Tuesday, April 19, 2011

S.W. and Rossano on the Darwinian Theory

Stewart-Williams on the Darwinian Theory

Differential Reproduction- the idea that organisms that best adapt to a given environment with be most likely to survive and reproduce offspring.

Variation- is due to polymorphism: different individuals have distinctly different structures, but belong to the same pop since they reproduce.

Geographic variation: species in different areas look

different from each other.

Hybrid zones: two different organisms interbreed. Fixed gene flow in and out of the hybrid zone. High fitness area in zone. There are mutations that lead to variation in the population.

Inheritance- species pass their genes on to offspring, but the process can introduce small mistakes, which can produce random changes.

Morality (a form of cultural evolution) is rooted in – and transcends – natural selection.

If religion was ever adaptive – that is conducive to survival and reproductive success—it no longer is.

Rossano on the Darwinian Theory

Variability- a measure of the tendency of individual genotypes in a population to vary from one another

Heritability- is the proportion of phenotypic variations in a population that is due to genetic variation between individuals. Heritability measures the fraction of phenotype variability that can be credited to genetic variation. It can be seen that heritability is specific to a particular population in a particular environment.

Competition- individuals in different/same species compete for the same resources in an ecosystem. or may occur when individuals of two separate speices share limiting resources in the same area.

Evolution- determines who lives, who dies, and who passes on traits to the next generation.

History of life→ all life shares a common ancestor

Morality and religion (forms of cultural evolution that enhances survival and reproductive chances) are rooted in – and transcends—natural selection.

Religion was an adaption and is likely to remain and adaption for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Religion is really just made up?

Some of our ancestor's thought up the idea of the super natural world. This isn't surprising because they did participate in abnormal rituals with dancing and chanting. This behavior supposedly connected the people with the supernatural.

It’s hard to wrap my brain around concepts like these when believing in God is the way I was brought up. It’s like did anyone ever read or research about God not being real. I mean I guess I do live in the bible belt of the United States and have never been in an environment where the population did not believe in god. It’s weird that I have never really believed in god because of the town I was raised in and the people that I have grown up with do.

These books that we have been reading just strengthen my reasons for not believing in God. I like that it does, but it also pulls me away from my parents and friends that do believe in God.

It seriously just blows my mind that the origins of religion are made up through rituals of wild people dancing and chanting to the ‘Gods’.

Friday, March 04, 2011


All religions teach that wisdom and salvation are to be found in the life of the mind.

Mind, Soul, Self, Spirit, and Consciousness can all refer to a more specific aspect of mental life.

It's hard to know the exact meaning of these words but the realities of them are religious or spiritual.

Because the brain is the organ of the mind, there is question about the existence of an immortal soul or the possibility of an afterlife.

The success of neuroscience is showing that there are correlations between certain states of the brain and certain associated mental experiences , including religious ones, has been interpreted by some as a direct refutation of traditional beliefs about mystical experiences and the immortality of the soul. According to this skeptical stance, an experience can be caused by the brain or by an immaterial being (God or the soul) but not both: a neurological explanation of an experience rules out a supernatural or religious one. Science has explained away the supernatural.

The mind interacts with the brain, or uses the brain as its instrument.

Why is it that particular bits of matter exhibit the properties of consciousness and others do not?

How do you articulate how mental realities can be both dependent on and yet autonomous from the physical?

To say that the mind is autonomous, not in the sense of being able to exist independently of the brain, but in the sense that it exhibits properties and regularities that are not susceptible to systematic reduction to the neurological level.

--- If modern science suggest that belief in an immortal soul is problematic, it might equally, question the evidential basis for the notion that at some point in the future God will bring history to an end in a final act where the universe will be destroyed and recreated and the dead will be brought back in bodily form to be judge by their maker.

If you cannot believe in spiritual rebirth or physical resurrection, their is subjective immortality-- the selfish desire for heavenly rewards in a future life should be replaced by a more humble hope that one might live on after death through one's friends, children, or work.

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying." - Woody Allen

Thomas Dixon Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011


The mind is dependent on the brain; this suggests that the mind could not survive the death of the body. (Williams, 115)

Early Spanish explorers came to South America; they seriously debated whether the indigenous peoples of these lands had souls. Similarly, Christians in the past asserted that non-white people were soulless, in exactly the same sense that Descartes claimed this of non-human animals. (Williams, 110)

Monday, January 31, 2011


I didn't know that questioning if people have souls and what happens to them after death was one of the biggest questions in philosophy. It’s hard to imagine what happens to you after death because your brain is dead, obviously, but what if there was life after death. What if your soul lives and you are in some alternate body form or no body form. I want to know what happens when I die. I am on a quest through this blog to find out the answer to this question.

I asked two of my friends what they thought.

Rashaun’s beliefs: There are two plains in the world, ours and the after lives. If god exists he will judge the individuals to go, but if there is no god then we all go to the same place. The same place as in another realm.

Magena’s beliefs: I think I am going to be re-incarnated as a haunting ghost until I get some things right that some people messed up for me. I feel like I’m going to die disturbed. Just kidding. If that does not work out I just want to be re-incarnated as a jelly fish.

.. I don't agree with either of these answer's but it's a better guess then I have right now about what happens when you die.