Human Evolution

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by FranklinS, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. FranklinS

    FranklinS Member

    The theory of evolution is simple and makes obvious sense. It says that children tend to inherit traits from their parents. Those animals (or people) who have traits better suited for survival will live and have children, while those with traits worse suited for survival will tend to die and not have children. So the better traits are selected for and the species evolves in whatever direction is best for its survival.

    The man who found the mechanism for evolution was an Augustinian friar named Gregor Mendel. He discovered genetics. Genetics is a well documented science that explains how traits are passed from parents to children in genes.

    My explanation of evolution is somewhat simplified. In the book The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins describes evolution more as a competition between genes than between animals. Let's consider two cases.

    Consider how giraffes may have gotten their long necks. Giraffes eat tree leaves. Imagine that giraffes had normal necks. In that case, there would still be a variation of neck length among giraffes. Those with longer necks would clearly have an advantage. So those giraffes with longer necks would tend to survive more, and this would cause giraffes to gradually evolve to have long necks. In this case, evolution has worked for the benefit of the species.

    Now let's consider how peacocks got their bright feathers. These bright feathers have absolutely no benefit for survival. In fact they are harmful for survival, being heavy and easy for predators to see. It is the male peacocks that have these feathers, not the females. So let's start by imagining peacocks before they had big bright feathers. Since females can only have a limited number of children, females tend to be selective about which males they mate with. They should prefer healthy "good looking" males since their children will inherit the male's genes. Those males with dull feathers may well have been poorly nourished and unhealthy. Bright feathers were probably a good indication of a healthy male. So females evolved to prefer males with bright feathers. But now it becomes in the male's interest to have bright feathers because if he doesn't, females will reject him and he won't be able to reproduce. So males evolved to have bigger and brighter feathers, not for survival, but for the sexual advantage that allowed males to have more children. At some point these bigger brighter feathers were no longer an indication of good health. So why didn't the females stop preferring such males? This is explained by the sexy son hypothesis. If the female mates with a male who is popular with other females, then her sons will likely inherit the males traits that made the father popular and so her sons will also be popular and will have many children with many females. This will spread not only the father's genes but also the mother's genes. So those females who are attracted to popular males have an advantage. At this point in the story, male peacocks with big bright feathers are popular with females, so it is to each female's advantage to mate with males with big bright feathers. This is a story of evolution gone wild, of evolution not doing what is in the best interest of the species. From a religious perspective, we can think of this as an example of evil.

    Now let's consider the evolution of cooperation. Cooperation requires that animals sacrifice for each other with the expectation that they will benefit from the help of others. The evolution of cooperation is recent area of evolutionary research. We can see it in practice best among more advanced animals like chimpanzees. The books In the Shadow of Man and Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe by Jane Goodall give a good view of chimpanzee behavior. Groups of male chimps cooperate to take control of the community. It is a primitive form of politics where chimps make alliances with each other in an attempt to wind up in the controlling group. The controlling group of males benefits by having first rights to the food in the territory and first rights to the females in the community. Communities of chimps also sometimes have "wars" with neighboring communities, so it is critical that the dominant group of males is cohesive enough to defend itself against neighboring communities. All of this should sound familiar, it is very much like primitive human behavior. And here the evolutionary benefit of cooperation among males is clear.

    Now let's look at the evolution of marriage and monogamy. The common evolutionary explanation is that there is a benefit to having both parents cooperate to raise children, the benefit being that the child's chances of survival are better if supported by two parents instead of just one. And for many species, particularly birds, this explanation seems complete. But for humans there is another clear benefit that is never mentioned because it is too politically incorrect. When chimp males cooperate to dominate a group, one benefit is mating rights. Chimps are promiscuous which means that the dominant males mate with most of the females who are in heat. Within the dominant group of males, there is a hierarchy and the males at the top have more mating rights than lower males. The problem with this system is that it doesn't scale up to large groups and that it is inevitably hierarchical with the lower males of the dominant group benefiting less, and so willing to invest less in the group. Among chimps, there is another mating strategy and this is that a male drags a female away from the group and keeps her to himself while she is in heat in order to have exclusive access to her. If the female objects, she can scream in which case other males may come and rescue her depending on the status of the male who took her. So here we see the first step towards monogamy in primates. If the group of dominant males grew larger and more equal in status, then this strategy of individual males monopolizing females would become increasingly beneficial. And so here we see the other benefit of monogamy, that it allows for the cooperation of males within a group by eliminating competition between males for females. This makes for a more cohesive group of males who will therefore be stronger at war.

    Imagine two human tribes at war, one monogamous and the other promiscuous. In the monogamous tribe, every man either has a wife or knows he will get one. His membership in the tribe guarantees him mating rights. When he goes to war, he knows that adultery is strictly prohibited in his tribe, so his wife will be there for him when he returns. In the promiscuous tribe, some men have many girlfriends and others have none. The men who can't attract women have no evolutionary reason to fight for the tribe, and their emotions will reflect this. They will not be enthusiastic warriors. Even those with girlfriends or wives will worry about other men chasing after their women while they are away at war. Which tribe do you think will make the better fighting force? This is human evolution in action supporting monogamy and opposing adultery.

    Now let's consider another human condition, people in an empire. In this environment, the contribution of each individual to the group becomes less important from an individual's perspective because the group is large. The evolutionary benefits of cooperation decrease and selfishness increase. If you consider the ten commandments, they are mostly commandments against selfishness and for cooperation. These commandments become increasingly disobeyed in an empire as selfishness increases. Usually it starts with coveting, then adultery, then theft, and then murder. And then the empire becomes so weak that it collapses.

    Humans are truly unique among animals because when we form communities, we can agree on a set of rules. This ability to agree on rules to define a society is what separates people from animals. But then the society we live in becomes part of our environment and this environment has an impact on evolution itself. Let's consider a few cases.

    Primitive human tribes generally aren't strictly monogamous or strictly promiscuous. They are a mix. The men don't cooperate well enough to prevent adultery. And marriage isn't so stable. What is the best evolutionary strategy for women in this culture? It is mixed. The dedicated strong husband has the benefit of increasing the survival chances of her children. But adultery with an immoral promiscuous cad (known these days as "bad-boy") has the benefit described in the sexy son hypothesis for peacocks. Such a man is like a peacock with big bright feathers, all show but with no survival benefit. His benefit is that he specializes in seducing women and in adultery, and so any sons that a woman has with him will likely spread her genes. This is why women find such men "exciting". In a primitive tribe, a woman needs a provider to survive but also has an evolutionary incentive for adultery.

    Now imagine many primitive tribes living in an area. Those that are most successful at enforcing monogamy and preventing adultery have an advantage, so they will grow by conquering neighboring tribes. This will promote monogamy and decrease adultery in the area. It is a virtuous cycle. As the men increase trust in each other, they can cooperate more effectively and they will use this cooperation to enforce monogamy and punish adultery. If they go so far as to kill adulterers, as suggested in the Hebrew Bible, they actually change the evolutionary rules of the game. Now the sexy son hypothesis for adulterers no longer works. Women who mate with adulterers are now at a great evolutionary disadvantage since, if they are caught, they will be killed, and even if they aren't caught, their sons could be caught and killed. In such an environment, immoral promiscuous traits become an evolutionary liability. So women will no longer be attracted to such men and the genes for immorality will be selected against. The population of this tribe will actually evolve to become more moral. So now we have a virtuous cycle between culture and evolution that produces an increasingly moral and virtuous society.

    Now let's consider another environment, a larger, more advanced culture where monogamy is strictly enforced but where life is hard due to limited resources. This is a Malthusian world with monogamy. I am thinking of an environment like England in the 1600s and 1700s in particular. This has similarities to the virtuous tribe in that monogamy was strictly enforced and adultery was seriously punished. In the case of England, the punishment for the adulterous man (who slept with another man's wife) was a very heavy fine or jail time if the fine could not be paid. The wife could be divorced and left with nothing. In a time when economics determined survival, this was effective punishment. Since this was a larger society than a tribe, there was some more incentive for selfishness. But this was balanced by the evolutionary incentives for women. In such a society, adultery didn't pay. Unlike the primitive tribe, physical strength wasn't terribly important. What really mattered from an evolutionary perspective was child mortality rates. Many children died from hunger or disease in such a society, so the ability of parents to keep their children alive was the main factor for evolutionary success. And this meant that the best man for a woman to choose was a responsible hardworking husband. So it was this kind of man who was selected for in England, and this is why such societies bred the kind of men who produced the industrial revolution and modern civilization. These societies were Christian and they enforced the ten commandments but went even further in making divorce extremely difficult. Divorce is a kind of promiscuity in that it allows people to have children with multiple partners, so making divorce difficult had a positive evolutionary effect.

    It's time to consider declining cultures. The Late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire are well known examples. In these cultures, promiscuity was rampant. But since they still retained the power of an empire, survival was still considerably less of an issue than in a primitive tribe. What is the best mating choice for a woman in this environment? Since survival is not an issue, there is no need for a husband's support. And since there is no punishment for adultery, the sexy son hypothesis fully applies. But this case is far worse than the primitive tribe. The primitive tribe had a balance between the benefit of men as providers and benefit of immoral men in spreading genes through promiscuity. A declining empire has no such balance. The only benefit that is evolutionarily relevant is the ability to reproduce, namely the ability of men to seduce women and to be immoral enough to commit adultery without restraint. So in such a society, this is what women will find attractive and this is the type of men who will be selected for. Such a society will evolve to increase its immorality until it can no longer hold together and collapses.

    Our modern culture is a declining culture much like the Late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, but with one difference. We have very effective birth control. This adds one other evolutionary factor to the mix. Since our society financially punishes successful men who have children with many women by imposing child support on them, such men who have intelligence and are responsible will tend to use birth control. Women who are intelligent and want to control the number of children they have will also use birth control. It will tend to be the stupid and irresponsible who don't use birth control. The evolutionary benefit of this should be obvious. So not only is our society evolving towards immorality like former declining empires, we are also evolving towards stupidity and irresponsibility. The more feminist a culture is, the faster this evolutionary process is occurring since feminism promotes all aspects that contribute to evolutionary decay including promiscuity, alimony and child support laws, and birth control. This is why one sees that women in feminist societies find moral men to be boring and intelligent and responsible men to be nerds. Women in feminist societies find immoral, stupid, irresponsible men to be the most sexually exciting. And in a sense they are correct because in such a society this is the type of man who is the most evolutionarily successful.

    To summarize, enforcement of sexual fidelity strengthens a society by increasing trust among men and by changing women's mating preferences so as to cause positive evolution in the society. Enough theorizing. It is time to back up these ideas with facts.

    In the book Sex and Culture anthropologist Unwin analyzes the correlation between female premarital chastity and the level of development in all known isolated tribes of his time. He finds that female premarital chastity perfectly correlates to the level of development, absolutely without exception. Unwin was a rigorous scientist who insisted on using objective measures for his data. He used objective data both to measure level of development and to measure female premarital chastity. His book is lengthy, going into great detail for each of the 80 tribes analyzed. Unwin then turns to history and studies rising and falling cultures. Again he finds that all rising cultures require strict female premarital chastity (virgin wives) and that declining cultures typically don't enforce female premarital chastity. Unwin was a liberal and probably an atheist, so he was actually very unhappy with his own findings since they contradict his own values. So Unwin deserves enormous credit for having the intellectual honesty to publish his findings. Of course his findings are so politically incorrect that his book is out of print and is avoided by the liberal academic establishment. Unwin tried to explain his findings from a liberal perspective by saying that prenuptial chastity causes sexual repression which in turn causes energy to be redirected into developing culture. Unwin admits that he has no basis for his theory. And in fact history proves this theory to be false since most rising cultures had widespread prostitution which has no evolutionary impact but which alleviates male sexual repression. An example would be Ancient Athens where men had easy access to prostitutes but where female chastity and sexual fidelity were strictly enforced. So Unwin's theory is wrong. On the other hand, his data perfectly supports the theory presented here that reproductive monogamy strengthens society.

    It is unfortunate that "Sex and Culture" is out of print. I consider this to be the most important book written since Darwin's "The Origin of Species". This book is what start my thinking about the issues discussed in this article. I have managed to buy an original copy of this book and I would like to scan it and make it available on the internet someday.

    "Sex and Culture" gives a very good overview of history and the correlation between sexual regulation and cultural development. This motivated me to do a lot of reading of original works in history and all that I have read supports the pattern that Unwin found. In our modern culture, even the academics and intellectuals are ignorant of history. This is because liberal culture doesn't consider the lessons of history to be applicable to our times. Of course I disagree. We are still human and we are in no way superior to the people who have populated history. For anyone interested in reading about history, I will suggest some titles. For rising cultures, read The Iliad, The Odyssey, books by Livy starting with The Early History of Rome, Democracy in America, and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. For declining cultures, read Juvenal, The Golden Ass, and The Secret History. For an overview of the lessons of history, read the short article The Fate of Empires, The Discourses on Livy, and of course The Bible.

    The book A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World asks the question of why the industrial revolution occurred in England and not somewhere else. The book discusses many of today's popular theories of cultural development (all the politically correct ones) and discredits them all. Then it concludes that England did in fact evolve into a superior society much as explained in this article. This book is packed with facts, far more than I have room for here.

    Now I will provide some references regarding modern culture. The plague of modern feminism is well described in the article Sexual Utopia in Power. According to my theory, feminism should cause women to shift their mating preferences to immoral men. This is supported by numerous websites written by men who have had the misfortune of trying to date in feminist countries. A good example is The Book of Bonecrker. Unfortunately most of these men who complain about women on the internet do not have a good understanding of evolution or history or much of anything else. But they are a useful reflection of the cultural conditions of our times and they observe and report the strong preference of women in feminist countries for immoral men.

    Finally I want to include my own personal experiences. I have traveled extensively and I have observed a stronger preference for immoral men in feminist countries than in what I call anarchistic countries. Anarchistic countries are countries that have already declined and where survival is again an issue. In some sense, they are like the primitive tribe with a mix of monogamy and promiscuity. The two examples I will mention are Mexico and Argentina since I have visited these countries multiple times and I speak Spanish.

    Mexico has a mestizo population which is genetically more native than European. This native population mostly are descendants of fallen empires. According to my theory, immorality and showmanship should have been selected for in men during the decline of these empires. Mexican men do reflect this in that they have a natural talent for talking to women and for showmanship, but they are unreliable and are unable to cooperate with each other because of a lack of trust. But because Mexico has been decayed for so long, female mating preferences are roughly at the equilibrium of a state of nature. So Mexican women will be attracted to both men who are successful at immorality and men who are good providers. And this is why moral men in feminist countries have a better chance of finding a wife in a country like Mexico than in their own country.

    Argentina is a different case. The population is entirely of European decent. Argentina was one of the world's wealthiest countries. In 1929, Argentina had the world's fourth highest per capita GDP. Today it is a poor country, poorer than Chile or Mexico. In Argentina, my wife and I chatted with an old guy in Buenos Aires about his old times. The guy happily recalled his younger days when he was married and had lots of women on the side. Many were married. He told of a woman he was having sex with who was engaged and who had told her fiance that she was a virgin, and how she faked losing her virginity with some red dye. This shows that Argentina has been promiscuous for a long time, certainly longer than America. The dance of the tango is probably a good indicator of rising immorality in Argentina. This dance became popular in the early 1900s in Argentina. This led to the corruption and disintegration of the Argentine economy in the 1930s from which Argentina never recovered. Argentine culture still celebrates dishonesty and successful crooks. Argentina sits somewhere between a modern feminist country like America and a fully declined country like Mexico. The women still have a preference for immorality, but less so than in America because survival has again become an issue. But since Argentina hasn't been immoral for as long as Mexico, the female mating preferences haven't yet so completely wiped out moral genes, so Argentina still has a mix of men. But Argentine men are clearly good at showmanship. So in other words, America is just starting the evolutionary process of selection of immorality, Argentina is more than half way there, and Mexico has passed this process and is now in primitive equilibrium.

    It is important to understand the process of moral decay which I have had the opportunity to observe in America. First liberal laws are passed which support divorce, adultery, and promiscuity. This allows immoral men to easily pursue women. And this causes women's mating preferences to change. It is important to understand that the change in women's mating preferences does not require any genetic change. Women are designed to be attracted to evolutionary successful men, whoever they are. Women are actually quite indifferent to which male behavior patterns cause this success. Women observe which types of men are successful with other women and also which types of men produce the most children, and this is who they are attracted to. This strategy works for all environments and allows women to quickly and easily change mating preferences as the environment changes. So no genetic change is required for this change in women's behavior. This is why women's preferences for men changed so quickly and easily in America after the "sexual revolution". The next step is that men's behavior changes. Men will naturally change their behavior to whatever is required to attract women. This makes obvious evolutionary sense and allows men to change quickly too. In effect, men are trained by women for how to behave, at least in public. This is why we see tattoos (a symbol of immorality) and all kinds of public immoral behavior by men in feminist countries. All this is designed to attract women. But so far there is still no genetic change. What happens next is that those men who are best at acting immorally are select for by women and so the genetic change begins. This change happens slowly. And this is why the decay of successful cultures takes a long time. Even if men in modern liberal feminist countries behave immorally in public, they are still genetically capable of cooperation for things like business and war. It takes time for the genetic change to destroy the culture.

    I want to add a point about the behavior of men in a country like Mexico versus America. While the genetics and level of trust in men is worse on average in Mexico, the behavior of men is actually worse in America. The reason for this is that men modify their behavior to attract women as just described. Since American women find immorality, stupidity, and irresponsibility to be attractive, this is how American men have been trained to behave in public. And since being a provider is not enough to attract women in America, the sexual competition between men in showmanship is intense and America men are not particularly well suited genetically for this behavior. This makes American men very insecure which makes them self-righteous and intolerant. Mexican men are in a better situation where they are genetically suited for their environment and where women's preferences don't force any particular behavior in men. This makes Mexican men more pleasant to be around than American men.

    The speed with which modern liberal feminist societies are changing can be seen in this graph:

    [​IMG]

    All this talk about genetics may sound like racism, but this isn't right because the theory outlined here shows how genetics can change in any population over time. A country like England may have produced superior genetics during one period, but that is followed by immorality which then causes genetics decay. In the case of the Anglo-Saxons, this has likely happened twice, first rising from the 600s to the 1100s, then declining to the 1500s, then rising to the 1900s and now declining again. Any society of any race that enforces morality and thereby changes evolutionary pressures can improve its genetics and become genetically superior.

    What role does religion play on all this? Religion is the embodiment of the morality of a culture. It is religion that teaches people morality. So it shouldn't be surprising that in all rising cultures, which require chastity and punishment of adultery, there was a strong religion. And that in all declining culture, the religion that caused that culture to rise grew weak and people worshipped other gods or no gods at all. In the West, the gods are clear. Gods like Zeus and Jupiter represented good morals which are quite similar to our God. The East is more complicated with less emphasis on gods. The most successful Eastern religion is Confucianism which is more like a philosophy, but Chinese culture did somehow hold on to Confucianism and maintained chastity.

    What I say here about religion is based on my knowledge of history, but I encourage anyone to research this question for themselves. Machiavelli studied history carefully and came to the same conclusion. In "Discourses on Livy" he says:

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    whoever considers well Roman history will see how much Religion served in commanding the armies, in reuniting the plebs, both in keeping men good, and in making the wicked ashamed.

    And as the observance of divine institutions is the cause of the greatness of Republics, so the contempt of it is the cause of their ruin
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    http://www.constitution.org/mac/disclivy1.htm#1:11

    Now I will argue that the only means of evolutionary salvation is through God. Why do I say this when other cultures rose up with other religions? The word "salvation" means deliverance from sin, or being saved from sin. The natural cycle of a culture is to start as a small innocent tribe, then achieve virtual as described here, then to become corrupt with sin, and then to decay. There is no salvation required in this process because the culture rose up from a state of innocence. This state of innocence is like the primitive tribe I described with a mix of good and bad. Once a virtuous cycle starts, the good is selected for and the bad diminishes. But after the empire, when the decline starts, sin in the form of promiscuity is so rampant that almost all virtuous genes are wiped out. This leaves the people in a much worse position genetically than when they started as a primitive tribe. And this makes it almost impossible for this group of people to ever rise up again, which would require some form of genetic salvation from their sins.

    In the Americas, there were many empires before the Europeans came. Each of these empires decayed for unknown reasons (but I suspect sin). What is known is that they never recovered. The people of those empires never rebuilt a new culture. In the East, India was an early great culture which went into long slow decay and never recovered. China was one of the world's greatest cultures. It's main religion, Confucianism, is full of wisdom and morality. China has been decaying for the last few centuries. So where were the people of decayed cultures able to rise again? The answer is simple, only in those places where God was strong. There are three examples. The first is Islam which conquered Persia, a society that had decayed. Islam enforced strict morality on the Persians and the result was one of the great cultures of history. This peaked in the Abbasid period which produced algebra, optics, and many other advances. The second example is Christianity under which was the Renaissance of the descendants of the Romans. Most of Europe became a disaster as a result of Roman decay. Under Christianity, this was reversed. And lastly, Judaism. Jews have been corrupted during many time in history, but each time those Jews that return to religion and virtue cause Judaism to survive for another round of productivity. No culture has been productive as long as Judaism for the simple reason that no culture has known God for as long as Judaism has.

    Is there a single counterexample? Is there a single case in history where a people from a decayed culture rose again without God? I can't think of one. So why is this? Those with faith may find this question silly. They will say that those who obey God's will are rewarded and no other explanation is needed. But as a skeptic, I want to show that God's will is explainable and that the theory of evolution explains it well. So I will argue that the evolutionary salvation of a people requires two critical elements, that they worship one god, and that this god is the correct god.

    Many cultures rose under polytheism which had a main god with good values. This main god was quite close to the correct god in the sense that he had good values. But the fact that there were multiple gods meant that people had a choice. Some gods were more virtuous than others. As society changed, people could simply change their preference for which god to worship. Those Greeks who preferred decadence to virtue could switch from Zeus to Dionysus. Even worse is that if a society becomes an empire, as Rome did, it will likely import many foreign gods. Gods like the Egyptian goddess Isis became popular in Rome. These foreign gods directly dilute the founding morality of a culture. What polytheism really offers people is choice, which means it does not direct them in any particular direction. It does not have the strength to force a group of people to follow the one true way of virtue in the face of decadence. So polytheism cannot cause a population with a genetic predisposition towards decadence to suddenly become virtuous. To do this requires a small select group of people within that population to unite around one shared path which is represented by only one god. Only with this strength of unity can the group resist and head in a different direction from the surrounding culture.

    What do I mean by the correct god? Those with faith don't need to ask this question. But as a skeptic, I need to be convinced that my god is the correct god. The correct god is the god who gives the best advice which means the advice most likely to produce a virtuous and successful culture. I can only judge this based on what I know of science and particularly of evolution. So how do I rate the Hebrew Bible in this regard? I rate it as by far the best book ever written based on what I know of evolution.

    The very first command of God is "Be fruitful and multiply". And in fact this is the primary factor of evolution, the primary evolutionary directive. God didn't just tell this to Adam and Eve, He also told it to all the animals. This shows an understanding that the same evolutionary process occurs in both people and animals.

    God bans adultery in the Ten Commandments. This is very clear. The punishment for adultery is harsh. If a woman has sex before marriage, then the man is forced to marry her. This is a pretty strong rule in support of marriage and female premarital chastity. About illegitimate children, God says:

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    No one of illegitimate birth may enter the LORD’s assembly; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, may enter the LORD’s assembly.
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    Deuteronomy 23:2

    So the Hebrew Bible has the right rules and the right sentiment to promote good genetics. But how do I know that the Hebrew Bible is really talking about this issue? Consider the first commandment:

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    Do not have other gods besides Me.
    Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
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    Exodus 20:3-6

    Why does God punish the children for the father's sins? God specifically prohibits people from doing this. God requires that in human societies, people are only punished for their own sins and never for the sins of their relatives. Yet God does exactly the opposite of what He commands us to do. Why? Could it be because God understands that the result of sin is cultural and genetic decay, and that this doesn't actually punish the sinner, only his descendants? Note that the quote above about illegitimate children is similar.

    The Hebrew Bible is full of examples of God rewarding the righteous and punishing the wicked. How does God do this? Does God talk about the righteous going to Heaven and the wicked going to Hell? Not in the Hebrew Bible. In the Hebrew Bible, God rewards the righteous with successful descendants and punishes the wicked by punishing their descendants. There are so many examples that I won't bother picking one. Almost any part of the Hebrew Bible will contain examples of this. And once again, this shows a profound understanding of how culture and evolution work. What about Heaven and Hell? I don't know. As a skeptic, I can't comment on these ideas since I can't find any evidence about them. And in this, I am not alone. The Hebrew Bible itself expresses such skepticism in Ecclesiastes. But the rewards and punishments most often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible apply to descendants, and this is fully supported by what we know of history, anthropology, and the theory of evolution.

    So not only does the Hebrew Bible give the correct rules to optimize human evolution, it also gives the correct warnings of what will result from not following these rules. In fact the broad story told in the Hebrew Bible begins with God giving the Israelites the right rules. The Israelites follow these rules for a while and so they become successful and prosperous. Then success causes them to begin to sin. So their decay begins. The more they violate God's laws, the more they decay and the weaker they become. Finally their country falls to Babylon and they go into exile. But then they return to following God's law and find salvation which allows them to survive and eventually begin again in Jerusalem. This story makes the same point that I am making in this article, that salvation can be found by following God's law. The Hebrew Bible is the only book that I know of that goes through the entire life-cycle of a culture along with a complete analysis of what happened and why.

    So evolutionary salvation requires one god and the right god. And the god of the Hebrew Bible is certainly the right god. Are there any others? Are there any other books in this world that address the issues of human evolution even close to the degree that the Hebrew Bible does? None that I know of. And this is why the only means of evolutionary salvation is through God.

    It is certainly ironic that the Hebrew Bible is the only book that is completely compatible with human evolution. Most followers of the Hebrew Bible reject evolution. And most of those who understand evolution have such a strong liberal bias that they are incapable of applying their knowledge of evolution to people in an unbiased way (since this would directly contradict virtually all of their liberal beliefs). The strength of my personal commitment to religion comes from the perfect alignment that I see between the theory of evolution and the Hebrew Bible.
     
  2. AiryFox

    AiryFox Member

    I agreed with your initial premise.

    The rest of the wall of text I ignored for the conclusion, which is erroneous.

    Evolution and reality require no god. Of course, one who actively seeks signs and portents in every day life is certainly going to find what he has biased himself into believing he will find. I believe the correct term is self-fulling prophecy.
     
  3. FranklinS

    FranklinS Member

    How very typical of members of modern culture, to ignore all arguments for conclusions that they disagree with.
     
  4. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    have you ever seen your reflection, not in a mirror, but in the glass of a window?
    do you imagine you saw what was beyond the window clearly by doing so?

    that is the problem with the judo-christo-islamo conception. it is too busy describing its own reflection to see anything else.

    pretending that pretending isn't pretending, is still pretending.
    the christian bible was written by humans. not gods. or one god.

    nearly every part of it was written with what may likely at the time have been the very best of intentions. by people who didn't have the slightest idea what they were talking about and still don't.
     
  5. Sig

    Sig Senior Member

    You forgot to show your math, Franklin.
     
  6. FranklinS

    FranklinS Member

    themnax, you obviously didn't read what I wrote. I have studied a lot of religions and I like most of them. But modern culture, including modern Christianity, is despicable and completely without wisdom.

    The Old Testament contains wisdom compiled over many centuries and contains far more perspectives than any collection of modern books do.
     
  7. AiryFox

    AiryFox Member

    You mean the illogical arguments you presented?

    Hardly. The Old Testament portrays a primitive concept of a very evil god. If you removed the rose colored glasses, you would see it.
     
  8. FranklinS

    FranklinS Member

    Did you actually read my arguments? If yes, please point out which argument is illogical.

    I love the Old Testament god, especially the way he supports the slaughter of members of evil cultures, like modern culture. This is what makes human evolution progress.
     
  9. porkstock41

    porkstock41 stay positive and love your life ~311

    i've only had the stamina to read about half of this so far, but i find it really interesting.
     
  10. gripmole

    gripmole Guest

  11. AiryFox

    AiryFox Member

    If the bible is mumbo jumbo, why did you provide a theistic article? If you are going to refer to human evolution as being biologically impossible and as mumbo jumboish as religion, then you will need to provide a secular article. Good luck.
     
  12. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Any argument where you determined that the dynamics of evolution, and the survival of one culture or race over another, is determined by the ethical values of one single culture and more specifically, their religion.

    For example, you assume that the indigenous cultures of the Americas died off because they were sinful. That is just another form of Manifest Destiny--a black mark in American history we no longer support. When the Europeans first arrived on this continent, they brought diseases that the local populations were not immune to (the local populations in turn, introduced them to syphilis which they then took back to Europe, which quickly spread there). These Diseases alone killed off between 80 - 90% of the indigenous population. The Europeans took this as a sign from God that God wanted them to have this land. On top of that, they did not have the manpower to clear the land of, what at that time was, very thick forests, and were therefore unable to survive on their own. So they took to murdering and slaughtering whole villages to take over their fields.

    Village after village of Eastern Woodland Indians were slaughtered, often times by locking men, women, and children in the village longhouses, and setting fire to it, burning everyone alive.

    Each slaughter and massacre was followed by a Thanksgiving celebration, which became so common that the President of the time (I forget, I think it was Lincoln) determined that Thanksgiving should be held once a year. And did you know that it was the white man that introduced the practice of scalping to the Americas? There was another common practice back then--called braining. This military term meant to pick up a Native child or baby by the feet, and swing its head into a tree until, you guessed it, the brains came out. Even after slavery was made illegal and the black slaves were freed, Indian survivors of massacres were kept as slaves----the most recent case being in California in the late 1800's.

    My grandfather was a young kid during the Sand Creek Massacre here in Colorado. This occurred in the late 1800's during the Indian Wars. The tribe followed US instructions to show that they were friendly and cooperative by reporting to a Fort in Eastern Colorado, and then setting up camp, flying a White Flag and a US flag. Shortly after that (and coincidentally right around Thanksgiving), the cavalry attacked them after most of the men had left to hunt. They killed mostly all the innocent women, children, and the elderly. They then mutilated the bodies, cutting off the genitals and other body parts. The soldiers and others then paraded the genitals, and breasts, and other body parts down the main street in Denver and other cities, before they were hung on the walls of a Denver saloon.

    Among some tribes today, it is insulting to call someone a 'blue coat.' It insinuates that they are not of pure Native ancestry, because the blue coats---white soldiers raped so many Native women through the years that it is possible that many Indians have some white ancestry.

    Manifest Destiny was the Christian philosophy that God meant for white Christian Europeans to have the Americas. This philosophy gave license to white Christians to do horrible things to the Indians, and the discrimination is still very strong today. Much of the history was so bad, that we have tried to cover much of it up---such as the true history of Thanksgiving. But the history is out there---because at the time, we were proud of how many we killed and how we treated the 'savages.'

    Sexually speaking, if the White Man was so much better than the Natives, then why did he take syphilis back to Europe, and how did it spread so quickly there? Then there is the case of the Spanish settlers in the Philippines, for example: the catholic priests and friars were literally instructed to impregnate as many women as they could, to help aid in the colonialization of that country. (Should I go into the role of prostitutes during the very conservative and Christian Victorian Age?)

    This is just one example of many that makes your argument illogical. What gives Christians the right to determine, that out of all those people living all around the world, that God would choose some small tribe wandering around in some barren desert to appear to and give his secrets to? Each culture has its own connection to spirit, and was given its own teachings. In the end, there are no universals----and it is extremely presumptuous to assume that any one of us truly knows what is right or wrong for the rest of the universe.
     
  13. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    By the way, ignoring the fact that you seem to know very little about the role that promiscuity played in human evolution, these parts here:

    ...demonstrate a huge amount of ignorance over tribal lifestyles, the dynamics of tribal warfare, and the variety of marriage and sexual traditions, and how it impacts the difference of one tribe over another (it does not).

    It is clear to me that you have made one assumption after another based on Modern Western values. You seem to think that every culture, no matter how primitive, or alien to Western ethics, sees the world from the same sexual terms and values that you do.

    First of all, the fact that you refer to such people as primitive is a prejudice in itself. If you were suddenly thrust into a jungle and expected to hunt, fish, grow food, and survive, you would find that you were the primitive one. The knowledge that tribal people have about their world and the environment around them is immense to say the least. For example it has long been assume that Western science had all the answers for planting and taking care of the land. A few years ago, the Newscientist reported how oyster beds that had been taken over from tribes for conservation purposes gradually broke down and in many cases died off. Most recently these oyster beds were returned to the Indians and under their care they are the most vibrant and productive oyster beds in the US. Permaculture is the new scientific name for indigenous styles of planting and harvesting---and it is far more productive than the Western 'scientific' methods.

    You have no understanding of the dynamics of war among tribal people. They do not fight to take over land, or destroy tribes, or to achieve the military objectives that are important in the West. It may be over hunting rights or some other similar purpose, It can be to get horses, or for revenge, and so forth. But it is almost always viewed as a testing ground where men become men. It is dangerous, and people are killed, but the main point is not one of killing. Land and some other Western-like concepts do not become important until a deeper transition into a planter culture.

    The marriage rights, coming of age, promiscuity, and other things vary greatly from tribe to tribe. Certainly there is a tendency among many tribes for promiscuity that is shocking to conservative Christian women. But there are tribes that also have modest conservative mores. Sexuality and marriage do not give one tribe an advantage over another. If you read the work of such authors as Malinowski, who did psychological profiles of indigenous people, you would discover that Sexual repression, hang ups and perversions are much, much less in tribal society than in civilized society. They have a much healthier outlook on sex. The problems of adultery and cads appear in tribal communities when their own sexual standards and traditions are replaced with Christian ones, forced upon them by missionaries and the like. There is not really any easy way to generalize sexual mores among different tribes, however to assume that tribal men think of adultery and possession of women in the ways that you do, is to assume that they have the same values and sexual hang ups that you do. That is not the case. Each tribe has its own ways of dealing with such matters, and jealousy, and the need (or even simply the desire) to kill a woman (or a man) over promiscuity is very rare when compared to Western or Hebraic culture. One tribe, whether monogamous or not, does not do it better than another tribe. Also in cultures where sharing a wife with a friend or other is common, you do not have men getting jealous over a wife's lover the way you have in Western society. You would get jealous because your values, understanding of love, and so forth, are programmed and based on Judeo-Christian values and Western mores. In tribes where promiscuity is common, children born out of wedlock (for example, in cultures where such practices as trial marriages are common), or where a child is born out of what we would call an adulterous affair, the child is raised as if it was the husband's very own. How terrible it is for a Western or Hebraic child to be born a bastard---the Bible even holds his descendents for generations to come as bad---but it is not his (or her) fault. This is not the case of such a child in tribal society----now you tell me-----which case is more healthy and loving for the child?

    I know that there are some anthropologists out there that are blatantly guilty of seeing tribal societies from the prejudiced eyes of Western man, and judging them based on that. For example, it has only been in very recent years that anthropologists have finally admitted the obvious----that most hunter-gatherer tribes spend far more time in leisure, with family members and friends, and in ceremony, than does any civilized man----in other words, their lives are not the difficult and troubled lives that we want them to have.

    Have you ever spent any time with indigenous people or tried to learn about them from their perspective, or tried to see life as they see it? I have spent time with the Ainu in Japan, with a mountain tribe in Taiwan, with different tribes in the Philippines, and today I spend a lot of time with Native Americans. I have spent a lot of years studying tribes from around the world.

    I am sorry if I seem condescending or harsh-----but I see a lot of prejudice. I see the immense harm that missionaries inflict upon these people. I see how they are being taken advantage of and exploited all the time. So many countries have done so much to fight racial prejudice and discrimination within their own countries, yet largely ignore the plight and discrimination of their own native indigenous peoples---America and Canada are included. Might I suggest reading such magazines as, Cultural Survival, Sacred Fire, and some others I cannot think of just now, as a starting place to learn more about these people.
     
  14. Sig

    Sig Senior Member

    Oh for fuck sake...
     
  15. Sig

    Sig Senior Member

    You were talking about assumptions based on certain values?
     
  16. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    This is a generalization, I admit, which is why I used the term 'almost.' I cannot say that it is always the case. But this philosophy of war is mirrored among indigenous people around the world. From first person accounts of why they fight, to anthropological studies on the reasons behind fighting, to actually observing what tribal groups take away from a fight.

    They do not have wars, they have skirmishes, and the concept of destroying a people is largely alien to tribal people.

    There is an excellent book I am trying to think of---conversations with my grandfather, or something like that by a Lakota (Sioux) author---he gave one of the best accounts of this concept I have ever read.
     
  17. Sig

    Sig Senior Member

    ehhh, that hasn't been my findings doing my own research. I find various tribes throughout history fighting wars, yes wars, for a myriad of often very complex reasons with any number of outcomes.

    I agree there is a large element of "man making" when it comes to tribal warfare, but I don't see that as being absent in modern, Western warrior culture.
     
  18. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Did these cases you refer to involve tribes with a longer history of planter cultures? Or where they Pacific island tribes (which are also largely planter culture tribes)?

    I guess in this regard I should have been a little more definitive on which tribes I was talking about (primarily hunter-gatherer, or early planter)---though I did add the comment on planter cultures at the end.

    I would like to know which tribes/wars you are referring to if you recall.
     
  19. Sig

    Sig Senior Member

    My focus has been primarily on Germanic, and some Celtic, tribal cultures. So, yeah, they were planter cultures for the majority of recorded history. There were numerous wars fought among these tribes where, according to oral tradition, entire tribes were wiped out by their enemies, or at least entirely displaced from their lands. The Migration Period in Europe saw many examples of this.

    The thing is, when speaking about tribal cultures, it is difficult to separate what is fact and what isn't because throughout history these cultures didn't write much down.
     
  20. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Ahh yes, that makes sense. And definitely a planter culture. You are certainly right about tribal cultures and the fact that not much was recorded. For that matter, the Warring Hebraic people of the Old Testament were a tribe too, and obviously fought for keeps, with military objectives that we could compare with modern times.

    Here again, I am largely speaking of tribal peoples around today, or in recent history. But oral traditions seem to back up a similar philosophy among what some people would call the 'more primitive' tribes from days of old.

    Thank you for sharing. I would have been glad to know if there was an exception to the kind of tribal fighting I was referring to. I too have an interest in the old Germanic, Celtic and other European tribes. That is where my own ancestry lies.
     

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