Wait, say that again…?

A wrangle elsewhere prompted this, I hope you polymaths will bear with me:

Religion enables people who have no idea, and no demonstrable proof, of the truth of their assertions to feel superior to people who limit their assertions to observable facts.

HOW could this happen?

Personally, based on my BA in Anthropology, I’ve always thought the fact that all human societies seem to invent some kinda non-material plane or superior beings has to do with the long mammalian dependency period. If you weren’t the kind of human baby who would take orders and believe your great and all-powerful parents wanted to protect you, you probably wouldn’t live to breed; you’d a fallen out of a tree, into the river or into the fire long before puberty.

Is THAT why religious people think they can win arguments by rejoicing in their infantile ignorance?


In Dinesh D’Souza’s 2009 book, Life after Death: The Evidence (link is to my review), he discusses the relationship between religion and morality and suggests that belief in a superior being and reward or punishment in an afterlife are a foundation of a moral sense for which evolution selects. Here is a summary from my review.

Every human society has had a code of morality (different in the details, but very much the same at the core), and most of these societies have based their moral code upon a belief in cosmic justice in an afterlife. It’s self-evident that bad guys sometimes win at the expense of good guys in this life, but belief that the score will be settled in the long run has provided a powerful incentive for mortals to conform to the norms which their societies prescribe as good. (I’ve deliberately written the last sentence in the post-modern idiom; I consider many moral norms absolutely good or bad based on gigayears of evolutionary history, but I needn’t introduce that into evidence to prove my case, so I won’t.) From an evolutionary standpoint, morality is a survival trait of the family or band: the hunter who shares the kill with his family and tribe will have more descendants than the gluttonous loner. A tribe which produces males who sacrifice themselves to defend their women and children will produce more offspring than the tribe whose males value only their own individual survival.

Morality, then, is, at the group level, a selective trait, and consequently it’s no surprise that it’s universal among human societies. But if, as serious atheists such as Bertrand Russell (as opposed to the lower-grade atheists we get today) worried, morality has been linked to religion and belief in an afterlife in every single human society to date, then how is morality (a survival characteristic) to be maintained in the absence of these beliefs? And if evolution has selected us to believe in the afterlife for the behavioural advantages that belief confers in the here and now, then how successful will the atheists be in extinguishing a belief which has conferred a behavioural selective advantage upon thousands of generations of our ancestors? And how will societies which jettison such belief fare in competition with those which keep it alive?


“Morality as a survival characteristic”…if by morality you mean only “obeying or reverencing a higher, non human power” then mebbe it won’t survive. But the Golden Rule can. We can all say: “I’m mortal, I know what pain and mortal terror are like, I won’t inflict them on other humans, if only in the hope that they’ll show me the same consideration”.
And if I’m right that our propensity to belief in a supreme being is rooted in infant dependency ( mammals have a long such period, turtles, for instance, have none at all: mom leaves the site as soon as she deposits the eggs) then how could it ever be bred out of us?

“how will societies which jettison such belief fare in comparison to those which keep it alive?” Check out the Soviet Union, one with Nineveh and Tyre.

I don’t think you would have to be religious to entertain a love for and belief in our species, humanity.


Not to be argumentative (said he, being argumentative), but where is the evidence that religious people rejoice in their infantile ignorance? Certainly some do; but then again, almost every Democrat voter does too. And on the other side, the pages of history are full of individuals who wrestled long & hard with their faith and its consequences – hardly infantile ignorance.

There may be a few people who fit that description, but I for one have never met any of them. We all extrapolate from observations to hypotheses which we convince ourselves to be true. For example, there are many in the physics community who extrapolate back from some evidence about the expansion of the Universe to believing that the entire Universe (all the mass and all the energy) suddenly, for no reason, spontaneously emerged out of nothing into an infinitesimally small point of infinite density and infinite temperature. The Man from Mars would see that as just another religious creation myth – and might even characterize it as infantile.


Serious anthropology needs to understand the evolution of eusociality and the evolution of individualism as they pertain to humans. I recommend:

For the evolution of eusociality as it pertains to humans:
The Social Conquest of Earth, by Edward O. Wilson

For the evolution of individualism as it pertains to humans:
Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition by Kevin B. MacDonald

While I have some serious differences with both of these authors, they are as nothing compared to the rest of the crowd. The main reason for including MacDonald is the critical role played by Western individualism globally and the fact that only MacDonald has taken on the topic throughout his career in the “transgressive” manner necessary to being remotely objective about the topic. So “transgressive” in fact that he’s been banned by Elon Musk from Twitter although his book has not been banned by Amazon.

I won’t go into either of these books in great detail – there’s plenty out there about them – but I will fill in one of my differences with them:

Vulnerability to moral indoctrination is right up there with DNA as a survival character, as Hypatia points out – all the more so as one gets further from human origins in ecological distance. For example, the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro may be close to human origins but is far in terms of ecological distance from the savanna. The reason for this should be obvious since instincts become less adaptive the less time they have to adapt to the ecological conditions. So you can get some pretty “crazy” religious behavior among people adapted to places where killing freezes occur.

That said, lower population densities tend to select for more individualism and as E. O. Wilson describes, the evolution of eusociality reaches the critical threshold at the point of decision by the organism to either stay in the nest at maturity or leave the nest at maturity and start a new nest. It should be obvious which of these leads to eusociality.

Another relevant consideration is the abuse of vulnerability to indoctrination by what I’d call the evolution of virulence – horizontally transmitted memes/morals: Indoctrination done by other than parents or at least very closely related individuals. You can get some guy standing up and doing scary theatrics convincing people that he’s embodied some great ancestor or other from whom they should be taking directions – and then cuckolding the parishioners – which is a sterotype of a “historically black church” with its “Say Amen” harem of church ladies sitting up in the front pews. They can get pretty vicious, those church ladies, but they don’t usually go on world-wide crusades the way white church ladies do – especially those church ladies of political correctness who do things like castrate their sons as a matter of moral vanity – and threaten to take your sons from you if you don’t – which is just bat shit crazy.


I like that. I’m’na get that book of Wilson’s. Totes into eusociality cuz of my BMD’s new beekeeping hobby.



The issue you frame lies one level deeper. There is a metaphysical component to our being that is recognized in various ways depending on the prevailing culture. There is always an attraction to this other plane, expressed in an intellectual spectrum running from Christ to Dawkins. That not everything can be discovered, elucidated, or considered in full detail, while focusing only on physical attributes and history, is certain.

So, the answer to your conundrum lies outside the plane of science, as important as that realm is. Also, science is not in opposition to metaphysical truths, an assertion that is a separate huge topic.

As an afterthought, I wouldn’t be so quick to use ignorance as a pejorative for people whose POV is mysterious, or to paint with too broad a brush when discussing religion, per se.

The undeniable good news is that summer is here in full force in the Pacific Northwest!


A person that has taken the considerable effort of deprogramming from the Jesuit-bankster brainwashing that we all undergo since birth would stand a chance of recovering sufficient logical faculties to understand that to know God is to know Mind, that is, materially. Further, such a person would know that Mind = Life and that all objects that satisfy the condition of being active and self-contained are alive. This leads to a realization that God is a hierarchy of minds, of which you and I are one, and most importantly, that our star the Sun is alive. Using a simple mass-correlation method, we can calculate that the Sun is 2 to 4 Magnitudes of Intelligence smarter than a human if one Magnitude is defined as the difference in intelligence between an amoeba and a human. Such a being is beyond human comprehension and may be considered divine, Our Lord the Sun.

So while your frustration with the religious is understandable, it is one side of a dichotomy that has been deliberately constructed to lead away from the truth. You’re supposed to dislike the religious because you’re a thinking, rational person, but you are a rational person within the confines that have been set up to ensure you do no more than state your position, with no route to the true alternative.

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I’m as “religious” as the next guy if not more so, but the difference between us is that I recognize what you call “Jesuit-bankster brainwashing” as just one tiny aspect of The Problem dragging some of us kicking and screaming (and others of us full of passionate intensity to quote Yates) toward a historic rhyme with The Thirty Years War unless we all stand down from babbling at each other about our “lived experience” – which, in the case of “the varieties of religious experience” is not very subject to scientific replication. I don’t fault folks like you for your passionate intensity so much as I do The Church Ladies (of all sexes) of Political Correctness because it is they who have de facto power over the rest of us and are the equivalent of a supremacist theocracy that will not relent until we’re all killing each other by the tens of not hundreds of millions.

I suspect you would be quite willing to abide by the minimalist rules for Sortocracy, which would permit you and those with whom you can communicate about your lived experiences a fair amount of physical land value upon which to live as you see fit to raise your children to fertile adulthood – where ya’ll understand what each other mean when you speak of “Our Lord the Sun” and such without tormenting the rest of us with our lack of faith in your words.

But, like the rest of us, centralization of social policy has made supremacists of us all as a matter of self defense. So we end up wanting to kill each other unless we are not yet in a state of utter desperation about the Church Ladies of Political Correctness coming after our children.

I get it.

But do you???

The following are the minimalist rules for Sortocracy as incorporated into the (meta) Ecclesiastical Law of The Fair Church(SM) here in Iowa which has as a primary purpose, the prevention of the horror of a Thirty Years War using contemporary technologies against cities. Why cities? They are chasms that have opened up The Gates of Hell from which billows smoke that, when more carefully examined, consists of those Church Lady Harpies with their syringe tipped pitchforks loaded with puberty blockers:

The Fair Church℠ subjects Fair Ecclesia, to only these constraints, so-as to protect the relationship between parents and their children, as well as the relationship between mortal Goðs and the immortal Goð:

  1. Its ecclesiastical law must be published in a single document that, if in printed form, can be read and held in the hand of adults consenting to its conditions. The document must be completely self-contained. Any words not in the vernacular must be defined. The definitions must rely only on the vernacular, at least indirectly through other provided definitions. This it must assert to be the sole and total expression of its intents and purposes, and of its mechanisms for bringing conforming pressures on all members or subordinate Fair Ecclesia. There can be no rule of law, and consequently no law-abiding adults, unless the law is clearly stated.1

  2. It must not impede the physically harmless departure of any member and their children, not given up for adoption, upon formal request. This includes members it is excommunicating2, but does not include invaders nor those resisting excommunication, thence exile. Mothers have priority over pre-adolescent children in disputes with fathers. Upon adolescence, choice is left to the nascent adult.

  3. Its ecclesiastical territory consists of non-enclaves dynamically reapportioned by competitive bid with other Fair Ecclesia. Bidding authority is established by a census of its members.3

  4. A minimum of 10% of its bidding authority must be toward territories for Natural Ecclesia.4

  5. The census of Natural Ecclesia grants additional territorial authority apportioned according to bids on their behalf.5

  6. It must not impede, though it need not facilitate, non-invasive passage by natural persons. Non-invasive passage is characterized by the absence of substantial social or ecological impact. Impediment is characterized by rendering passage substantially less practical.6

  7. Its members are obligated to neutralize, by the most practical means available, impediments to the dogma.7

1 This constraint is derived from the book “Man’s Relation to Government”, section “The One Alternative To Bloody Revolution” by Melvin Gorham, ISBN 0-914752-16-2, Sovereign Press, 326 Harris Road, Rochester, WA 98579. An exemplar for this kind of ecclesiastical law is given below, under “Natural Ecclesia: Language For Ecclesiastical Natural Law”, which also defines the term, “Natural Ecclesia” as used herein.

2 Excommunication is strictly relative to the excommunicating Fair Ecclesia. The Fair Church℠ does not excommunicate. The Fair Church℠ is, in this sense, ultimately inclusive. However, those excommunicated from all other Fair Ecclesia are restricted to Natural Ecclesia.

3 This allots each adult with territory necessary for replacement reproduction, hence mitigating, not eliminating, the biological imperative for war. It does not exclude semi-enclaves, nor does it exclude intercine wars, as the appeal of last resort in inter-ecclesia dispute processing. In this respect, an ecclesium is sovereign in relation to other ecclesia, similar to The Treaty of Westphalia’s notion of the nation-state under the doctrine of Cuius regio, eius religio.

4 The intent is similar to that set forth by The Half-Earth Project.

5 This further expands the territory of Natural Ecclesia as more of humanity is subject to individual selection.

6 This is the necessary and sufficient condition to implement the originally-limited intent of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, as well as facilitate emigration. This naturally excludes pene-enclaves consistent with the intent of §3

7 This is the obligation to serve in Holy War for Individual Integrity.

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“Ignorance” as I used it wasn’t meant to be an insult, just a description. I find it irritating when people start saying “I don’t know, okay? —and that’s the way God wants it!” But WTF, maybe they’re right. I always get over it. We are all equally ignorant, it’s just they’re happy about it and I’m not. I get equally irritated with people who ridicule other people’s vision of Heaven. The fact is no living person has clue 1.

@karl_da1 and @jabowery OTOH, have lost me. Do they agree with my theory: that the fact that all human cultures seem to create a religion or creation myth can be explained by our long infant dependency period? I am none the wiser.


There is an emerging train of thought which may be pertinent to this discussion. Eric Metaxas interviews Stephen C. Meyer here. They discuss some scientific background of Meyer’s latest book, The Return of the God Hypothesis - Three scientific discoveries that reveal the mind behind the universe. Meyer takes a rigorously scientific approach and elaborates on the slowly evolving attitudes of heretofore automatically-athiest, reductive, materialist scientists, who have been forced to abandon some of their faith in pure materialism. They have also come up with theories - which exclude the Mind of a Creator - to explain the observed universe; theories which cannot be tested, even in theory. That is, theories which rely on faith alone!

I have not yet read the book, but the interview is very worthwhile. Also see The God Theory by astrophysicist Bernard Haisch. I have read that and found it excellent.


To first order, you should ignore my response to @karl_da1 since its primary function in this thread is to try to defuse the threat of a religious war in this thread as well as in the wider world.

To second order, however, its relevance to the question you raise can be seen by connecting up what I said about the evolution of virulent indoctrination/memes as bypassing vertical transmission of same (ie: parent to child), with the evolutionary role of fathers, in particular, in transmitting vivifying technology to the next generation, and how the term “father” crops up all the time in religious contexts – including nearly explicitly in the Fair Church (meta) Ecclesiastical Law that joins territorial allocation with vertical transmission.

If you missed that, it is quite understandable how I lost you.

In other words, there is a father-shaped hole in our hearts that is a more serious deficit for humans than is the mother-shaped hole which is largely fulfilled by Nature herself.


Hmmm! Human beings are definitely different from, say, cattle – where the newborn calf will be moving with the herd within hours of its birth. It definitely takes us longer to become independent than certain other mammals – but perhaps not as long as the ~30 dependent years it takes the German youth to complete her education.

Back in the days of agriculture, children were active contributors to the family unit from a very early age. I still remember commercial raspberry-picking from my student days – it was very tough to keep up with family units where the 4-year old was picking the lowest berries (No stooping required), the 10-year old got the next tranche up, while mom & dad took the fruit from the top of the bushes. And let’s not talk about strawberries!

Once the human child develops language and thought processes (whether earlier or later), it is entirely rational for that human to wonder about life, the universe, and everything; the length of the infant dependency period is irrelevant. So yes, there will always be a creation myth – whether that myth is the Big Bang or Let There Be Light.


Okay, then @jabowery “a father-shaped hole in our hearts” goes along with what I said about infant dependency. The “hole” or need, is for one thing instinctual and is filled, if we’re lucky, by our father, or a father figure, or, I reckon, by the beleaguered single mom who has to be both the authoritarian AND the disciplinarian/protector. Either way we’re hard-wired to look for and revere authority. That’s why every human society develops some such belief system.

I think there in an innate “drive” to worship, a powerful impulse. With people who aren’t provided with an outlet for that impulse in youth, there’s a danger they’ll release it explosively onto some marginal cult figure or ideology. I reckon that’s what you’re saying too, about vertical vs. horizontal transmission? In anthro 101 I remember hearing that a religion is something you learn from your elders in your culture; a cult grows by recruitment.

@Gavin , I’m not sure why you think the dependency period is irrelevant to the kinds of questions and speculations we make once we develop mentation. I’m saying that period is when we form the STRUCTURE of our mental processes.


I thought your speculation related to the length of the dependency period – and it is the length that is irrelevant.

No question that what happens to the human being during the dependency period is important – but surely you are not implying that we are all prisoners of what happened to us when we were young children, unable to escape despite later developing the capacity to think for ourselves? Libraries have many books written by the children of Lefties who later grew and rejected their parents Leftie “religion”. Equally, there are plenty of books written by people who came to religion much later in life, despite a non-religious upbringing. We can all choose to think for ourselves … and live with the consequences.


A newly hatched snapping turtle is exactly like an adult one, except the newborn is about the sze of the concave part of a tablespoon and the adult the size of a fully packed backpack. If the eggs survive being eaten, which only a tiny percentage of them do, the hatchling crawls out into the soft dry dirt where mom buried her clutch, and heads unerringly back to the water where it grows and grows and grows. It never does anything or learns any more than when it first sees the light of day. It has NO period of physical dependence. WE have a long period during which the infant and the barely compos child could not survive without the attention of human adults. YES I think the LENGTH of the dependency period matters.

There is an article on Aeon online magazine today (“How to Grow a Human”, Hasett) which deals with the length of human childhood. It’s kinda interesting (till you get to the ridiculous Lefty twist at the end where she suggests that only rich kids get to have the luxury of the long childhood, as though the poorer classes were being forced to put their kids to work at age 10 or so.)
That piece confounds infancy with childhood, with enculturation. . I’m talkin’ infancy. And for the reasons I stated in the OP, I do maintain that the circumstances AND length of ours predispose us to worship, to obedience, as a matter of survival of the species.
Of course, I reckon you could ask which came first. Did the fact that we’re born with such big brains “cause” the long dependency period, or did the long dependency period make it possible for us to be born with increasingly big brains?

Interesting about that article: when I was pregnant i remember reading that parturition presents the greatest risk of death to an otherwise healthy adult organism. But I thought that meant ALL species, at lest ones that give live birth. Hassett sez it’s unique to humans.

And to bring it back to my quarrel with with some religious people, which engendered the OP: a few commenters seem to have the idea that I was saying the knowledge or beliefs of religious people are INFERIOR to those of people who draw conclusions from the observable physical world. Like, “they’re stupid, I’m not”. I was NOT saying that. I was saying I resent the fact that they purport to be SUPERIOR. There are arguments that can’t be won.


Yep. Walking upright in combination with encephalization was a double-whammy on parturition from which humanity is still reeling. It is one reason I think it necessary to accord military honors to mothers.
If we’re going to make civilization a womb war by awarding territory to those that have the most babies – as current immigration policy does – then behave accordingly toward territory or you’ll find “Daddy” stepping in to “discipline” the government and that can get really ugly.

For example, a civil way to treat the womb war is to at least award the equivalent of a purple heart to a mother who has a stillborn child or loses an infant to sudden death syndrome, etc.

That said, the religious impulse toward an authoritarian personality seems more in line with later indoctrination in proportion to the ecological dependence of humans on technology. This is in a trade-off with the evolution of individualism, as I described previously, which demands the individual organism depart the protected nest at adolescence to establish an independent nest. In at least many Western religious traditions this is called “The Age of Accountability”, and may be thought of as another form of “parturition” wherein the offspring may change “religions” from “The Faith of Our Fathers”.

The main civil virtue of organized religion is that its “authorities” at least defer to a higher power than themselves – unlike the atheist governments that, at best, pretend that the higher authority resides in “The People”. An aspect of adulthood in the evolution of individualism is to cease deference to authoritarian personalities so as to become “The Authority” over one’s self. In so doing, one must, of course, take the additional cognitive step of recognizing that “Nature and Nature’s God” is The Ultimate Authority to whom one is Ultimately Accountable. Human authorities, including religious authorities, are quite jealous of that cognitive step and frequently seek to, in effect, inject “puberty blockers” to arrest that cognitive development.


It seems pretty clear cut from observation of extant primate species and the fossil record that the extraordinarily long period of post-birth human development is an adaptation which was required by the constraints of the human birth canal (expand the pelvis any more and it becomes even more fragile than it already is and compromises the ability to walk and run on two legs) and the requirement to fit a huge brain through it.

The course of primate and hominid evolution provides strong evidence that larger brains were selected for, as they convey advantages in tool-making and use, the ability to co-ordinate activities through speech, pass on extrasomatic information from generation to generation, and devise new ways to generate wealth beyond the dreams of avarice through non-fungible tokens. When it comes to brains, as Philip W. Anderson famously observed in general, “More Is Different” [PDF], but when you can only fit a finite number of neurons and the bone box that contains them through the mother’s pelvis, and the limitations imposed by building a computer out of meat mean you’re born with all of the neurons you’ll ever have (you learn by making and adjusting connections among them), the design compromise is to have the infant born as, cognitively speaking, a partially-formed blob which takes years to acquire the basic skills needed to survive independently.

Faced with these constraints, evolution will select for parents who can provide the stable, long-term environment to develop their offspring into adults who can reproduce. It is, then, not surprising that well-meaning but pointy-headed social “innovations” that destroy this family structure will produce offspring ill-adapted for survival, whether as a hunter-gatherer or PyTorch developer in a cubicle in Palo Alto.

Since more is different, one of the things you get with all of those extra neurons packed into the skull is reflection on one’s own thought processes (consciousness), knowledge of mortality, and a desire to understand the purpose of one’s own life. With that comes the “religion shaped hole” that humans will fill one way or another.


Reportedly, way back in the dark days of the 1960s, the infant mortality rate in (now glitteringly wealthy) Abu Dhabi’s city/town of Al Ain was running at about 1 in 3 live births. But the real shocker was that the maternal mortality rate was not far short of that. As JW points out above, the baby’s head is large, and many Arab women have quite slim hips.

But even if babies could be born with larger fully-functioning brains, it would still take years for that brain to learn language, and we need language to have thoughts. So there would still be a major difference between a human baby and a calf or a new-born snapping turtle.

As an aside, I have long wondered about the evolutionary consequences of the fact that, until very recently, pregnancy for a woman was rather akin to playing Russian roulette. It may be that some of what some of us think of as outdated religious “moral” conduct, such as chastity, was driven by the very real risk to the woman of an early death from a roll in the hay.


Here’s a recent interview with one of the Demonic Harpies From The Pit of Hell, named Campbell, regarding the triple stabbing of a gender studies class that took place at the University of Waterloo. Campbell, one might recall, is among those lineages who, like my own, were cultivated by border wars between England and Scotland and then “pacified” by religious authorities, thence the Scotch-Irish military tradition in the New World.

Her “Daddy” was the university system, indoctrinating her to become a zealot for the supremacist theocracy that one can only surmise is bent on the evolution of eusociality through the production of sterile workers – but without recognizing that is what it is doing hence without responsibility to even itself to produce artificial wombs for cloning etc.

The solution she and others of these Harpies are offering the supremacist theocracy is restriction of “online rhetoric” since, in their view, that is the proximate cause of the violence. They see the ultimate cause as, of course, some sort of original sin involving “othering” etc. And, of course, despite their claim to being “scientific”, they’ll never tolerate something like Hume’s Guillotine to discipline their own thinking with all that powerful information technology out there, let alone sorting proponents of social theories into governments that test them ala Sortocracy/Fair Church.

What could possibly be the end-point of all this other than the destruction of the cities? I mean, they won’t permit science (Hume’s Guillotine). They won’t permit consent (Sortocracy). They won’t permit decentralization of central banking monetary authority (militia.money)-- central monetary issuance being the source of their sustenance.

Where does this end if not the destruction of civilization aka the cities so as to preserve individuality?