The Meaning of Belief

The Meaning of Belief

Filed under: Belief, Enlightenment Narrative, Human Nature | 2 Comments

The term “belief” originally referred exclusively to one’s loyalty and affinity, such as when people say that they believe in a sports team, which clearly carries an emotional and competitive connotation. William Cantwell Smith points out in his Belief and History (1977) that it has only been since the Enlightenment, when knowledge became more theoretical, …

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Richard Dawkins, EOWilson, Nepotism and Human Bonds

Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Nepotism and the Nature of Human Bonds

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Group Selection, Human Nature, The Ascension of the Human Spirit | 7 Comments

I have been re-editing my book, and thought that this key juncture might hold together on its own. As mentioned, [Richard] Dawkins popularized the concept that natural selection can proceed at the level of genes. For example, some insects will sacrifice themselves for several of their genetic relatives. This is because it is actually the …

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Richard Dawkins, Group Selection, and “Relational Genes” – excerpt from the book.

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection, Sexual Selection

  Without realizing it, 30 years ago, I was beginning to conceive of a novel form of group selection.  It was only much later that I learned that the idea of group selection was essentially serving time in the academic penitentiary mostly because of its association with Nazism. This drama went completely over my head …

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God FAQ: How Could God Acquire the Genes to Create Man? (excerpt from book)

Filed under: FAQ's about God, God | 2 Comments

…Another strand of thought, which I had not yet really connected to others in my thinking over the years, had taken root in my imagination and seeded a religious direction.  This line of logic went back to Hamilton and Dawkins’ idea of the selfish gene.  It was the concept of a “relational gene.”  The phenotype …

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Hominin vs. Hominid: Human Exclusivity and the Politics of the Enlightenment

Filed under: Group Selection

It all began when Copernicus demonstrated that the Earth was not the center of the universe.  Then Darwin showed that we were nothing special – just another ape.  Reading between the lines in Richard Dawkins’ Selfish Gene one detects a near satanic glee that the tooth and claw beast to which we had been reduced …

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God FAQ: Why Do Religions – Particularly Those with One God – Fight So Much? (first of series)

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, FAQ's about God, God, Group Selection

  This is a complex FAQ, but a very important  one because deep misunderstanding on this issue is a large reason for the hostility against religion.  I am going to use E.O.Wilson as my philosophical foil to begin with because there are two important points on which we agree.  First is that all human power …

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Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection | 2 Comments

Richard Dawkins in his brilliant book on evolution, The Geatest Show on Earth (2009,) he relegates the entire subject of group selection to one footnote, which follows: “The popular cunard about Hitler being inspired by Darwin comes partly from the fact that both Hitler and Darwin were impressed by something that everybody has known for …

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God FAQ’s – I – Where Does He Live?

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, FAQ's about God, God, Sexual Selection | 3 Comments

In the last post, Alain de Botton in his book Religion for Atheists says “He finds it impossible to take faith in God seriously. He assumes that none of his educated readers could possibly believe in spooky ghosts in the sky.” I am sure that de Botton would find this cartoon amusing.  It poses the question …

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