“The Mutant Says in His Heart, ‘There Is No God'”

“The Mutant Says in His Heart, ‘There Is No God'” March 27, 2019

 

Edelfelt's Pasteur
Louis Pasteur in his Paris laboratory, ca. 1885 (by Albert Edelfelt)
Wikimedia Commons public domain

 

I haven’t yet read this article, which appears in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science 4/3 (September 2018): 233-244, and I have absolutely nothing invested in the validity of its specific thesis, but it makes an intriguing (albeit very surprising) suggestion and, I’m sure, will be received with universal serenity and equanimity:

 

“The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”: the Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centred Around the Worship of Moral Gods Is Associated with High Mutational Load”

 

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Reductionists like to dismiss humans as mere bodies, and to claim that human minds are merely epiphenomenal and transitory byproducts of blind neurochemical processes.  Whatever.  That’s a topic for other occasions.  But even the physical processes operating in our bodies right now — every second of our lives — are staggeringly complex, and even, in a very real sense of the word, miraculous.

 

Here is a 6.5-minute partially animated video on some of those process that occur on an incomprehensibly tiny, submicroscopic scale.  Kent B. Wallace kindly brought the video to my attention, but I’m grateful for the tip and I heartily recommend it for your consideration and contemplation:

 

“Your Body’s Molecular Machines”

 

***

 

Finally, here is a highly significant article, slightly longish, that I also recommend for those interested in the issues that it raises:

 

“The Mismeasurements of Stephen Jay Gould”

 

What issues does it raise?

 

The late Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was a palaeontologist, but also a very gifted popularizer of science and a successful writer of highly successful books on evolution and related topics, at Harvard University.  He died far too young, but he continues to enjoy some degree of fame to this day.  This article, however, contends that he was cavalier with the facts, biased in his analysis, and perhaps even flatly dishonest in his 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man.

 

A major part of the thesis of that book is that ideology and racial prejudice had deformed scientific attempts to measure human intelligence.  Ironically, argues “The Mismeasurements of Stephen Jay Gould,” Gould’s own book is replete with evidence of serious ideological bias, prejudice, and agenda-driven distortion.  This raises the general issue of the place of human bias in scholarship generally and in science in particular.

 

And, by the way, after reading the article I was pleasantly surprised to discover that its author, Dr. Russell T. Warne, teaches at Utah Valley University, which is within reasonable walking distance of the place where I’m currently typing these words.

 

 

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