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uncle ebeneezer
02-10-2010, 11:48 AM
Sorry to all the PZ haters, but I thought this (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/) was interesting. I would love to see one of the authors of the paper do a Sci-Sat diavlog on this topic.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 12:05 PM
Sorry to all the PZ haters, but I thought this (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/) was interesting. I would love to see one of the authors of the paper do a Sci-Sat diavlog on this topic.

Excellent article, uncle. Religion also provides another ingredient that facilitates group bonding: rituals. The use of certain rituals triggers psychological responses, most likely mediated by neurotransmitters, that increases the sense of unity and bonding among the participants.

And who are those PZ "haters" that you are talking about? I hope you are not confusing criticism with hatred... :)

uncle ebeneezer
02-10-2010, 12:16 PM
Not you, of course, fair Ocean. Don't confuse trendy expressions "haters" with their roots "hate." There's an (dare I say) ocean of difference between the two ;)

Yes, I liked this article alot. If the paper isn't too dry (scholarly/technical) I may have to read it. You probably already know this but Joshua Knobe did a pretty interesting diavlog along these lines a way back.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 12:22 PM
Not you, of course, fair Ocean. Don't confuse trendy expressions "haters" with their roots "hate." There's an (dare I say) ocean of difference between the two ;)

That's where my knowledge about the English language starts to fall apart. According to my understanding, "haters" are those who hate. Trying to be fair, but certainly not all knowing.


Yes, I liked this article alot. If the paper isn't too dry (scholarly/technical) I may have to read it. You probably already know this but Joshua Knobe did a pretty interesting diavlog along these lines a way back.

Yes, there have been a number of discussions on the same general topic. All interesting.

uncle ebeneezer
02-10-2010, 12:44 PM
Ocean, "hater" is a common urban expression. See here (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hater). It used to be used mainly to pint out someone who is jealous, but it has evolved to be more playfull. A common example when I was playing with a band in Compton (with middle-aged african-american guys who grew up in the hood), if I pointed out that someone was playing the wrong chord or missed a change they might respond "hey don't be hatin' on me" with a smile. Hope that helps.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 12:53 PM
Ocean, "hater" is a common urban expression. See here (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hater). It used to be used mainly to pint out someone who is jealous, but it has evolved to be more playfull. A common example when I was playing with a band in Compton (with middle-aged african-american guys who grew up in the hood), if I pointed out that someone was playing the wrong chord or missed a change they might respond "hey don't be hatin' on me" with a smile. Hope that helps.

Yes, thanks. It's difficult to know the multiple meanings of words as they change in different regions, age groups, and the like, not to mention when they belong to your second language.

bjkeefe
02-10-2010, 02:26 PM
Sorry to all the PZ haters, but I thought this (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/) was interesting. I would love to see one of the authors of the paper do a Sci-Sat diavlog on this topic.

Your link points to the home page of the blog, so it's not clear which post you are referring to, and this will become ever more so the more time passes. Recommend you change the link to the permalink for the specific post.

(Is it this one (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/religion_adaptation_or_by-prod.php)?)

Ocean
02-10-2010, 02:33 PM
Your link points to the home page of the blog, so it's not clear which post you are referring to, and this will become ever more so the more time passes. Recommend you change the link to the permalink for the specific post.

(Is it this one (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/religion_adaptation_or_by-prod.php)?)

Yes.

Wonderment
02-10-2010, 02:53 PM
. I'm a proponent of the byproduct explanation, myself; I tend to go a little further, too, and suggest that religion is a deleterious virus that is piggy-backing on some very useful elements of our minds.

Assuming he's saying this with a straight face, which I believe he is, there's a bit of irony here and lots of support for the case that Myers is fanatically anti-religion.

There is zero evidence to support the idea of religion-as-virus; in short, it is a religious belief, concocted out of nothing and unbefitting to a scientist. But of course, since it provides an opportunity to ridicule religion (Myers stock-in-trade), he gratuitously resorts to it.

The rest of the article is interesting, although the distinction between "by-product" and "hard-wired" seems unimportant. Religion evolves through our mental and emotional capacities. It appears everywhere there are human beings; it's what people do. If we have an intellectual-emotional apparatus that always produces moral sensibilities, superstitions, conclusions about Agencies in nature, the sky, animals, etc., it doesn't really matter if we call it hard-wired or by-product.

Myers' examples of Judaism and Christianity to make points about the origins of religions also seems chosen just to poke his finger in the eye of current practitioners of those religions. But "modern" agricultural religions are very recent developments in the history of the species and don't provide very good data for talking about origins. It's like discussing an cell phone and a microwave oven as evidence of the origins of tool-making in humans.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 03:30 PM
I interpreted his reference to a virus as a joke.

If not, by what mechanism would the virus be expressed? Religion is a term too vague and complex to consider it a phenotype.

Nah, he was kidding.

bjkeefe
02-10-2010, 03:46 PM
Yes.

Thx.

Wonderment
02-10-2010, 04:38 PM
Maybe it was a joke (http://www.thereligionvirus.com/author.php), in which case he is overestimating the intelligence of his atheist readership, which includes dumb atheists like me who don't get jokes unless they are followed by a smiley face :)

AemJeff
02-10-2010, 04:42 PM
Maybe it was a joke (http://www.thereligionvirus.com/author.php), in which case he is overestimating the intelligence of his atheist readership, which includes dumb atheists like me who don't get jokes unless they are followed by a smiley face :)

I think "metaphor" is closer to the mark. A parasitic mechanism that repurposes existing structures in a way that increases its ability to propagate. I really don't think you need to be "fanatically anti-religion" to think it's apt.

Ocean
02-10-2010, 04:48 PM
Maybe it was a joke (http://www.thereligionvirus.com/author.php), in which case he is overestimating the intelligence of his atheist readership, which includes dumb atheists like me who don't get jokes unless they are followed by a smiley face :)

Handsome man with a great smile... what were we talking about?

:)

Ocean
02-10-2010, 04:49 PM
I think "metaphor" is closer to the mark. A parasitic mechanism that repurposes existing structures in a way that increases its ability to propagate. I really don't think you need to be "fanatically anti-religion" to think it's apt.

Yes, metaphor would have been a better way to put it.

uncle ebeneezer
02-10-2010, 05:23 PM
Originally Posted by AemJeff
I think "metaphor" is closer to the mark. A parasitic mechanism that repurposes existing structures in a way that increases its ability to propagate. I really don't think you need to be "fanatically anti-religion" to think it's apt.

Yeah, that's exactly how I read it. AND as a joke.

Wonderment
02-10-2010, 07:08 PM
Handsome man with a great smile... what were we talking about?


Son iguales todas las mujeres. Piensan en una sola cosa. Tratas de mantener una conversación seria a cierto nivel y no, ¡imposible! Todo es sexo, sexo y más sexo. Incorregibles. :)

Ocean
02-10-2010, 07:11 PM
Son iguales todas las mujeres. Piensan en una sola cosa. Tratas de mantener una conversación seria a cierto nivel y no, ¡imposible! Todo es sexo, sexo y más sexo. Incorregibles. :)

LOL!

Wonderment
02-10-2010, 07:23 PM
Yeah, that's exactly how I read it. AND as a joke.

Maybe. (http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/Dawkins/viruses-of-the-mind.html)

Florian
02-11-2010, 12:10 PM
Son iguales todas las mujeres. Piensan en una sola cosa. Tratas de mantener una conversación seria a cierto nivel y no, ¡imposible! Todo es sexo, sexo y más sexo. Incorregibles. :)


On ne pense qu'à ça.

A serious conversation about religion would be a serious conversation about sex and death. And it would be more interesting than anything an evolutionary biologist could say, even if he were less dull than the P Z Meyers.