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Why do apes believe in God?

  1. Sep 12, 2010 #1
    The first I heard of Richard Dawkin, I had been directed to a talk by Larry Krauss.
    Then I linked to a talk they had together.
    At one point, Dawkins was pointing to a table and saying. "This is a table!"
    Well, it's not called a table in Norway, Ancient Greece or India.
    How did so many ape civilizations from all over the Globe, separated by time and distance, come up with a belief in God? Yes, Richie, they had different Names, because there are different languages in the World. Vishnu, Thor, Apollo, Taiwo, Michael; it's absolutely scientifically astounding that nearly every ape species came up with basically, language, for one thing and a basic similar Notion about a Creator, for another. Some of the amazing similarities are totally beyond comprehension to a layman like myself and would require a great Biologist to explain.
    It all seems very much the opposite to Darwin's conclusions, where every mountain has a different kind of turtle, finch and reptile. How did hundreds, or thousands, of disconnected animal species all, independently, develop language and similar beliefs, or was it observations, in a Pantheon?
    Write a book on that, eh?
    Can't blame it on the stars talking to them as the constellations were different.
    What is the scientific explanation for that?
    apes were such good survivalists they got to sit around the campfire and discovered 'talking' was a good pass time. They were still scared of beasties so they ALL made up a big man who was stronger, quite a COINCIDENCE
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2010 #2
    I cant decide whether to write a book about it, or just give you scientific explanation. Now I'm stuck in purgatory-
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #3
    Science can never answer the question of why something happens, all that may be done is observe that a phenomenon is indeed happening and, hopefully, elucidate how that phenomenon happens. Why questions are in the realm of philosophy, which, incidentally, is probably where this thread is going (that or wherever threads go when they are locked).

    Despite the fact that thread is oozing with a creation vs. evolution debate I will contribute something.

    After you have watched that, you can check out Michael Shermer's first TED talk (something about 'strange beliefs'). Do have a look see at both of them.

  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4
    Actually that is a very good explination for it. That kinda stuff works well in the human mind. Lemme tell you a story...... I met a hot girl named erin at a gas station. She thought I was cute and when she gave me the change for my cup of coffee there was a silver quarter in the register and so she gave it to me saying "guess its your lucky day". And indeed it was I got a raise and I got to know this erin girl very well. We were highly compatible emotionaly, sexualy, and our kids got along well. I kept the quarter in my pocket the entire time as a good luck token. She moved in and we were both in heaven. Then I lost the silver quarter and it all fell apart, lost her and the job in 2008. Been on hard luck since then in both the job and relationship arenas. Now I found another one at my current sucky job. It stays in my truck at all times!!! Just got offered a QC lab job at a local mine!!! My life is indeed getting better.

    My god is the Silver Quarter.........not because its true but because my brain likes to make silly connections.
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #5
    Utter twaddle.
  7. Sep 13, 2010 #6
    I think (in my own opinion) its because there are lots of things that early humans couldn't explain, and because the human mind was evolved enough to perceive self and non self, and had enough imagination to find explanations for unexplained phenomena, that resulted in the creation of Gods, to explain what was a mystery - basically notable stories and legends and real people got mixed together over time and was spread throughout societies over generations.

    Why similar Gods in different peoples? I guess because we all had similar minds - we are all of the same species, and all originated from the same place, and we all experienced similar unexplained phenomema - weather, birth, death etc.
    I think the early people were quite closely connected - we all evolved from Africa, and in those days I guess everyone had to travel on foot, and people relied on each other for food and protection, so I'm guessing they would have lived together in close tribes.
    Those people may have started the thought of there being a God, and then as the tribes got bigger and split further away, the people retained the same beliefs and pass those on. And then each tribe could have modified their beliefs over time in their own way.

    I dont think its opposing what Darwin said at all: natural selection acts on genes, not on thoughts themselves- religion is a human thought. natural selection may act on the resulting actions of thoughts, and this may be why there are so many religious people nowadays: those in the past who didnt believe in religion were sometimes killed by the religious people. But this doesnt clash with Darwin either.

    I think, a better understanding of evolution might help to answer some of your questions.
    I would try to explain, but I'm currently reading about it myself, and I dont want to mislead you with my interpretations.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #7


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    Ahh the joys of innate teleology and inferred casual relationships, I <3 my human brain :rofl:
  9. Sep 13, 2010 #8
    Yanick gave the only real answer: Science tells you "how", not "why".
  10. Sep 13, 2010 #9
    But if we know enough about how things happen, we will know why things happen? Science is understanding the world around us, and if we understand everything, we will know why?
  11. Sep 13, 2010 #10
    You can understand every detail of how a bullet pierces a body; every atom which is disturbed all the way to the medical details and never understand why the person was shot. Why and How are different universes, separated and never able to meet unless there is a conscious force directing events. In other words, "why" can only be addressed to a mind, be it that of a shooter, or a god. I personally don't believe in a god, so to me there is no why to be found... just a series of "hows". This further illustrates the divide: HOW is science, WHY is philosophy.
  12. Sep 13, 2010 #11
    This needs to be moved to cultural studies or something, a worthy discussion of "How the idea of a higher being came about and evolved" could be had, and the aspect of biology could be worked in, but right now this thing is riding off generalizations and analogies.
    Anywho, my 2cents before lockdown.

    Higher powers come about because the way we perceive our reality is greatly enhanced if there is cause and effect relationships. Back in the day, humans would perceive seemingly random effects, (e.g. hurricane, drought, infection) and want to put a cause before it. Without knowledge of sciences like meteorology and biology, their best explanation was a metaphysical higher power in the form of a God or three.

    That general idea floated around the world until the advent of modern technology and science. Now we assume their to be an observable, quantifiable, and even tangible cause to everything. Although some areas of science, namely quantum and astrophysics, still have a ways to go before all the kinks are worked out, I have Faith that Science will be out there hiding in the depths of space controlling our world.
  13. Sep 13, 2010 #12
    I dont agree. A lot of our 'why' questions are actually 'how'. what questions are purely about why? I think if we know everything about science there is to know, there would be no more uncertainties of how or why - we would know everything!

    so why do people believe in a god? because it helps to provide an explaination about what we dont know. because it makes us feel safe knowing we are not alone. because it gives purpose and meaning to some people's lives. This can all be tested using science, science can answer 'why' questions.
  14. Sep 13, 2010 #13
    If you know every detail of how the universe came into existence, from the moment of the Big Bang, to its (for the sake of this argument) eventual heat death, you would know ALL of the hows, but none of the "whys". Why = "For what purpose", and that requires a mind to instill a purpose. To ask why, is to invoke something that science does not, and was never meant to be examined. You can know A-Z, but not why that set exists at all. Do you see what I mean?
  15. Sep 13, 2010 #14
    yeah, but surely there is no purpose? the universe just is. there is no why? no?
  16. Sep 13, 2010 #15
    That's what I believe, but of course there are others who would laugh in my face for espousing that view. "why" is infinitely debatable... how is not.
  17. Sep 13, 2010 #16
    :) I agree!
  18. Sep 13, 2010 #17
    see this is whats good about science - there can only be one truth, and no matter what your background or beliefs, as long as people are logical, there will be an answer that everyone can agree with! no more wars!
  19. Sep 13, 2010 #18


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    Since Gödel even that is not true.
  20. Sep 13, 2010 #19
    Godel? I'm not familiar.
    But what I mean was that there can only be one truth. but when people are trying to figure out what that is, there are bound to be disputes cos everyone thinks they have the answer.
  21. Sep 13, 2010 #20


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