This editorial/article/discussion/piece discusses two darwinist explanations of God and religion. Basically they both come down to "People created religion" it's just the question of how it happened which is argued, and whether God was involved or a byproduct. I'm not sure I agree entirely with either camp, or any of this, but it definitely makes me think about it, which I always love. And now I'm about to get a little bit geeky, because I'm going to go back to the Thor comic book and do a little cross quotation. (Hey, where else do you get science and comic book mythology and religion in the same place? You have to at least admit it's novel.)
When they relauched the Thor title, this was the premise for Thor's return from the grave:
"It is not for the gods to decide whether or not Man exists--It is for Man to decide whether or not the gods exist."
And when I read it, it blew my mind wide open. Because I'm kind of a geek, and because there is too much truth in that statement for it to be ignored.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a
Now, let me throw a quote at you from this article, and you tell me how disturbingly parallel it is:
"God may or may not have shaped biological and cultural evolution (just by establishing an initial algorithm), but these processes have definitely shaped Him. The evolution of the human brain led to religion, and our ideas about God have subsequently changed in concert with cultural progress. On the whole, despite history's ups and downs, God has become more peaceful, more beneficent, and more compatible with a scientific understanding of the world."
And one more, because I know you're digesting this and aren't actually going to go read the article since we're all too busy to click links and open new windows--this is from the other scientist, criticizing the first quotation, based on the fact that religion served a moral and social purpose of banding people together and introducing a "hostility" toward those not sharing those beliefs:
"So in very early human societies, groups with strong religious behavior would have prevailed over less cohesive adversaries. We are descended from the religious groups, the argument goes, and that is why everyone harbors a religious instinct."
I dunno, guys. This sounds like the age old question we all hate because it's so cliche but impossible to answer.
So, you tell me, which came first-- the Chicken or the Egg? and while we're at it, is J. Michael Straczynski right, too? Is it our purpose to decide that the gods exist, and not the other way around?