Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.
Not everyone would steal. There are quite a few people who would rather stick to their morals even if it means death.
It's quite possible that we are in fact programmed to be moral, and some other factor (such as a chemical imbalance or just plain desperation) is needed to drive a person to crime.
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alextemplet says "It's quite possible that we are in fact programmed to be moral, and some other factor (such as a chemical imbalance or just plain desperation) is needed to drive a person to crime. " This is the theory that I started out with ie that A moral Code, being greater than a man made Law has become encoded into our genome by natural selection for the benefit of the species. ie Belief in a supernatural being is part of our genome and that is why it is very hard for us humans to logically argue against it. We believe - and we cannot explain why. "The selfish Gene" is using us as a mere carrier for its own survival.
Alextemplet's second point "Not everyone would steal. There are quite a few people who would rather stick to their morals even if it means death." I agree is also likely to be observed within a group of people but not in the majority because here you would have the genes for "survival" competing with the genes for "a moral code" and I believe that the survival of the species gene would tend to be expressed with more force.
Reconciling Evolution with Faith
OK – with help from all the ideas received on this Blog and Richard Dawkins' Book, I am now in a position to propose anew my original ideas on this subject.
Early Homo Sapiens is equipped for survival and procreation following the laws of Natural Selection. Some of this equipment includes the ability to steal, kill, rape etc.
The benefits of hunting and living within larger groups also helps survival and procreation and now this also has to become incorporated into our genome via natural selection.
The “conflict” between being able to live within a group and being able to steal, rape and kill poses a problem. Since they are now both encoded within the genome, they cannot easily be removed. Homo Sapiens invents Laws to solve the problem. Phrophets then come along with even better laws – derived from a supernatural creator, which are found to work better than ordinary laws. Those groups which follow these new ideas have a survival advantage and Natural Selection eventually weeds out the non-believers.
We now have belief in the supernatural encoded in our genome.
Along comes the age of enlightenment and homo Sapiens wants freedom of thought and a thirst for knowledge regarding the laws of the universe.
He can begin to explain most things but gets stuck every time he tries to explain the Creator of the universe. He knows there is one (because it is now well encoded into his genes) but he has forgotten how to explain why it got there in the first place. He certainly cannot explain the Creator Theory in accepted scientific language. The selfish genes will do anything to protect this data to the point of trying to convince other members of Homo Sapiens (who might be weakening in their genetic inheritence) that the Creator Exists. Even logic is removed as they try to re-enforce the message. They are prepared to switch their thinking to the days before the enlightenment period. They are prepared to simply believe. The selfish gene has completely dominated their thought processes on this taboo subject. Thus discussing anything which might suggest that a creator does not exist becomes very,very difficult.
Just like falling in love can switch off logical thinking- so that procretion can proceed without hinderance- so does belief in the supernatural. Homo Sapiens just needs reminding now and then that he is a slave to his genes, a mere carrier of information and he will appear to behave stupidly if it is in the interest of his genes that he should do so.
So we are all just slaves to our genes and religious belief is "behaving stupidly"?
I say again: So much of our behavior has to do with how we are raised; contrary to what Dawkins and his cronies would want you to think, our genes probably play a very minor role in our behavior.
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Alextemplet says "So we are all just slaves to our genes and religious belief is "behaving stupidly"?
Sorry, I made an error in my last para, it should have read "so does explaining the belief in the supernatural." Religious people are, as normal as anybody else, but when they try to explain it they are unable to use scientific language (not a fault on their part but that the subject doesn't lend itself to it) and have to resort to the "magic effect" of words and what I would call waffle. I do think that the Belief in something supernatural is encoded into us.
Chromosomes lengths have, I believe been, shown to change under the influence of stress and behaviour. Maybe behaviour is not just all about education but a combination of the two.
Hm, an interesting point, genovese. Something to think about.
I was thinking about this earlier today. Perhaps a genome that causes us to mold to our surroundings or influences (such as how a person is raised) would be genetically superior because it would make the organism more adaptable to different situations? In that case, the tendency to mold ourselves off of parental influence, peer pressure, and the media might be encoded into our genome.
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My only worry there is that I hope I am not being genetically moulded by the Media, but perhaps I am. I had better turn off the Telly.
As for being a "Slave to my genes" I think this statement carries weight. There is not much I can do about the body that I inherited or how it functions. I do have a mind and am able to think freely- but how free is it really? Much of what I think is free is actually me thinking along lines laid down by the genome? I would love to be able to do maths but my genome didn't produce that kind of a brain. Obviously what data goes into the brain is all to do with upbringing and education, but after that, what the brain does with the data is to a very large extent under the control of the genome depending on how your nervous system has been built and what neurotransmitters you can manufacture. I have no control on these matters.
Actually, according to what I learned in my bio class in college, the ability to do math is only 15% genetic, so your genes probably have very little to do with it.
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I saw a documentary about a study conducted by the Army where people who watched only violent movies had detrimental effects to chromosones.
Wheras the ones who only watched happy and nice movies were healthier.
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these".
~ George washington Carver
I watch mostly war movies, historical drama, and comedy. What does that make me?
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This is an interesting point. And it brings up a common problem: Do you assume that people are good until proven otherwise? Or do you assume that people are inherently bad until proven otherwise?
greeneyes55582 wrote: "Do you assume that people are good until proven otherwise? Or do you assume that people are inherently bad until proven otherwise?"
I tend to see what is most important for Natural Selection and unfortunately I see SURVIVAL by FORCE, ie what we would nowdays regard as undesirable in times of peace, as the most strongly encoded instincts to enable us to survive in the early earth days. Then comes living in groups and socializing and the benefits of that - and that is where I said that moral codes and Beliefs in the Supernatural may well have also become encoded into our genome. The question is, which genes are expressed more strongly?
It is not really about good & bad but about the best reaction that the person makes for a given environment. It could be fists or kisses, but if kisses don't work then fists will come out as a last resort. Sure we can control our drives if we know how to and if Will Power is well developed.
Question: Is Will Power learnt or inherent?
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