…for all those Whig Natural Historians who have such terrific Just So stories about How the Christian Got his Cross and all the other tales which explain how religion is an evolutionary dead end and everything has Always Been Leading Up to Atheism:
Nellie bar the door indeed. I love how these ‘Just So’ stories always just so happen to flatter the person telling it.
Just for the sake of contrast, I’d like to see an evolutionary sociobiologist say something along the lines of: “Being an atheist, like being a sociopath, is a defective mutation of the genes human beings use to recognize meaning in life.
Robbed of this basic faculty of human thought, atheists tend to retreat into paranoid fantasies of superiority, as if their inability to grasp reality were a result of greater, rather than less, intellectual activity.
“Consequently they tend to be bookish, and selfish, and to cut social ties to family and friends: but this crippling isolation and arrogance, ironically, allows some of them to score well on I.Q. tests, which do not, after all, measure those social skill tribes of hunter gatherers need to survive.
“The fact that no civilization and no tribe in the history of the world has been atheist, except for a very few malign Twentieth Century regimes of unparalleled savagery and bloodshed, might indicate why atheist has had no influence on the philosophy, art, culture, law or advancement of civilization since the dawn of time. Natural selection culls this unfavorable mutation, and only in the luxurious modern day, when science can keep alive even worthless and backward members of the bloodline, has it been possible to keep alive a statistically significant moiety of this evolutionary dead end.
“Sufferers of what is now called ‘The Dawkins Syndrome’ are generally acknowledged to be harmless irritants in their host sociieties, but, as the case of Russia and China make abundantly clear, when this dangerous ‘meme’ of self-centered defensive arrogance spreads to others, the result is genocidal levels of mass murder.”
If it’s all about reproductive strategies, it’s not prima facie obvious to me why extremely fecund Islam and Catholicism are dead ends while Napoleon Dynamite with a mean streak is the wave of the future.
Of course you should!