlessness is a no-brainer?

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

I'll be your Tarzan, you'll be my Jane... (thanks, Ray Davies!):

The Kinks - Apeman 1970

I think I'm sophisticated
cos I'm living my life like a good homosapien
But all around me everybody's multiplying
Till they're walking round like flies man
So I'm no better than the animals sitting in their cages
In the zoo man
cos compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
I am an ape man

I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized
cos I'm a strict vegetarian
But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
And the crazy politicians
I don't feel safe in this world no more
I don't want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
and make like an ape man

I'm an ape man, I'm an ape ape man
I'm an ape man I'm a king kong man I'm ape ape man
I'm an ape man

Cos compared to the sun that sits in the sky
Compared to the clouds as they roll by
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies
I am an ape man

In man's evolution he has created the cities and
The motor traffic rumble, but give me half a chance
And I'd be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle
cos the only time that I feel at ease
Is swinging up and down in a coconut tree
Oh what a life of luxury to be like an ape man

I'm an ape, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an ape man
I'm a king kong man, I'm a voo-doo man
I'm an ape man

I look out my window, but I can't see the sky
cos the air pollution is fogging up my eyes
I want to get out of this city alive
And make like an ape man

Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world

I'm an ape man, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an ape man
I'm a king kong man, I'm a voo-doo man
I'm an ape man

I'll be your tarzan, you'll be my jane
I'll keep you warm and you'll keep me sane
And well sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man

I'm an ape man, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an ape man
I'm a king kong man, I'm a voo-doo man
I'm an ape man.

7:00 PM  

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