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Old 05-17-2007, 01:50 PM   #901
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Bad answer. Language was selected for. English was not. The fact that so many people speak English doesn't mean it was selected for.
If we were talking about eEnglish then you wouldn't be wrong. If we were talking about a specific religious belief you wouldn't be wrong.


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Nope. If there's a physical structure then it's genetic. There's no evidence for a physical structure for religious belief, or any other specific belief.
I never argued it was genetic. You are the only one talking about that. Have fun with yourself. I haven't and won't argue that.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:17 PM   #902
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I never argued it was genetic. You are the only one talking about that.
No, I'm the one who has asked you to clarify your argument. I asked if you thought it was genetic or memetic, and you refused to pick one.

The ability to have beliefs relies on genes. We can identify the physical structures involved and the genes that produce them. There's no sign that the ability to believe in deities or folklore relies on a specialization of those genes. That's why the analogy to language holds. There are genes that produce the structures needed for speech, hearing and language comprehension. There aren't specialized genes for any one language.

And this particular discussion started with RoadClosed's questions, which were clearly about genetics and not memetics.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:19 PM   #903
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you guys are having such a good debate, that i did not want to butt in.

dan,

i am also not understanding what you mean by "being selected for". to me that also means that it is a genetic trait. god must exist, after all - i actually agreed with mem on something. LOL.

i am of the belief that most, if not all, behavior is learned.

so basically we get passed down from generation to generation ideas that people can cling to.

if we look at just our current evolution, it take no imagination whatsoever to comprehend people thinking that some other being more powerful than them is responsible for things that seem to great for humans to comprehend.

but if our belief in any particular thing comes from the passing down of information (which most all animal species do to some degree), then i dont think of it as being selected for.

i think that is probably a bad phrase to use, because it seems like mem and i take it to mean something other than you do - since you have already stated that you do not mean that it is genetic.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:55 PM   #904
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"selected for" is a shorthand that means something is a more successful adaptation for survival in a given situation.

for instance. cooperative hunting behavior in canines has been selected for over time. We know this because of the predominance of group hunting behavior in canines around the world. In similar way, as meme pointed out, language developed in humans and looking at earlier hominids it appears that structurally many were not capable of speech. This is a trait that was selected for, i.e. those with speech out competed similar species without it and were more successful at reproducing.

It would seem (due to its prevelance in the population) that theism is similarly selected for. Now, it is certainly possible that another cognitive behavior was selected for, such as the ability to create and transmit memes (just as an example) and theism tagged along. Of course, this has nothing to do with your actual question about the "fact" of gods existance but it is simply a matter of whether a belief in god is (or was) an evolutionary advantage.

It is rather interesting that someone with meme's nickname is so reluctant to acknowledge the impact on evolution of cultutal traits that are not directly genetic. Since that idea is the basis for memes in general.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:05 PM   #905
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No, I'm the one who has asked you to clarify your argument. I asked if you thought it was genetic or memetic, and you refused to pick one.
I said I don't know. If I don't know it is not possible to choose. Not sure what more you want from me in terms of an answer. I merely stated that the belief appears to have been selected for


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The ability to have beliefs relies on genes. We can identify the physical structures involved and the genes that produce them.
I would really like to see that information. You say that the structures in the brain that allow one to create an abstract belief has been identified, I would very much like to see that data.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #906
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okay dan,

i now clearly understand your position. btw, i did not know what a meme was, or that it had any sort of special meaning.

what you are positing is at least the possibility that theism plays a positive role in the adaptation and survival of humans. to be honest, i never gave it any thought whatsoever. so i dont have any comment at this point.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:20 PM   #907
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Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
I said I don't know. If I don't know it is not possible to choose. Not sure what more you want from me in terms of an answer. I merely stated that the belief appears to have been selected for
But you said this in a conversation about genetics. If you think there's a genetic basis for religious belief, say so. If not, what are you trying to say? Did you ignore the context of the thread?

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I would really like to see that information. You say that the structures in the brain that allow one to create an abstract belief has been identified, I would very much like to see that data.
See work by Joel Winston and Matthew Lieberman on mapping the response of the amygdala.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #908
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i now clearly understand your position. btw, i did not know what a meme was, or that it had any sort of special meaning.
A meme is a unit of culture that spreads via replication. I am a big bag of them.

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Originally Posted by gymeejet View Post
what you are positing is at least the possibility that theism plays a positive role in the adaptation and survival of humans. to be honest, i never gave it any thought whatsoever. so i dont have any comment at this point.
Memes don't have to play a positive role in the survival of humans to survive themselves. Some memes kill more humans than they save (like memes for smoking, bomb making, donut eating, etc.) but they replicate more rapidly than competing memes despite the negative effect on their hosts.

Religions are vast complexes of memes, each competing and cooperating with other memes and memeplexes. Religions flourish when they replicate faster than other memes that rely on the same resources.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:26 AM   #909
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But you said this in a conversation about genetics. If you think there's a genetic basis for religious belief, say so. If not, what are you trying to say? Did you ignore the context of the thread?
Apparently I was not on topic so I'll stop posting to this thread now.
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:22 PM   #910
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Are you infering there is no "god" before Abraham?
no, you quoted 2 sources of gods that came before christianity. despite the fact that the jews had little understanding of their god, the christian god and the jewish god are one and the same.

so one would have to come up with an example before judaism, as far as a monotheistic approach that came before christianity. i was merely pointing out that neither of your examples does this.
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Old 05-29-2007, 12:36 PM   #911
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the christian god and the jewish god are one and the same.
As is Allah, the arabic name. Even arabic Christians and Jews use the term for this vision of "one" god.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:39 PM   #912
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So after 2 years and 61 pages of debate what is the answer ? does god exist ? Or will we just have to wait through another 2 years and 61 pages of yes he does, no he doesn't circles before you guys agree to disagree ?

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Old 05-29-2007, 11:27 PM   #913
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just ignore the post if you dont like it. this is what mature people do.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:02 AM   #914
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just ignore the post if you dont like it. this is what mature people do.
They also know when to let something go ....... let it go.
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #915
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I have to admit I am guilty of reviving it from time to time. But if god didn't exist this thread wouldn't exist. Existence doesn't have to take tangible form. Existence "exists" if someone believes it so. whether that takes a physical shape we can measure or an ideology fully enclose in our consciousness. Reality vs. Existence vs. Construction is an interesting concept. Therefore if god did not exist thise thread could not have been written.
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