If there is dimension present in every human being like adaptation of religion of some kind the natural question is from where it came into human being is very logical. Some say its genetic other says it’s natural. Both phenomena have some attachment to this belief.
Did religion confer such benefits on our distant ancestors that genes favoring it spread by natural selection? There are scientists who believe the answer is yes—enough of them, in fact, to give rise to headlines like this one, in a Canadian newspaper: “Search continues for ‘God gene.’”
Expect to see that headline again, for the search is unlikely to reach a successful conclusion. And that isn’t just because, obviously, no one gene could undestand something as complex as religion. Things don’t look good even for the more nuanced version of the “God gene” idea—that a whole bunch of genes were preserved by natural selection because they inclined people toward religion.
Oddly, this verdict—that religion isn’t in any straightforward sense “in the genes”—emerges from evolutionary psychology, a field that has been known to emphasize genetic influences on thought and emotion. Though some evolutionary psychologists think religion is a direct product of natural selection, many—and probably most—don’t.
This doesn’t mean religion isn’t in any sense “natural,” and it doesn’t mean religion isn’t in some sense “in the genes.” Everything people do is in some sense in the genes. (Try doing something without using any genes.) What’s more, we can trace religion to specific parts of human nature that are emphatically in the genes. It’s just that those parts of human nature seem to have evolved for some reason other than to sustain religion.
The American psychologist William James, in his 1902 classic The Varieties of Religious Experience, captured the basic idea without referring to evolution: “There is religious fear, religious love, religious awe, religious joy, and so forth. But religious love is only man’s natural emotion of love directed to a religious object; religious fear is only the ordinary fear of commerce, so to speak, the common quaking of the human breast, in so far as the notion of divine retribution may arouse it; religious awe is the same organic thrill which we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain gorge; only this time it comes over us at the thought of our supernatural relations.”
In some way they have connected religion with evolutionary process and that become optimistic in logical explanation. When human started development of consciousness there are people more developed and there are people less developed. Here the exploitation started in the form of superiority.
If you want to put James’s basic point in the language of evolutionary biology, you have to drag in the concept of an “adaptation.” An adaptation is a trait whose underlying genes spread through the gene pool designing their trait. Love, for example, seems to be an adaptation. It was just an imagination against hate. Love of offspring, by inspiring neurturance of those offspring, can help genes get into future generations as a result; genes underlying parental love seem to have spread same design of their conclusiveness to love. You can similarly make arguments that awe and joy and fear—the other sentiments James cites—were, in themselves, adaptations. Fearing a big aggressive animal or a big aggressive human being can create a change at genetic level. It can save your skin and thus save the genes underlying the fear. But that doesn’t mean religion is a creation of fear. All emotion cannot create and function that can be described as religion. It can be love, awe, joy, and fear and thus involve the genes underlying these things.


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