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Oxford University Shame

"Belief in God is part of human nature - Oxford study
Professor Trigg said “the research showed that religion was “not just something for a peculiar few to do on Sundays instead of playing golf”.
“We have gathered a body of evidence that suggests that religion is a common fact of human nature across different societies,” he said.
“This suggests that attempts to suppress religion are likely to be short-lived as human thought seems to be rooted to religious concepts, such as the existence of supernatural agents or gods, and the possibility of an afterlife or pre-life.”

Dr Justin Barrett, from the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, who directed the project, said faith may persist in diverse cultures across the world because people who share the bonds of religion “might be more likely to cooperate as societies”.

Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor - Telegraph - 12 May 2011

So is “Belief in God part of human nature”? I can’t dispute the statistics of the report, in fact I’m disinclined to; for me, it stands to reason that it depicts the current situation. My problem is with the misleading religious rhetoric of the project co-directors who deliver their conclusions 'out of context', so I'm going to try to replace that context here.

Yeah, NOW it IS the case that "Belief in God is part of human nature", after hundreds of centuries of the religious consistently out-slaughtering or out-breeding the non-religious.
Out-slaughtered is obvious from history, and in the demonising of atheism, in most religions, as the most heinous blasphemy. If one didn't agree with the various witch doctors, high priests or popes you were likely to be, in more primitive times, stoned for heresy or, more recently, ridiculed and ruined. In an environment like this why would any atheist speak out?
And why this persecution? The free thinker is a threat to the priest’s power over his IQ<90 followers. Out-bred is obvious from the doctrines which prohibit contraception, promoting and objectifying women as baby factories.
As a primitive example of what I’m trying to get at…
(This is a 'philosophical equation', so to speak, the numbers are almost certainly, at least, imprecise and simple but the principle is sound, I think.)
In a setting of a twenty thousand years ago.
We place 20 breeding pairs of humans, 12 pairs feel a strong religious need and form a group, the remaining 8 pairs leave and form a new group.
The religious group's 'spiritual' leader is the most religious, claiming to be actually in touch with the envisaged deity. The instruction comes down from the high priest that each breeding pair must have as many babies as possible in order to ‘glorify' the deity.
The non-religious free thinking group gain no ‘divine’ instruction.

In only one generation, say a decade (this is primitive time and lifespan is short) the religious group's 12 breeding pairs produce 9 children each = 108 children. Add in the original 24 and the population grows to a community of 132.
In the same time frame the non-religious group's 8 breeding pairs produce only 4 children per pair = 32 and including the original 16 makes a community of 48.

In only one generation then, the religious out breed the non-religious by a factor of 2.75-1

Extrapolate 50 generations and you get (108x50) and (32x50) = 5400 and 1600 respectively but now the two groups’ philosophies and resources are beginning to conflict. The word comes down from the high priest, ‘God says: kill the non-religious group; eliminate the heretics’.
There are wars and, given the disparity of population size, the religious group slaughters 80% (1280) of the non-religious, whereas only 10% (540) of religious group die in battle.
This leaves the two groups' populations at
Religious: 5400 – 540 = 4860
Non-religious: 1600 – 1280 = 320

The population disparity is now more than 15-1 and the religious breeding instruction is still imposed.
Extrapolate another 50 generations and the religious group grows to a size which completely outstrips the non-religious, almost to the point of extinction.
This example only accounts for 100 generations.
In a period of 20,000 years you'd be looking at more like 1000!
And suddenly, certainly for me at least, it's obvious how it became 'human nature' to have belief in magic.
As a side point here...
Doesn't this example make all the accusations about brutal 'atheist' dictators
look like relatively small potatoes?

For a little background on the two doctors who produced the report
Dr Justin Barrett is described in the New York Times as a "prominent member of the byproduct camp" and "an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being,” [and] “that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.” He considers that “Christian theology teaches that people were crafted by God to be in a loving relationship with him and other people, Why wouldn’t God, then, design us in such a way as to find belief in divinity quite natural?” Having a scientific explanation for mental phenomena does not mean we should stop believing in them. “Suppose science produces a convincing account for why I think my wife loves me — should I then stop believing that she does?”

From Wikipedia

From what I can find online, Emeritus Professor Roger Trigg also looks and sounds a lot like a partisan member of the god squad; though the specific brand of his Christian delusion is elusive, there are sticky religious fingerprints everywhere his name shows up.
He calls himself philosopher but speaks of god as fact!


And there’s the stench of religion in this article. In the article, Prof. Trigg embeds the roots of democracy in Christianity which, for me, is an insult to reality too far.
And if you can get through his hour long bore "Reality at Risk" (YouTube) I feel you can hear him trying to deny what he has learned in favour, pitifully, of hanging on to his golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
Also, and by the way, I find labelling him “Emeritus” to be and insult to the word. It’s a joke; his findings in this report cast doubt on every word the man ever put on paper. If you've been taught by him, question every word he said. For me he’s not just self-delusional but self-fraudulent!

So what we have is a report funded to the tune of (1.9 million) by the dubiously(?) motivated Templeton Foundation with conclusions drawn by two men who seem to be seriously biased bible thumpers.
More on Templeton here

Doesn't this Oxford University study merely suggest that the religious have quite brutally altered ‘our’ evolution?

This report has the stink of vested interest all over it and I feel should be ignored by all but serious academics who you should be as fucked off by the two doctors’ balderdash conclusions as I.
Doesn’t this study’s result show that it might be time for quality educational establishments to stop employing those with irrational beliefs and an agenda to match?
Fear of hell or addiction to heaven is no basis on which a rational human draws conclusions.
I find both these individuals contemptible quislings of reason and their findings are no more than propaganda for the church.
For me, they are a disgrace to the memories of all the rational, reasonable, honourable scientists on whose shoulders they stand and, personally, I think I'd like them publicly fired for their misleading conclusions.

Or, do you think the rotten tomato embarrassment of the stocks
would be more satisfying option?

This is one of the Too Many Questions
Please leave a comment - Anything will do
The best communications are often,


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