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Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Religion and Intelligence

"Religion and Intelligence" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)


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Re: Religion and intelligence

That a gene is selected for doesn't make the underlying point of the gene correspond to any kind of reality; for example, the Peacock's ridiculous tail, and female breast size, both have genes that are selected for (just like proposed genes for religious behaviour), but this doesn't say anything about the truth of religious ideas, and about religious behaviour (that it has at times in history, led to increased rates of survival for children). And as you imply yourself, religion can easily be a by-product of other normal behaviours. It can itself be an abnormal. For a much fuller discussion of the psychological causes of religous beliefs and behaviour, see:

"The Causes of Religion: Psychological and physiological causes of religious belief and behaviour" by Vexen Crabtree (2007).

Finally, on your point about the scope of religion, please note that scientists can understand many phenomenon without immersing themselves in it. Weathermen can understand the weather and report about its causes and effects, without actually sitting in the rain or shouting into a microphone in a hurricane. We can study the internal metabolism of the stars, without actually being there, and the most important comparison is this famous one: It is perhaps better if you study drunken behaviour without actually being drunk yourself, and such is the truth of the scientific study of religion.

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