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August 06, 2007


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"The God part of the brain is the pineal gland" - Yacub 7 Ali

the pineal gland in whites is calcified (hardened, dead) http://www.google.com/search?q=white+people+%22calcified+pineal+gland%22&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS217US217

the pineal gland in blacks (and people of color) is functional (fluid) and contains eumelanin, http://www.indmedica.com/journals.php?journalid=8&issueid=32&articleid=379&action=article

eumelanin absorbs ultraviolet light

philosophers (descartes, plato, socrates): pineal gland is seat of God in the human body http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pineal-gland/

pineal gland is the 'mythological' 3rd eye, http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=ytff1-msgff&p=pineal%20gland%20%22third%20eye%22&ei=UTF-8

the 3rd eye is accessed at the point where the vision of eyes of the beings who have eumelanin cross

"it is the camel passing through the eye of the needle," Yacub 7 Ali. the camel is the sun, the eye of the needle is point at which the vision crosses. "it opens the doorway to the Kingdom of Heaven," Yacub 7 Ali.

eumelanin is abundant in the hair, skin and eyes of people of color

eumelanin can be aggressively absorbed and intentionally directed through the 3rd eye

the divine light can not reside in the mind of the retarded and will no longer tolerate its perversion. the Holy Light of the Sun of God has no home in the mind of the creature whose pineal gland is calcified. where will God sit down?

all you have to do is cross your eyes



My take on the development of gods within human culture is based on the premise that humans are only good at dealing with other humans. A large portion of human activity is queing social actions from other humans, which is something that can't be done to non-human objects. Thus, we tend to anthropomorphize objects so we can enter into social releations with them. This habit comes naturally to anyone who has everplayed super mario bros. This is how I essentially see religion, woo, and gods; the anthropomophization of reality so one can que social actions and expect reciprocity from the universe.

Caveat-This is of course a hypothesis with no experimental evidence to back it up

I tend to think, somewhere between Dawkins and Shermer (though I've yet to finish both The God Delusion and How We Believe, so I could be misrepresenting conclusions), that religion is a side-effect of more useful adaptations, coupled with the sorts of conditions that early humans were likely to face. Dawkins discusses the (likely biological) human tendency to unquestioningly believe authority, and to be dualistic, perceiving the mind and body as separate entities. Shermer talks about how people both in the modern world and primitive tribes tend to be more superstitious as their lives get to be more dangerous and unpredictable (the fishers on the shore tend to be pretty rational and levelheaded, but the ones out in the deeper waters in boats tend to attribute more to luck and divine whim).

What I haven't seen either one talk about yet is the human tendency toward finding patterns even where they don't exist. We often find this trait misused in the name of religion, finding Virgin Mary in sandwiches or images in the random assortment of stars.

And, like Wikinite said, we tend to ascribe human characteristics in a similar fashion. There's an adaptive benefit in the ability to recognize other humans' faces, and to understand what their expressions mean. It's just that our facial recognition software doesn't turn off, and so we see faces in power outlets and the fronts of cars and in houses with their windows and doors arranged in specific fashion. And it's part of why so many people see faces, and not, say, whole figures, in grilled cheese sandwiches and overpass runoff.

We tend also to assume that most people are like ourselves in certain ways. Again, it's not a software that's easy to circumvent, so we ascribe blame to inanimate objects and malice to natural disasters.

And then there's the human desire to explain things and tendency toward narrative fiction.

I think, once you get all these imperfect-but-useful psychological traits and shortcuts together, cram them into a lifestyle that's generally pretty unpredictable and fraught with the unknown, you end up with a perfect recipe for early religion.

Shermer put it best in Why People Believe Wierd Things - Credo Consolans - I believe because it make me feel better.

Nice review. I share your opinion regarding this book - the author's main thesis is almost entirely an armchair argument from analogy, lacking support in empirical data.

In addition to his errors regarding evolution, Alper also made some basic mistakes regarding religion: for example, his claim that every culture has believed in an eternal spiritual reality superior to the world of matter. This is not true of, to name just one example, Buddhism. Really, it's this preponderance of just basic mistakes that leaves me skeptical of his main argument.

Thanks for that link, Ebonmuse – I hadn’t seen your review. You picked up on some additional things I didn’t cover, and got into the weaknesses of his actual arguments more than I did. I don’t feel so bad now.

There seems to be a lot of speculation (some better than others) on the evolutionary origins of religion lately. Some of these I think have some promise, while others seem less likely to me. The ones I'm familiar with:

Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet think religion is a meme or mind-virus, that develops on its own and can be harmful to its hosts.

Michael Shermer seems to think it proceeds from mental laziness, a lack of critical thinking.

Pascal Boyer sees it as a byproduct of the way our brains work--our brains were fashioned by evolution to think in terms of intentional agency and we over-apply it. Over-applying is safer than under-applying, so natural selection favored it.

Lewis Wolper thinks it evolved along with the evolution of causal reasoning.

Barbara King has hypothesized that religion has its origin in an emotive need for belongingness.

And David Sloan Wilson seems to agree with Alper that religion is adaptive.

All these different theories have their pros and cons, and they can't all be right, though I doubt any of them is either totally right or totally wrong. At this point, all of them are mostly speculative, seeing as this is a pretty new field and there's not enough evidence yet. It's almost like a miniature version of mid to late 19th century biological evolution, when several competing ideas (Darwinism, Lamarkism, Orthogenesis, saltationism, etc) were floating around, and it wasn't entirely clear which one (if any) was going to turn out right. Eventually, as the evidence piled up, and Mendel's genetic theory was rediscovered, Darwinism turned to be the correct theory. But it took a long time for a consensus to form.

Oh, and I guess one might add Dean Hamer's so-called "God gene" to my list above, but his work is pretty sloppy and not taken very seriously.

Personally, I think it could be a combination of any or even all of the above, Wes.

Throw a stone at a rabbit, chase a cat, you see it in action everyday.... animals and humans are so pre-programmed to avoid death at all cost that we react to life-threatening situations - cars, objects falling, etc. - with pure instinct, and little to no thought involved. It is raw instinct, hardwired into all of us.

Humans later became sentient, we then realized that all animals and humans die whether we like it or not, and we are suddenly left grappling with an inevitable conclusion that our instinct tells us to avoid at all cost... so we do. We concoct stories along the lines that when we die we don't REALLY die, we continue living somewhere, somehow. We take comfort in imagining that there will be something after death... so how could we possibly imagine nothing at all?

But doesn't religion make death potentially more scary, or is that something that is almost exclusive to Christianity?

Also, I've never met anyone who is looking forward to their death, be them religious or not. Maybe that just means that while belief in the afterlife gives some comfort, it is minimal.

Most writings regarding the idea of God and religion being adapted as a necessary process of evolution do not take into account many factors of present day life. Why at this point in our evolutionary cycle are we now questioning what has been believed for so long. Perhaps advances in science have only opened a new pathway or new adaptive process that the human mind requires for the next step in our evolution.

I was just wondering, before we can ask for the evidence of God, had we already worked out where our 'intelligence' resides in the brain. Which part of brain is responsible to make your feel your-very-own-self or ego or identity? If you say, I am what I am, this is the evidence, then I would live to comment that this is not the evidence, but at the same time you are what feel your are. If you say in future science will come to know the answer, the why don't you say, the science will come to know God? It feels that you only print the comments which support you, and delete those who do not. This is not really a skeptico site, rather is it favorito website whose authors feel funny to deny everything, and implying the denial of their intelligence too. Thanks


I don't think it fairly represents this discussion to call it a denial of "everything". I would call it a tentative evaluation of various hypotheses for why people believe in an afterlife. What's your theory of why people believe?


I was just wondering, before we can ask for the evidence of God, had we already worked out where our 'intelligence' resides in the brain.

How does this question even make sense, and what does it have to do with whether or not god exists? Different functions of the mind are associated with different parts of the brain, so it makes no sense to ask where intelligence resides in the brain.

For instance:

However, in 1999, further analysis by a team at McMaster University in Ontario revealed that his parietal operculum region in the inferior frontal gyrus in the frontal lobe of the brain was vacant. Also absent was part of a bordering region called the lateral sulcus (Sylvian fissure)


Scientists are currently interested in the possibility that physical differences in brain structure could determine different abilities. One famous part of the operculum is Broca's area which plays an important role in speech production (Einstein was speculated to have Asperger's Syndrome). To compensate, the inferior parietal lobe was 15 percent wider than normal. The inferior parietal region is responsible for mathematical thought, visuospatial cognition, and imagery of movement.

If you say in future science will come to know the answer, the why don't you say, the science will come to know God?

If god has a physical effect on the world now, this can be measured by science now.

It feels that you only print the comments which support you, and delete those who do not.

You obviously have not even bothered to read this site with any semblance of impartiality or grasp of reality. Skeptico allows pretty much all comments except the gratuitously offensive or the off topic. For instance, just try reading the threads that involve John Best.

This is not really a skeptico site

Yes it is. Skeptico is the psuedonym of the person who runs the site. Therefore, it really is a Skeptico site.

rather is it favorito website whose authors feel funny to deny everything, and implying the denial of their intelligence too.

Oh, it was humour. Just really shit humour. Please point out where anyone who contributes here and is a skeptic denies everything. If you can't, retract this nonsense and apologise.


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