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  #11  
Old 25th October 2017, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

Welcome to the wonderfully complicated world of the sociologist.
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  #12  
Old 25th October 2017, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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workmx said View Post
That. And human societies don't evolve.

The history of humanity is the autobiography of a lunatic.
Yeah they do, jist not any particular direction, just like biological evolution.
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  #13  
Old 25th October 2017, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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workmx said View Post
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It's an interesting hypothesis, so far.

Are there any particular studies or books which helped form it?
Not sure that this is a hypothesis: is it falsifiable or testable?
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A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research.[1]
I never called it scientific.

I didn't see any testing, and thus didn't regard the set of ideas as constituting a theory.
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  #14  
Old 25th October 2017, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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workmx said View Post
That. And human societies don't evolve.

The history of humanity is the autobiography of a lunatic.
Yeah they do, jist not any particular direction, just like biological evolution.
But they are not better adapted to their environment... It is artificial selection, not natural.
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  #15  
Old 25th October 2017, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

The social sciences left behind the idea that societies always evolve to be better adapted in the 19th century (the idea had dangerous consequences, mostly for the undeveloped and powerless).
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  #16  
Old 25th October 2017, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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workmx said View Post
But they are not better adapted to their environment... It is artificial selection, not natural.
The social animal [including humans] have to serve two masters: the "reality" of [perceived] nature, and the "reality" of social constructions [like religion].

The bias in nature for social animals is to give a high default value to social info over individual perceptions. This seems to hold true from bumble bees to humans. Religion thrives on this trait.

Quorum sensing really.

Well adjusted individuals find some sort of compromise, even at the cost of some loss of reality. They either compartmentalise, or suffer from cognitive dissonance.

Social info is "meant" to generally be of net worth to the group, and hence by extension, to the average individual. Which is why it is selected for on the biological level, and generally reinforced at the cultural level.

Probably wise, despite being vulnerable to parasitic memes like religion, because individuals of course, can have delusions, interpret data wrongly etc due to some environmental factor [parasite altering behaviour] or developmental anomaly etc.

So consensus is often, but not always right. Hence the strong attachment that many people have to argumentum ad populum.
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Old 29th October 2017, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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stevebrooks said View Post
Personally I think you are mistaking the development of society for the evolution of religion. Religions don't evolve, they change to suite the society. For instant we still have pantheist religions in Hinduism and others, we still have animist religions in Africa.

Western society has moved in a direction where religion is no longer necessary, but not because religion has evolved but because western society has developed, for the most part, in a direction where individual rights and freedoms are valued. But there's no reason, as an example Russia, why society can't go in the other direction and religion become more dominant.
That sounds a bit like "if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?".
Ideas propagate, some with more accuracy than others. Any set of ideas with an individual can change in that individual over time. Many ideas in a society become conformist. They lock in and are patrolled to eliminate variants. Some become the new normal. Religions evolve over time among the population that know of them.
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  #18  
Old 29th October 2017, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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DanDare said View Post
That sounds a bit like "if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?".
Ideas propagate, some with more accuracy than others. Any set of ideas with an individual can change in that individual over time. Many ideas in a society become conformist. They lock in and are patrolled to eliminate variants. Some become the new normal. Religions evolve over time among the population that know of them.

That's why I don't think religions can be said to evolve, there are many religions that no longer exist as religions, just as ancient fairy tales, but given the right people and circumstances these religions could be revived, ok it may be unlikely for many, but it could happen. In other words if there were no more monkeys, (not saying people evolved from monkey but a hypothetical you understand) you wouldn't expect monkeys to re-evolve by "backward evolution" as it were from more developed forms. Oh you might eventually, given enough time have a species evolve that resembled a monkey, but they wouldn't be monkeys. However you could conceivably see ancient religions re-established because they are ideas and ideas can be discarded and adopted depending on the society.


In other words religions don't go extinct, they go out of style, like old 80's jeans, and like old 80's jeans they are rarely forgotten and often get looked back on with nostalgia, they can come back in style depending on the direction society takes.
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Old 29th October 2017, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: 5 Stages of Religious Evolution

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stevebrooks said View Post
That's why I don't think religions can be said to evolve, there are many religions that no longer exist as religions, just as ancient fairy tales, but given the right people and circumstances these religions could be revived, ok it may be unlikely for many, but it could happen. In other words if there were no more monkeys, (not saying people evolved from monkey but a hypothetical you understand) you wouldn't expect monkeys to re-evolve by "backward evolution" as it were from more developed forms. Oh you might eventually, given enough time have a species evolve that resembled a monkey, but they wouldn't be monkeys. However you could conceivably see ancient religions re-established because they are ideas and ideas can be discarded and adopted depending on the society.


In other words religions don't go extinct, they go out of style, like old 80's jeans, and like old 80's jeans they are rarely forgotten and often get looked back on with nostalgia, they can come back in style depending on the direction society takes.
Well over 99% of all species on the planet have gone extinct. Extinction is a part of evolution. It isn't all beer and skittles.


And even if a religious group goes extinct, a lot of the time religious memes continue on in other faiths. The Genesis story in the Bible was pinched from earlier stories and of course Jesus-like characters were not unique [Horus etc].


Creationists have revived the idea of animism, which is [at least in theory] no longer a part of official religious doctrines for the major Abrahamic faiths.
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