Re: Extropianism & Theology

Timothy Bates (
Sat, 27 Feb 1999 14:57:25 +1100

Scott Badger asked me
> That's the first I've heard of the God gene. Interesting. But if we
> actually apply Occam's Razor, how do you come to the conclusion that your
> theory is the parsimonious alternative. Say as compared to more
> psychologically-based theories? (e.g. cultural conditioning, need for
> parent figure, need to explain the unknown, coping woith fear of death,
> coping with death of of mate, etc)

well Occam's razor might even be on my side. It is not really at the point of being able to razorised yet; i have not argued for how many genes, pleiotropy etc. Still, to run the razor across my nascent theory, how does this sound?

I have one variable that can explain completely the liability to ever believe in god. The alternative is many dozens of variables which lack specificity.

More over, my variable can explain the constant presence of god believing in the face of punishments against it (say the USSR) and in the face of insurmountable evidence (say living in the 20th century and knowing that life is Just DNA, that natural selection explains everything etc).

I think that the current high retained levels of religion in the western world cannot be explained by anything other than a genetic predisposition, especially when they are found in otherwise intelligent and worldly people.