[FoRK] Is God an Accident?

Strata R. Chalup < strata at virtual.net > on > Sat Sep 16 13:09:56 PDT 2006

Very nifty, tx for the link Jeff.

A physiological effect causing belief in the supernatural is a theme explored in 
Robert J Sawyer's excellent trilogy "Hominids", "Humans", and "Hybrids".  A 
wormhole effect into a parallel history where Neanderthals created civilization 
allows some interchange.  They don't believe in G-d, and think that all of the 
superstition stuff is a cognitive problem.

Interestingly enough, while searching for the author's name, I found this link 
as well:   http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?action=fullnews&id=11007

"A recent study by a researcher from the University of Southern California has 
revealed that individuals of European descent could be up to five percent 
Neanderthal, while West Africans could be related to an archaic human 
population. ..."

Wouldn't it be entertaining if life imitated art, and physiognomic differences 
in neural structure among modern humans accounted for superstition/religion 
belief correlation?  I think there may be benefit to the whole human race to 
have those bits in there, but not if they get out of hand and start suppressing 
the rest of humanity.

The theme is touched on slightly in Kyle Baker's 'Company' series, where 
Mendoza's lover/nemesis/ezer-knegedo is of a much older type of race which 
didn't interbreed much with humans.  Amusingly enough, there's a 'type' that 
they describe this guy being which is a type I've noticed a preponderance of in 
ultra-intellectual hacker & scientist.  I love it when writers mess with your 
head by including little bits of reality and giving plausible explanations to 
what they 'really' mean.


Jeff Bone wrote:

> Interesting article --- old bits, possibly a replay, but cropped up  on 
> somebody's aggregator this morning, and seemed appropriate given  
> various recent bits...
>     http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200512/god-accident
> "Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world  
> believes in the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife,  
> miracles, and the divine creation of the universe. Recently  
> psychologists doing research on the minds of infants have discovered  
> two related facts that may account for this phenomenon. One: human  
> beings come into the world with a predisposition to believe in  
> supernatural phenomena. And two: this predisposition is an incidental  
> by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry. Which leads to the  
> question ..."

Strata R Chalup [KF6NBZ]                         strata "@" virtual.net
Virtual.Net Inc                                  http://www.virtual.net/
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