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Atheist Community of Austin
the science of god

Children are raised in the absence of belief in god(s) on a regular basis. This would indicate that god is an idea, not a genetic variation. The idea of an interactive (not passive) god is taught by parents and passed down through generations. One theory is that this idea originated from social coping mechanisms which survived a natural selection process. Another is that god is a theory which is analogous to the theory of the existence of the electron (no one has seen it but many believe it exists).

1) Do atheists cite or follow any modern primate behavioral research that would potentially indicate either a lack of said social mechanisms or that could be labeled as potential behavioral seeds leading to (i.e. orangutans are clearly also on the path to performing suicide bombings)?

2) Along the same line as #1, the latter idea (electron) was validated by the hosts in a "The Atheist Experience" episode a few months ago. I was surprised to hear the hosts of the show agreeing with this thought or even that it came from an atheist in the first place. A more recent episode mentioned what are certainly the two pillars to scientific research: observed evidence and lineage of theory. Naturally, this community discards any observed evidence presented by theists. Lineages either branch from currently existing lines or stem from a discrete event of some sort. What branch or event (in addition to any answers to #1) in the road to our current cognitive state led to the lineage of a god theory? Do other atheists agree with this? Did the show hosts misrepresent their beliefs?

Curtis said, "Another is that god is a theory which is analogous to the theory of the existence of the electron (no one has seen it but many believe it exists)."

Scientific explanations often make use of things we cannot see or feel, such as protons, electrons, and quarks. These things really exist. Chemistry is founded on "an entity" that has negative charge so atoms can bond, an essentially, so everything in the universe can work. An electron is a lepton, showing that it is the one of the smallest units of recognizable matter ever quantified, and they have a mass which scientists have measured. And they have measured the charge.

We know gravity exists because apples that fall from trees don't float.

We know things exist because of various kinds of observations, experiments and thought. These are the factors in acquiring knowledge. A scientific theory is not based on a belief or something that could never be tested or falsified.

Beliefs are on faith not knowledge, and these beliefs come from being told something is true without any way of testing the theory. It really comes from indoctrination, and the belief that one has depends on their culture or surroundings. Curtis said, "Do other atheists agree with this? Did the show hosts misrepresent their beliefs?"

Atheists do not have beliefs they either have proof that something is true or they disbelieve that it is true. I didn't hear the program, but atheists speak on many topics and there is no one right way of thinking on every topic for atheists. All atheists do not have to agree on everything except that atheists do not have a belief in God. However, they may have reasons for not believing in God that vary, but people who believe things without any evidence are usually not atheists.

Science has labeled certain behaviors with the names "electron", "lepton", etc. One of the latest labels is string theory which simplifies all these "smallest units" to wiggles of energy. This one in particular is getting quite a bit of top-tier, peer-reviewed journal coverage. Likewise, "gravity" is a name for a phenomenon. The point is that there is an observed phenomenon which drives the initial naming process. That naming process always relies on prior theory and labels. For example, the seeds for the kitchen microwave were sown when an engineer walked in front of a microwave antenna and the candy bar in his pocket melted.

The episode I'm citing is here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/FFreeThinker#p/u/44/cIRoSYcOejo

They were quoting Richard Dawkins; an atheist poster child if there ever was one. The show hosts agreed with his stance that an interactive god should be considered equivalent to a scientific theory. If that is the case, and given that theist observation and evidence tends to be rejected more often than not (some of it very justifiably so), we are left with lineage of thought and theory as the only source for that label. We've (both myself and Linda) already established that theory begins with observed phenomena.

My question remains. What are the community postulations (clearly doesn't even have to be peer-reviewed primate behavioral studies at this point...) for the existence of the god theory? In other words, how do atheists explain the transition from 'un-named physical phenomenon' to 'active supernatural entity'. Animals are reactive. Scientific animals are very highly reactive (depending either on available research funding or the innate desire to cook food really really fast). What drove the creation of the label 'supernatural'? What instigated the original 'meme' in the first place? Feel free to quote or borrow from other authors as necessary.

Curtis said, "Science has labeled certain behaviors with the names "electron", "lepton", etc. One of the latest labels is string theory which simplifies all these "smallest units" to wiggles of energy. This one in particular is getting quite a bit of top-tier, peer-reviewed journal coverage. Likewise, "gravity" is a name for a phenomenon."

String theory predicts the existence of extra dimensions and that some of these might be large enough to be observable at the LHC CERN. One possibility is that gravity might become strong when these extra dimensions appear. In this case, some variants of string theory predict that microscopic black holes might be produced in the LHC collisions. These would evaporate rapidly according to Hawking radiation, but measurements of this radiation would offer a unique window into the mysteries of quantum gravity. If the extra dimensions are curled up on a sufficiently large scale, ATLAS and CMS might be able to see Kaluza-Klein excitations of Standard Model particles, or even the graviton.

Curtis said, "The point is that there is an observed phenomenon which drives the initial naming process. That naming process always relies on prior theory and labels. For example, the seeds for the kitchen microwave were sown when an engineer walked in front of a microwave antenna and the candy bar in his pocket melted." When the Big Bang occurred after a time the electrons and protons (and other nuclei) combined to form hydrogen atoms; this is the recombination era, and we see it today as the cosmic microwave background.

Curtis said, "The episode I'm citing is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/FFreeThinker#p/u/44/cIRoSYcOejo They were quoting Richard Dawkins; an atheist poster child if there ever was one. The show hosts agreed with his stance that an interactive god should be considered equivalent to a scientific theory. If that is the case, and given that theist observation and evidence tends to be rejected more often than not (some of it very justifiably so), we are left with lineage of thought and theory as the only source for that label. We've (both myself and Linda) already established that theory begins with observed phenomena."

Well, I don't know what the hell they were talking about; all I can tell you is what I know. Nobody has put religion to any test - least of all a scientific test. If they just looked at what is written in their Holy Books and investigated how this religion was invented they wouldn't waste any more time on it.

What we know about particles is by smashing bits of matter together. This is how physicists compiled a list of twelve fundamental particles that make matter. These are electrons, particles called quarks, which make up protons, and which are held together by a sticky force called the strong nuclear force, and other fundamental particles known as leptons and bosons. Besides the strong nuclear force and the familiar forces of gravity and electromagnetism, there is one more fundamental force, the weak nuclear force, which causes radioactive decay. The physical description of the fundamental particles, together with a mathematical description of how they behave, is known as the standard model of particle physics. The standard model describes all known forces except gravity (which remains a mystery) in terms of the exchange of such particles. Particles of light, photons, carry electric and magnetic fields. The strong nuclear force in protons operates by exchanging particles called gluons. Physicists have known for a long time that some fundamental particles have mass, but the mathematics underlying the standard model predicts that they should be mass less. Without the zero mass assumption the model doesn't work. Peter Higgs presented a possible solution to this problem. He hypothesized at an early time after the Big Bang all particle liquid. But as the Universe cooled down, one the Higgs field started to condense and become thick. Other particles when interacting with the Higgs field other particles were dragged back. Particles which experience this drag effect are experiencing inertia, one has to push them with a force to get them to move. According to Newton, any particle with inertia also has mass. Higgs' mechanism tells us how the particles of the standard model born mass less, as the mathematics tell us may have acquired non-zero masses. The amount of mass each particle feels is proportional to the strength with which it feels the effect of the Higgs thick fluid. The Higgs Boson is what the LHC is looking for among other things. I have read some very promising stories about what they have found so far.

Curtis said, "My question remains. What are the community postulations (clearly doesn't even have to be peer-reviewed primate behavioral studies at this point...) for the existence of the god theory? In other words, how do atheists explain the transition from 'un-named physical phenomenon' to 'active supernatural entity'. Animals are reactive. Scientific animals are very highly reactive (depending either on available research funding or the innate desire to cook food really really fast). What drove the creation of the label 'supernatural'? What instigated the original 'meme' in the first place? Feel free to quote or borrow from other authors as necessary."

Well, 'meme' have more to do with information distribution due to language etc.

Julian Jaynes' theory that ancient consciousness was radically different from modern consciousness. Jaynes suggests that the left and right brains were not integrated "having only one" the way they are today. The ancient brain was "bicameral," with the two sides of the brain working essentially independently of each other. Jaynes theory was that consciousness is a learned process based on language. To the transition from bicameral to consciousness was a change in the brain hardware. There was also a genetic change and new research in genetics shows that humans are still evolving and that genetic changes can move through a population much more rapidly than was previously believed. Consciousness arose only relatively late in human development, appearing first in the Middle East at the end of the second millenium BCE, and this consciousness was dependent on language. Jaynes theorizes that the right hemisphere of the brain was specialized to recall long-term information, as the left was (and still is, in most people) specialized for language. Pre-conscious people, he contends, hallucinated instructions of a super-ego-like nature generated in the right brain. In the simplest, small scale, early societies, these hallucinations were attributed to ancestors, chiefs, or kings. Eventually they were attributed to gods. "Who then were these gods who pushed men about like robots and sang epics through their lips? They were voices whose speech and directions could be as distinctly heard by the Iliadic heroes as voices are heard by certain epileptic and schizophrenic patients. The gods were organizations of the central nervous system."

Linda, your knowledge of (and zeal for) physics is impressive. You should consider physics research if you haven't already.

Athiests put religion to basic scientific test all the time. That is the method by which they justify eliminating theist evidence.

I've never heard of Jaynes' theory before. Thank you for posting it. FYI, if you believe Jaynes' theory, you contradict yourself above in mentioning that religion was invented, as opposed to being an evolutionary byproduct.

I personally hesitate to accept the idea of a genetic mechanism in light of what I said in my first post. People mentally pick up and drop god on a regular basis. Children can be raised to never hear about it and therefore would never ask or wonder about it. I can see how the hallucinations might be attributed to ancestors (particularly in light of vocal similarities from parent to child) but he makes a superman jump from kings to gods with no apparent explanation as to how or what drove that leap. Actions driven to please an interactive god seem very far from just hearing voices of dead people. The only thing that would train a monkey to do is believe that his ancestors were still alive somewhere. Not that they had a creator. Furthermore, it would appear that the schizophrenic voices have gone away over the past 3000 yrs. Wouldn't they have taken god with them? Another reason I hesitate to believe this theory is that Jaynes didn't publish this anywhere outside of his book. It even appears that his professional community scoffed at him. Richard Dawkins even brushes it off as "rubbish".

While on this topic, here is a link to another 'atheist poster child', Robert Wright. This is the electron comparison theory. The idea of treating god as a scientific theory is not new or sparse.

http://www.evolutionofgod.net/excerpts_afterword/

Are there any other commonly cited postulates as to how the theory of gravity grew a head, arms, and legs?

Is Robert Wrong arguing that "moral order" cannot exist without a god? Seems like argument from ignorance (god of the gaps), combined with emotional appeal (we are very special).

Is the concept of god really equivalent to that of an electron? What that "theory" do explain? What are its testable predictions?

"Moral" behaviour is not unique to humans and can be observed in many other animals. Theory of evolution can bring us light about that; emergency of complexity can provide a model for the growing of civilization based on the interactions of individuals (instead of an external "driver").

Electron be praised.

Curtis said, "Athiests put religion to basic scientific test all the time. That is the method by which they justify eliminating theist evidence."

The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. Atheists are not making a claim they are disbelieving a claim. I think the confusion is over the fact that atheists can disputes claims about the authenticity of documents and other kinds of alleged material evidence. The claim that there is a God is not the same thing, because this is a claim that is being made about something that exists, for which there is no evidence. Claiming that we do not have the right to doubt something that nobody has proven is absurd. The only reason more people do not find the claims that are made about the truth of their Holy Books is because there has been a process of conditioning people from childhood not to question their faith. People are also influenced to believe that to not believe in God is some kind of aberrant weirdness. However, the most affluent and economically successful countries in the world are not the most religious. If you think America is the most economically or technologically successful country in the world you are wrong. We are one of the biggest debtor nations with the least savings. The poorest countries in the world are the most religious.

Curtis said, "I've never heard of Jaynes' theory before. Thank you for posting it. FYI, if you believe Jaynes' theory, you contradict yourself above in mentioning that religion was invented, as opposed to being an evolutionary byproduct."

Curtis you said, "What drove the creation of the label 'supernatural'?" I assume you mean by that the concept of that there is a supernatural God. Jaynes hypothesis was an explanation about where the concept of a god came from. Jaynes idea was that everyone had their own god because they were not conscious the way modern man is today. We are not totally conscious today because we only use a small part of our brain. The ancient mans brain had a lower level of consciousness that caused an inability to be self-aware. Something outside of them told them what to do. This can be found in much of ancient literature including the OT. There was a belief at that time in gods. This is confirmed by their cuneiform texts confirms that there was a belief at that time in gods. Jaynes says that societies understood the voices in their heads as being those of gods, spirit, demons, and kings. Jaynes thought that the fact that the voice of the king continued after the king's death gave people the idea that kings and gods were one and the same. The concept of the divine authority of kings may have started this way. Religions came from hearing the voices of the gods, spirits and demons.

The Old Testament came from Ugarit. The OT story of the flood has an almost exact copy in Ugaritic literature. The Ugaritic (Cannanite) literature is similar to work in Hebrew composed between the seventh and the third century B.C. There is not one shred of evidence that any Israeli slaves ever lived in ancient Egypt. The Old Testament that supposedly came from Moses is probably based on the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, who is also credited with creating monotheism. Like Moses Akhenaten led an exodus from Egypt. There was never any ancient sprawling kingdom of Israel; there was an ancient Jerusalem, but not the mythical kingdom of Israel. That phrase comes from the combination of three ancient deities, Isis - Ra, and El., and Moses never existed. An Egyptian pharaoh named Ptolemy first collected various books and put them together, it was a Pagan pharaoh named Ptolemy who put together what resembles the Bible of today. Ptolemy had the OT books around 250 B.C.

The Israelites lived for centuries with the Canaanites. Many of the sacrifices that are mentioned in the Ugaritic texts have names that are identical to those described in the book of Leviticus. It is also clear that Ugaritic and early biblical Hebrew poetry share a common literary tradition. El was used as the name of the all-powerful God of monotheistic religions. The Israelites identified him with their God YHWH in order to develop the monotheism of the Torah. Then, much later, under Jewish and Christian influence, Muhammad declared El, under his Arabic designation, Allah, to be the one true God and founded Islam.

The concept of a devil or Lucifer came from the term "a star" meaning a brilliant monarch that was translated into Latin as "lucifer" by Christian writers who identified Lucifer with Satan. According to Luke 10:18 (Lucifer fell from heaven like lighting) consequently, Lucifer became one of the terms for the devil in Christian theology.

There are older Babylonian and Greek myths of a casting out of heaven of Phaethon. In 1927 Franz Xaver Kugler published an essay entitled "The Sibylline Starwar and Phaethon In the Light of Natural History." Kugler was a Jesuit scholar who had studied the cuneiform astronomical texts. His immense knowledge of ancient documents of celestial events, and the growing consensus of opinion that the Crater at Coon Mountain Arizona was in fact produced by a large meteoroid. This gave Kugler the scientific basis for his assertion that a large impact event in the Mediterranean Sea inspired the legends of Paethon. The comparison to the Phaethon myth (and the falling star) is obvious. The myth asserts that Paethon the inexperienced pilot asked his father to let him drive the chariot. With rays about his head he rises early, his father, Helios, follows behind finally taking control of the reins after Phaethon falls from the chariot. The inexperienced charioteer balks nearly halfway across the sky and is not destined to make it to the west. He travels against the stars before being struck by a thunderous bolt as the Earth catches fire. Helios, in grief, refuses to bring light to the world. This is a reference to what is now known as a secondary event if a large asteroid impacts the earth. There would be a cloud of aerosols blocking the sun for long periods of time.

All of the ideas about Lucifer, Satan, demons and the devil come from ancient myths and misinterpreted words, and misunderstood celestial events. There is no reason to believe that there ever was a Satan or Lucifer since it is obvious that the word "lucifer" came from a misinterpretation of a word in a story about a king and (the falling star) part was first a mythological depiction of an astronomical event.

Unknown authors wrote the Gospels forty to seventy years after the supposed death of Jesus. There are no eyewitness accounts - and the names given the Gospels are just titles. There are no originals and nobody knows what was originally written.

There is an excellent witness to the events in Judaea in the first half of the first century AD, Philo of Alexandria. Philo did not write one word about Jesus or Christianity.

Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism (combining of beliefs) in the ancient world. There were many Jesuses but the story was a cultural construct. Nazareth did not exist in the 1st century AD - the area was a burial ground of rock-cut tombs. There were never 12 disciples or a master. The story was invented to legitimize the claims of the early churches. The original Mary was fashioned on pagan goddesses and she was not a virgin. Unlike Jesus and Mary a real historical figures, long before Jesus, Julius Caesar has a mass of evidence.

Nothing in Christianity was original it had all been in the literature for centuries. When the Jews were defeated and the temple at Jerusalem was utterly destroyed that gave the Christian churches the ability to take over and prevail.

There were many sects of Christianity (not just one) in Rome, dozens of competing son/sun of god cults. The first Jesus believers claimed he was a spirit. Later he was born a human and was put to death. The whole story was assembled to try to unify a fragmented and fractious messianic religious movement. In the mid-2nd century the Jewish faith was purged from Christianity. The Christians remained a minority until one faction formed a political alliance with the Roman State. Orthodox Christianity remained unpopular for centuries and persecution was necessary to impose it on the people. There are in fact 200 gospels, epistles and other books concerning the mythical life of Jesus. Political considerations in the late 2nd century led to the selection of just four approved gospels and the rejection of others. They did later accept about 23 more books, but in fact all of the stories are fiction. There were no contemporary historians that mentioned Jesus.

In 325 CE, when the Council of Bishops in Rome decided to make an official canon there were thousands of books, epistles, and gospels existing throughout Europe. They were both Hebrew and Greek scriptures, and The Council of Nicea decided to discard and destroy each and every book, epistle, and gospel that did not agree with their theology, which was the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. The "chosen Gospels" were randomly assigned authorship over a hundred years after they were written.

According to the bible when Jesus was crucified the heavens and earth affirmed his deity, causing a three-hour eclipse of the sun over all the earth. There was an earthquake causing Jerusalem's temple curtain to be split into, and many Jewish saints resurrected from their graves appearing to the people in Jerusalem. Within three days, the Son of God, defeated Satan, rose from the dead appeared to his disciples, then ascended into heaven. A story that would not of escaped the attention of the historians worldwide. Scholars who do objective investigations into history have found no confirmation of this story in the writings of non-Christian Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers.

Philo Judaeus (contemporary historian I mentioned) wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish events that occurred in the surrounding area. Not once, in all of his volumes of writings, is a single account of a Jesus. There is no mention of Jesus in Seneca's writings, or from the historian Pliny the Elder. If a figure as famous as the Gospels claim Jesus was existed at the same time of these historians, why did none of them ever hear of Him? Not one Jewish, Greek, or Roman writer, even those who lived in the Middle East, much less anywhere else on the earth, who ever mention him during his supposed life time.

Paul admits that he did not know Jesus during Jesus' lifetime. All of Paul's theology is based on his own revelations, or visions. There is nothing in all of Paul's writings that state he ever met the living Jesus, and he does not talk about Jesus' life on earth. His accounts about a Jesus had to have come from visions or hearsay. Paul's visions, and most of his theology, can be found in Mithraism. In Mithraism, the central figure is the mythical Mithras, who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected. Believers in Mithras were rewarded with eternal life. Part of the Mithraic communion liturgy included the words, "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation." Mithraism had included the ritual a long time before Christ was born. Mithraism originated in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, the place the apostle Paul came from.

The apostle Paul claims that he got the instructions for the Lord's Supper directly from Jesus. The Lord's supper was not invented by Paul, but was borrowed by him from Mithraism, the mystery religion that existed long before Christianity and was Christianity's chief competitor up until the time of Constantine. The apostle Paul never mentions the virgin birth. Paul says that Jesus was "born of a woman," (not a virgin woman) Galatians 4:4. Why would he leave out this amazing miracle?

Mary and Joseph resided in Nazareth, and Nazareth was just a pile of rocks; it was never a city. Matthew says that Herod, in an attempt to kill the newborn Messiah, had all the male children two years old and under put to death in Bethlehem, and that this was in fulfillment of prophecy. Herod committed many horrible crimes recorded by ancient historians like Josephus, who had no use for Herod, but no historian ever mentions these killing that would have been Herod's greatest crime by far. If killing of this magnitude had occurred, why didn't anyone write about it? When Judas betrayed Jesus, according to Matthew 26:15, the chief priests "weighed out thirty pieces of silver" to give to Judas. In Jesus' time, minted coins were used - currency was not "weighed out." There were no "pieces of silver" used as currency in the supposed time of Jesus - they had gone out of circulation about 300 years before. Matthew 27:39 and Mark 15:27 say Jesus was crucified between two thieves. It is a historical fact that the Romans did not crucify thieves. Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." Yet not a single mention of such a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone, including the astronomers and astrologers, anywhere in the world, including Pliny the Elder and Seneca who both recorded eclipses from other dates. Solar eclipses can't occur during a full moon and Passovers always occur during full moons. Not a single contemporary person writes about the earthquake described in Matthew 27:51-54 where the earth shook, rocks were rent, and graves opened.

The Gospels mention innumerable times the great multitudes that followed Jesus and crowds of people who congregated to hear him. Luke 5:15 says that there grew "a fame abroad of him." Not one historian, philosopher or poet living during the time of Jesus ever mentions him. The Gospels represent Jesus as a exalted celebrated prophet, with great multitudes of people who knew about him, including the greatest Jewish high priests and the Roman authorities of the area, and not one person records his existence during his lifetime. The Gospels were not written in Jesus lifetime or a named eyewitness' written account that has ever existed.

Curtis said, "I personally hesitate to accept the idea of a genetic mechanism in light of what I said in my first post. People mentally pick up and drop god on a regular basis. Children can be raised to never hear about it and therefore would never ask or wonder about it. I can see how the hallucinations might be attributed to ancestors (particularly in light of vocal similarities from parent to child) but he makes a superman jump from kings to gods with no apparent explanation as to how or what drove that leap. Actions driven to please an interactive god seem very far from just hearing voices of dead people. The only thing that would train a monkey to do is believe that his ancestors were still alive somewhere. Not that they had a creator. Furthermore, it would appear that the schizophrenic voices have gone away over the past 3000 yrs. Wouldn't they have taken god with them?"

Consciousness in Jaynes theory is a learned process based on language. The transition from pre-consciousness to consciousness was a software change using the same hardware.

Jaynes thought that the preconscious bicameral mind changed during the Bronze Age when the world was undergoing huge upheaval and changes in temperatures that caused evolutionary changes to speed up for humans to adapt. It was during this period that humans achieved consciousness, making self-awareness possible. Jaynes says that religions, gods, and fortune telling are the remains of the earlier stage of pre-consciousness thought. Man's mind before he developed self-consciousness. Early man did not make any decisions on his own. The concept of self, of being independent and self-reliant, did not exist. Whenever a decision had to be made, early man looked for a sign from an outside authority, such as a king or a god, to tell him what to do.

While writing The Origin of Consciousness, Jaynes consulted with scholars who were experts in many of the areas he discussed.

I think that there could be other possible reasons for a change in the brain that did not occur because of a gradual evolution over a long period of time. I found this (Saltation is macromutation) major changes occur in a single mutation not via the accumulation of many small changes called micro-mutation. If consciousness was a more recent development, then it could have been a mutation.

Curtis said, "Another reason I hesitate to believe this theory is that Jaynes didn't publish this anywhere outside of his book. It even appears that his professional community scoffed at him. Richard Dawkins even brushes it off as "rubbish".

Jaynes ultimately chose to publish his book with a non-academic publisher, which he felt might keep it in print for a longer period of time, Jaynes's book was reviewed and commented on by a number of academics during the publication process. Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in a book intended for both a scientific and a lay audience - not in a peer-reviewed journal.

The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio is a researcher whose ideas are consistent with those of Jaynes. He explicitly refers to Jaynes in his 1999 book entitled The Feeling of What Happens (chapter 6, pages 187-188).

Disagreement does not equate to refutation. New research continues to shed new light on each of Jaynes's hypotheses, for example brain imaging studies of auditory hallucinations and the ongoing debate over the role of language in consciousness. There have been very few published, substantive criticisms of Jaynes's theory. An early criticism by philosopher Ned Block (that Jaynes confused the emergence of consciousness with the emergence of the concept of consciousness) was effectively countered by Jaynes as well as Daniel Dennett (1986). More recently, the Dutch philosopher Jan Sleutels (2007) meticulously countered Block's arguments.

The geneticist Bruce Lahn's team has found new variants of brain development genes: One, ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) appears to have risen to high frequency in Europe and the Middle East in about six thousand years. We don't yet know what this new variant does, but it certainly could affect the human psyche. This concept opens strange doors. If true, it means that the people of Sumeria and Egypt's Old Kingdom were probably fundamentally different from us:

Neuroscientist Michael Persinger: "Within the last five years science has found that single point mutations on genes can produce permanent changes in speech production. There is now evidence that point mutations, whose mechanisms must still be discerned, can diffuse within decades throughout entire populations.

Richard Dawkins: "Jayne's book is as strange as its title suggests. It is one of those books that is either complete rubbish or a work of consummate genius, nothing in between! Probably the former, but I'm hedging my bets."

That is not brushing it off as rubbish unless it is misquoted. I never looked at what Dawkins said before because it wouldn't have mattered to me. I evaluate things on their own merit without letting anything influence my own personally thinking.

Curtis said, "While on this topic, here is a link to another 'atheist poster child', Robert Wright. This is the electron comparison theory. The idea of treating god as a scientific theory is not new or sparse."

I read a web page with an interview of Robert Wright and what he said about the electron. He also said that he is not an atheist.

This is my answer: We can not say that an atomic particle exists at a certain place and we can't say it does not exist. The particle has a strange probability pattern to exist and not exist. We can't describe the state of the particle in terms of fixed opposite concepts, because the particle is not present at a definite place but it is not omitted. The particle does not change position or rest. What changes is the probability pattern. This is not the same as saying something exists with no proof of its existence.

http://www.evolutionofgod.net/excerpts_afterword/ Are there any other commonly cited postulates as to how the theory of gravity grew a head, arms, and legs?

I'm sure that there is a lot of trash on the Internet about gravity but I don't have time to read it I read the real science books.

Linda wrote: "We are not totally conscious today because we only use a small part of our brain."

Linda,

What do you mean with that?

Is that not a matter of the way the brain works indead of how much is it active? If all parts of the brain were simultaneously active, then the brain would have only ONE state, something equivalent to complete statism (idleness).

I would say that we are not totally conscious because most of the brain activity is not dependant of our awareness. Most vital "decisions" would fail if we needed think about them -- instinct/emotion is more effective than rational thinking in several risk circumstances.

In certain sense, total consciousness is impossible, since that would require recursive consciousness of (the consciousness of ( the consciousness...)).

P.S.: A related issue: the myth of the "10% of the brain":

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/tenper.html http://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_ten-percent_myth/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10%25_of_brain_myth

Hudson,

QUOTE HUDSON: Linda wrote: "We are not totally conscious today because we only use a small part of our brain. Linda, What do you mean with that?

Is that not a matter of the way the brain works indead of how much is it active?"

MY ANSWER: I don't know what the word "indead" means I have never heard of it? Maybe we could ask Curtis?

I doubt that anyone is talking about the silly myths we all know are false. I do know that what she said is true unless someon changes it to mean something else. No one knows exactly how much of the brain we actually use, but we do have an idea about how much we use from certain tests, and consciousness has not been fully explored.

An example of mapping brain usage compared to the norm was done in studying Einstein's brain. The one definitive difference they found in his brain compared to the norm was that he had an unusually high number of glial cells in his parietal lobe. Glial cells are the supporting architecture for neurons. High counts of glial cells could indicate that he was using this portion of brain cognitively and extensively. The parietal lobe is thought to facilitate abstract thought. We do know that whenever anything is learned there are new dendrite connections made between neurons. Greater usage of the brain through learning and stimulation creates greater dendrite connectivity. Einstein's brain indicated extensive dendrite connectivity.

Science has yet to have the opportunity to study under a microscope any brain whose entire neuronal and synaptic connection potentials were totally used. All potentially 100 billion. This consideration itself is one reason to speculate that we are using only a small portion of our brains, since those brains that have undergone microscopic study show vast areas of the brain where there is little dendrite branching. THAT MEANS NOT USED.

Science has come to some definitive conclusions on what certain portions of the brain are used for, the occipital lobes, temporal lobes, frontal lobes, but there are some areas of the brain that science does not know as much about. To evaluate how much of our brain's capacity we are using when we are still unclear as to what some areas are capable of is purely speculative.

Conscious Machines - Marvin Minsky "We humans do not possess much consciousness. That is, we have very little natural ability to sense what happens within and outside ourselves."

Thanks Tom. You answered my question. (Sorry for the "indead". I should write "instead".)

Hudson,

Nobody but you said anything about the 10 percent brain myth that you found on Wiki something.

That actually has nothing to do with what was being discussed. The reference is to the brains potential versus actual use. Mechanically we use 100 percent of our brain. There are approximately 100 billion brain cells. What scientists have said is that we are not even close to using our potential brain capacity. There is no way to determine with actual evidence what actual amount of usage of the human brain is possible. The Brain uses a huge amount of energy and obviously we do not use all of our brain capacity all of the time, but we know that humans are not using our full potential for learning. The brain is a thinking organ that grows through learning.

The actual "problem" is the evidence that we do not use the full capacity of the brain to learn and reason because we are not being taught to do that correctly. The public does not have the proper stimulus to learn.

An animal could survive purely by following instinct. They do not need consciousness to survive. If we evolved, then our brains evolved. Consciousness evolved. If it evolved, it must have been advantageous for humans to evolve it. Evolution is a very long process and only things that help the species will evolve and passed on. Brain tissue takes twenty times as much energy to run as other tissues of the body such as muscle. Nature would not have evolved a human consciousness if this did not have a benefit greater than the cost of running it.

We are not fully conscious. We think we are fully conscious, but in fact we are not. We only have conscious access to a tiny amount of what our brains are doing. We would not be able to use our brain to alter functions that our brain actually does control, but we are not aware of it, and most people do not understand how the brain controls functions that go on in our physical body. When we are walking our conscious mind is not thinking about how our brain allows us to walk. Our feet are moving to the instructions of certain parts of our brains that we probably do not even understand.

Sometimes we act purely on instinct, and as a result, a great deal faster and more reliably than we could if consciousness ruled our actions.

Your history and science lessons are not answering my question. They are either describing history or what chemical reactions occur when tears are excreted from the regions directly next to the eyeball or what dimensions matter can exist in.

Jaynes' theory doesn't make logical sense (I've stated my reasons). Even you don't really believe him (considering your subconscious use of the word 'invent' in a previous post). Furthermore, the word "ultimately" means he didn't publish academically because his peers laughed him out of the room. Probe any of the great minds for data and explanations. That doesn't make your conclusions any more accurate if you've mixed things up incorrectly. Language doesn't have anything to do with god(s). Irresponsible science would link the two simply because it showed up around the same time cave paintings did. It doesn't matter whether or not hallucinations are happening or how the body is chemically reacting when they do happen. What matters is what the hallucinations are saying.

Imagination is predicated upon what the mind has ingested through the senses starting from birth. Artists generate shapes and colors because they've seen shapes and colors and know they can be modified. Scientists look at reference sections to see what has been done in the past on a particular topic. If they hadn't gone to school in the first place, they wouldn't have known to look for behaviors to then link to further observations. Dreams and nightmares consist of jumbled, previously recorded data. The LHC is predicated upon the Egyptian invention of the base 10 counting system. Children grow up in the absence of god because their parents didn't mention it, not because they're genetic mutants.

It doesn't matter how god/religion evolved through time. Upon hearing voices, even obeying those voices, there is nothing in the naturally-occurring world then or now which would indicate said voices could or would discuss a god, let alone a supernatural, non-existent creator. Dead ancestors? Fine. A fellow monkey behind the bush? Fine. The lightning in the sky talking to me? Fine. That meteor shower that just ended was talking to me? Fine. That I (or my surroundings for that matter) was created by something other than my mother (which also wouldn't ever enter the mind unless I had witnessed a birth at that point in my life)? Such an idea would never enter a hallucination because there isn't anything in nature which would potentially generate that idea. And yet, much to your obvious enjoyment, we are discussing it. So, where did it come from?

I'm sure you do read real science books. Congratulations on moving past your inner monkey. It is very surprising that you have arrived at the conclusion that this capability is based on non-existent hallucinations and associated behaviors.

Curtis wrote: -- "It doesn't matter how god/religion evolved through time."

It does matter. Most religious creeds around the world are/were animist: they are clearly inspired from nature.

-- "Upon hearing voices, even obeying those voices, there is nothing in the naturally-occurring world then or now which would indicate said voices could or would discuss a god, let alone a supernatural, non-existent creator. Dead ancestors? Fine."

Yes, fine. Death of loved ones is emotionally impressive and undesirable not only for human beings but also for other animals. Then, there are the dreams with the presence of dead people (spectra?), and so on.

-- "That I (or my surroundings for that matter) was created by something other than my mother (which also wouldn't ever enter the mind unless I had witnessed a birth at that point in my life)? Such an idea would never enter a hallucination because there isn't anything in nature which would potentially generate that idea. And yet, much to your obvious enjoyment, we are discussing it. So, where did it come from?"

Usually, gods were created to "explain" the origin of the mankind, not the origin of some specific contemporary human being (like me or my mother).

The ideas of gods (, daemons, sprits...), whenever are (re)invented, can find opportunity to infect more people and spread themselves, since we humans are susceptible to embrace those strange ideas, as an evolutionary byproduct.

Fortunately enough, disinfecting is possible: http://freethinker.co.uk/2008/11/08/how-an-amazonian-tribe-turned-a-missionary-into-an-atheist/

.

Evolution of god is far beyond my question. We all agree that they were heavily animist. Flying tigers with snake heads were par for the era. Not a problem. All of those phenomena exist in physical form somewhere in nature. What has not been addressed (beyond Jaynes' theory) is how the transition from flying tigers to creator or interactive god occurred. History lessons from that time period are completely void of motive for action and are guesses at best at describing exactly what did happen. The most logical answer to explain the first cave paintings is a pre-modern National Geographic photo shoot or artist's convention. Nothing more. Furthermore, there is nothing in the functionality of the scientific method or currently observed natural framework to suggest that it would or could evolve away from that, to it's current form(s). I'm looking for currently-observed evidence. Not spotty guesses at 100k year old water colors.

If you want to grasp at the theory that it is a biological construct (genetic, physical, what have you), you enter the racism realm. If a theist is genetically predisposed to believe in god and act accordingly, any attempt to separate church from state is an act against factors that the theist cannot control; akin to skin color. In that case, atheists should try to work with theists. Not "cure" them. Hence the more rational route of 'god is a thought'. I am trying to figure out other theories (in addition to Jaynes') which address the generation of a supernatural, creating, interactive god. History only shows how the thought evolved once it was generated. Not why.

I think you are almost understanding my question, though. The ONLY thing they had to go on to evolve from was a contemporary human being (humanoid, whatever you want to call it) experience. That's not an interactive god. Far from it. And yet that thought has arrived at modern times. There was no reason to wonder regarding about the origin of existence. "Trying to explain" is a coping mechanism. Given the existence of a complex biological machine such as a primate, those social and psychological coping mechanisms had already survived millions and millions of years of evolution. We observe them today in modern primates whose behaviors don't point to the existence of or need to 'try to explain'. Modern monkeys are safely assumed to be identical to ancient monkeys in the time frames we are referencing.

The whole discussion came up because the atheists with the megaphones (Youtube and mass book publishing) proclaimed that god should be treated as a scientific theory. I'm trying to figure out how they arrived at that conclusion within their own reference frame. The only thing that can substantiate that claim is to address a discrete, measurable event. What event? Linda answered that with "I don't know what the hell they were talking about." Certainly not the most scientific post she has ever made.

-- "Evolution of god is far beyond my question. We all agree that they were heavily animist. What has not been addressed (beyond Jaynes' theory) is how the transition from flying tigers to creator or interactive god occurred."

Dreams or hallucinations with dead people may suggest the concepts of sprite and soul as something different of the corpse. Then we have beliefs in afterlife and daemons.

Several animist gods were creators.

Most gods were very interactive: sun (Horus, Tupã, Aton...), gods of natural phenomena (Thor for thunder, etc.), and humans used to "interact" with them via praises and sacrifices.

Thus we have "interacting", "creator" and "imaterial" gods.

-- "If you want to grasp at the theory that it is a biological construct (genetic, physical, what have you), you enter the racism realm."

No, absolutely. Children are prepared to belief adults, and that is important for learning and survival. Humans are suscetible to adopt beliefs that are strange and not supported by evidences (horoscopes, daemons, leprechauns, gods). That is far different to say that humans are biologically programmed to have a "modern" idea of god. The idea of god evolved in the culture, since the credulity allowed it.

-- "The whole discussion came up because the atheists with the megaphones (Youtube and mass book publishing) proclaimed that god should be treated as a scientific theory. I'm trying to figure out how they arrived at that conclusion within their own reference frame."

Apologists have claimed existence of god with no evidence for support. But several theists have tried "logical" and "scientific" arguments to demonstrate theis claims, with no success (for example, you cited Robert Wright comparing god with electrons). Usually the only argument is faith.

Skepticals don't accept just "faith" as evidence. If it is important to separate reality from fantasy, faith is not the method. We need evidences. That is a reason to use scientific methods to evaluate/test the theist claims.

Moreover, atheists may feel necessary to explain/presentate the path they followed to conclude that the belief in god is not justified for them.

-- "The only thing that can substantiate that claim is to address a discrete, measurable event. What event?"

That depends on the specific theist claims.

For example, if god is not interactive, it does not affect the material universe, therefore we could simply ignore it completely.

Any interactive god could be testable for principle. If it is not testable directly, at least the effects of its interactions should be.

We can evaluate claims of Bible inerrancy and miracles, for instances.

Another way of putting this is to carry Linda's excellent metaphor a bit more: "software change on the same hardware." What event changed the software? Software runs in "for" loops and logic statements. Self-adapting software has adaptation logic statements. In other words, changing software requires a discrete event. It doesn't happen after the code is loaded into memory and running, unless it was previously coded to do so and even then has logic limits. I'm looking for examples of what generated or instigated the software change.

Curtis,

You are writing insulting and rude comments because you don't like the answers someone gave you. You don't seem to understand that there are all kinds of scientists who study all kinds of things and their finding are scientific. You were given the names of scientists, their research, and also books to investigate, but you are getting your information from the Internet.

Some of the things you have written has no credibility and has been thoroughly debunked. Do you know that Jaynes basic hypothesis has not been disproved and some of it has actually been confirmed? There is no way that a gene from the past in human evolution would exclude anyone. The Christians also called Darwin racists and claimed that evolution promoted Eugenics when it never had a thing to do with Eugenics. Julian Jaynes ideas have nothing to do with racism and no scientist has ever made that claim.

I would like to contribute this information:

The Egyptians called Thoth (the scribe of the gods) and taught that he had given them their writing, which they called "the speech of the gods."

Muslims believe that Allah himself created writing. The Greeks thought that their alphabet came from the gods. Most all of the ancient nations had a tradition that they once possessed sacred writings, including Mediterranean and Phoenician alphabets. In Hebrew rune means a song, or to sing, and the ancient Jews maintained that their Cabala was revealed by God to Moses and was transmitted verbally, it being too sacred to be written.

There is a good deal of evidence that the first writing represented the visual (pictographs) that conveyed meaning or concepts, and that it then developed into the depiction of sounds when language developed. Jaynes' bicameral mind hypothesis maintains that consciousness followed language and the writing of sounds. The Sumarians cuneiform writing proceeds from pictographs (visual) to phonetic symbols.

Around 2,100 BC Mesopotamia writing was used to record the judgments of the gods in the written laws. The word Israel is explained in Rot as the law of Ra from the ice, is means ice, Ra el law.

QUOTE LINDA: To the transition from bicameral to consciousness was a change in the brain hardware. There was also a genetic change and new research in genetics shows that humans are still evolving and that genetic changes can move through a population much more rapidly than was previously believed. Consciousness arose only relatively late in human development, appearing first in the Middle East at the end of the second millenium BCE, and this consciousness was dependent on language. Jaynes theorizes that the right hemisphere of the brain was specialized to recall long-term information, as the left was (and still is, in most people) specialized for language. Pre-conscious people, he contends, hallucinated instructions of a super-ego-like nature generated in the right brain. In the simplest, small scale, early societies, these hallucinations were attributed to ancestors, chiefs, or kings. Eventually they were attributed to gods.

This means that the brain is genetic but the change could be "compared" to hardware. The descriptions that were given describing the change in the brain (most anyone could tell) were given as a "symbolic" way of understanding what was being described. The kind of change that took place is what was being conveyed. We all know that the brain does not work like a computer. The brain had to change in order for consciousness to occur. I don't know of any "real" scientist who does not think that consciousness evolved. God didn't make man and primitive man was not fully conscious. The brain is still evolving. The only controversy in Jaynes theory was "how" consciousness evolved. Jaynes thought it was connected to "language" and it occurred more "recently." There is no "scientific" theory that states consciousness was present in man from day one. The only theory that man was created conscious is Creation theory.

The questions you asked about the electron was answered (that included lepton) Linda gave you that in her answer. Just another tip Curtis, you should put a comma before which, which you never have done.

QUOTE CURTIS: "Another is that god is a theory which is analogous to the theory of the existence of the electron (no one has seen it but many believe it exists)."

QUOTE LINDA: Scientific explanations often make use of things we cannot see or feel, such as protons, electrons, and quarks. These things really exist. Chemistry is founded on "an entity" that has negative charge so atoms can bond, an essentially, so everything in the universe can work. An electron is a lepton, showing that it is the one of the smallest units of recognizable matter ever quantified, and they have a mass which scientists have measured. And they have measured the charge.

QUOTE CURTIS: "Science has labeled certain behaviors with the names "electron", "lepton", etc. One of the latest labels is string theory which simplifies all these "smallest units" to wiggles of energy. This one in particular is getting quite a bit of top-tier, peer-reviewed journal coverage. Likewise, "gravity" is a name for a phenomenon."

Curtis, what you wrote was not an explanation of string theory.

QUOTE LINDA: String theory predicts the existence of extra dimensions and that some of these might be large enough to be observable at the LHC CERN. One possibility is that gravity might become strong when these extra dimensions appear. In this case, some variants of string theory predict that microscopic black holes might be produced in the LHC collisions. These would evaporate rapidly according to Hawking radiation, but measurements of this radiation would offer a unique window into the mysteries of quantum gravity. If the extra dimensions are curled up on a sufficiently large scale, ATLAS and CMS might be able to see Kaluza-Klein excitations of Standard Model particles, or even the graviton.

QUOTE CURTIS: "My question remains. What are the community postulations (clearly doesn't even have to be peer-reviewed primate behavioral studies at this point...) for the existence of the god theory? In other words, how do atheists explain the transition from 'un-named physical phenomenon' to 'active supernatural entity'.

Here is the answer you got that was only addressing "the god theory" not religion, which you continued to deny. This was not about inventing religion.

QUOTE LINDA: Jaynes theorizes that the right hemisphere of the brain was specialized to recall long-term information, as the left was (and still is, in most people) specialized for language. Pre-conscious people, he contends, hallucinated instructions of a super-ego-like nature generated in the right brain. In the simplest, small scale, early societies, these hallucinations were attributed to ancestors, chiefs, or kings. Eventually they were attributed to gods.

Later on she went into extreme detail about how we know what we know about particles. I think it is plain that it was a very scientific explanation. There is no scientific explanation for God since there is not evidence to test.

She also gave you the history of religion like she was picking gnat shit out of pepper.

You asked the questions and you didn't like the answers you got, and do you think that entitles you to insult someone that has actually given scientific answers. You don't even know that everything she has written about is some form of science. There are many issues that scientists disagree on but that does not mean it is not science. Darwin did not publish his theory for a long time. The English scientific establishment did not go against the Church of England's religious philosophy. Science was part of natural theology but Darwin's ideas about evolution were controversial. They conflicted with the beliefs that humans were a special creation and humans were not related to animals. The mainstream scientific community did not accept Darwin's theory. It took a campaign and taking his ideas to the public to achieve that.

Curtis, you haven't provided anything but what someone else said, and other inaccuracies. I don't see how you could have read anything that was written and be writing the things you are writing now. Those questions were more than answered.

Science has nothing to do with proving the existence of a mythological being, or any of the many gods that have supposedly existed. Science has no more to do with that than it has to do with proving the existence of 'the one true' God. The fact is electrons (that have some proof of their existence) is nothing like God (who has none) no matter who doesn't think so, but I don't think that you would be satisfied with a gold-plated answer.

Curtis said, "Your history and science lessons are not answering my question. They are either describing history or what chemical reactions occur when tears are excreted from the regions directly next to the eyeball or what dimensions matter can exist in."

I put every one of your statements with my answer. The answers were to specific statements that you did make. There was no answer that involved how tears are excreted. There were plenty of answers that clearly show how the OT came from Ugarit and how Christianity was a concoction with no eyewitness accounts. It's not just history Curtis - it clearly disputes the authenticity of Christianity. You didn't dispute one single claim that I made about the way religion was jerry-built - you are simply posting things out of context - or things that were never mentioned because you can't dispute my evidence about religion or you would.

Curtis said, "Jaynes' theory doesn't make logical sense (I've stated my reasons).

You have not stated one thing that would indicate that you actually know one thing about Jaynes theory.

Curtis said, "Even you don't really believe him (considering your subconscious use of the word 'invent' in a previous post)."

People invent things for reasons - inventions come from ideas. It doesn't matter if it came from hallucinations, or just the fact that they were primitive ignorant creatures who couldn't explain anything scientifically about how man got here and how the world came to be, those kinds of things are what caused the invention of God and religion. First came the invention of God and then religion. However, many stories in the Bible are about people who literally say they heard Gods voice telling them what to do.

Curtis said, "Furthermore, the word "ultimately" means he didn't publish academically because his peers laughed him out of the room."

You are posting things that have no basis in fact. Jaynes went on to publish articles and commentaries on his theory in peer-reviewed journals such as Canadian Psychology and Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and discuss his ideas with other prominent scholars at conferences. Julian Jaynes theory was about how the primitive brain of man evolved. That is what Jaynes was trying to prove - he used the ancient people's writings about their gods but the fact is that God not existing would not have been controversial with scientists.

Curtis said, "Probe any of the great minds for data and explanations."

While writing The Origin, Jaynes consulted with scholars who were experts in many of the areas he discussed. These include Ronald Baker, Ph.D. (trance states), Joseph Bogen, M.D. (dual brain/neuroscience), John Kihlstrom, Ph.D. (hypnosis), Leonide Goldstein, D. Sc., (schizophrenia), A.K. Shapiro, M.D. (Tourette's Syndrome), Willard Van Orman Quine, Ph.D., among others. Jaynes was very much in demand as a lecturer, and he frequently lectured at conferences and symposia, and he was often a guest lecturer at colleges and universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Emory, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, Tufts, York, Dalhousie, Wellesley, Florida State, Northwestern, SUNY at Genesco, Plattsburgh, Oswego, and Brockport, the Universities of New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts at Amherst and Boston Harbor. He was Scholar-in-Residence at Skidmore, Lake Forest, and the University of Prince Edward Island. In 1983 he gave the keynote address at a conference on "Language: The Crucible of Consciousness." In 1984 he was invited to give the plenary lecture at the Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchburg, Austria.

Curtis said, "That doesn't make your conclusions any more accurate if you've mixed things up incorrectly. Language doesn't have anything to do with god(s). Irresponsible science would link the two simply because it showed up around the same time cave paintings did. It doesn't matter whether or not hallucinations are happening or how the body is chemically reacting when they do happen. What matters is what the hallucinations are saying."

Your first sentence proves that you do not understand the theory. Jaynes theory about the malfunctioning brain of ancient man was not the main controversy. It was his theory that language was needed to be self-aware. Many scientists today believe that consciousness evolved due to language the controversy then was that Jaynes thought that consciousness and language evolved together and more recently. The controversy was not about Jaynes idea that primitive people made up God (most everyone knows that they did) otherwise we were created and scientists know that we were not. Jaynes theory that self-awareness (consciousness) and language evolved more recently than was believed at that time (that was the controversy). There was never a controversy about the fact that consciousness evolved and that primitive man's brain was different from modern man - it is just about how and when it happened. There is no controversy in the scientific community about the fact that man created God - very few scientists believes that God created man or the Universe. Ninety percent of the elite members of the National Academy of Science do not believe in God.

Evolutionary psychology focuses on how evolution has shaped the mind and behavior. Though applicable to any organism with a nervous system, most research in evolutionary psychology focuses on humans. Today we know far more - the reason the brain and all aspects of the brain are of vital importance today is the efforts to create Friendly Artificial intelligence (AI) this involves the study of cognitive phenomena in machines that will be transhuman. This research is to answers questions about how the brain works because the Friendly AI will have a brain that works like the human brain and be super-intelligent (more intelligent than humans are). Scientists in the Artificial Intelligence field are now doing studies with the kind of technology that was not there for psychologists in the past. The brain is now one of the most studied in the scientific field and that is not the way it was in the past.

The idea that language is a necessary component of subjective consciousness and more abstract forms of thinking has been gaining acceptance in recent years, with proponents such as Daniel Dennett, William H. Calvin, Merlin Donald, John Limber, Howard Margolis, Peter Carruthers and Jose Luis Bermudez.

Cognitive neuroscience researcher and university professor, Michael Persinger: "Within the last five years science has found that single point mutations on genes can produce permanent changes in speech production. There is now evidence that point mutations, whose mechanisms must still be discerned, can diffuse within decades throughout entire populations. There have been approximately 15 million changes in our species' genome since our common ancestor with the chimpanzee. There are human accelerated regions in the genome with genes known to be involved in transcriptional regulation and neurodevelopment. They are expressed within brain structures that would have allowed precisely the types of phenomena that Jaynes predicted had occurred around 3,500 years ago. Related genes, attributed to religious beliefs, are found on the same chromosome (for example, chromosome 10) as propensities for specific forms of epilepsy (partial, with auditory features) and schizophrenia."

I told you about the cuneiform texts of the ancient Sumerian - these texts were first pictographs (pictures) and they evolved from only pictures to pictures mixed with writing and so forth. Some later texts depict a king lamenting the loss of his god, but other people still heard the voices. These were the people who probably became the Prophets and Wise Men. Jaynes and other people have studied these texts and they know what they were saying.

There are many examples of hearing Gods voice in the OT and NT. One is Abraham hears God's voice that convinces him to kill his own son, This is a voice Abraham has heard before. He is following God's orders telling him what to do. A person who did hear voices or knew that people once heard the voice of God (Abraham never existed) could have written this story.

There have been people today (schizophrenics) that have said that they heard God's voice telling them what to do when they committed similar (Abraham like) crimes.

I posted what I was answering with very precise answers - you are the one mixing things up and you are getting things wrong. First there had to be a made-up idea that there was a God (there could be several possible reason) why primitive man invented God and then religion, but we know nothing was ever created because of science. These people made up stores (or lies) about their God and that is how religion came to be.

I didn't write a thing about hearing voices when I wrote about the origin of the actual religions and where they came from. The Ugarit text has exact copies of stories in the OT etc… and I wrote about the lies and discrepancies in the stories in the NT - you didn't dispute one thing that I wrote with evidence. What you are writing is nonsense. There had to first be a concept of a God and from there a religion evolved.

The only other possibility would be that God has just always been there and he inspired the writing of the ridiculous Book known as the Holy Bible and (who ever wrote) the Bible was inspired by God but couldn't explain anything scientifically if their life depended on it. If you had read any of the information that I gave showing the roots of the OT in Ugarit and went all the way from there to Rome you would know the history lesson was about how religion was concocted - I gave all of the evidence to back it up - it had nothing to do with hearing voices. You can't dispute any of it (it is all true and backed up by evidence) that is what is important. The Ten Commandments supposedly given to Moses by God on the top of Mount Sinai) clearly came from page 125 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The alleged Moses did not write the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the OT) there were at least 4 authors who wrote those books over a very long period of time.

Curtis said, "Imagination is predicated upon what the mind has ingested through the senses starting from birth. Artists generate shapes and colors because they've seen shapes and colors and know they can be modified. Scientists look at reference sections to see what has been done in the past on a particular topic. If they hadn't gone to school in the first place, they wouldn't have known to look for behaviors to then link to further observations. Dreams and nightmares consist of jumbled, previously recorded data."

Most people learn from their parents telling them things from the time they can understand what their parents are saying to them. Most people learn a religion from their parents. In America most people are lead to believe that not having a religion is weird and that people who don't believe myths are evil - in many countries throughout Europe that is not the case, and there are far fewer believers, I think that proves a point.

Curtis said, "The LHC is predicated upon the Egyptian invention of the base 10 counting system.

Quantum Fluctuations are the random nature of matter's state of existence or nonexistence. At these incredibly small sub-atomic scales, the state of reality is changing from nanosecond to nanosecond. By detecting and measuring the density fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background using the WMAP space mission we are learning about the early universe; and we begin to understand the basic ingredients that make life possible. In the future we will enhance these efforts with other missions, such as NASA's Einstein Inflation Probe, which would strive to detect the gravity disturbances from the era when the universe originally inflated. We know that the universe and life in the universe came from natural processes. Stephen Hawking, James Hartle, John Wheeler, and others, say quantum cosmology implies that "in principle, one can predict everything in the universe solely from physical laws. Consequently, the long-standing 'first cause' problem intrinsic in cosmology has been finally dispelled." this cosmology has eliminated the need to postulate (or even the possibility of postulating) a first cause (originating cause) of the universe's beginning. Stephen Hawking has famously said "there is no place for a Creator."

Children grow up in the absence of god because their parents didn't mention it, not because they're genetic mutants."

I can't imagine what that comment has to do with anything - people do not believe in God for many reasons nobody said that they were genetic mutants. Some people escape the brainwashing and start looking for the real answers and some facts.

Curtis said, "It doesn't matter how god/religion evolved through time. Upon hearing voices, even obeying those voices, there is nothing in the naturally-occurring world then or now which would indicate said voices could or would discuss a god, let alone a supernatural, non-existent creator. Dead ancestors? Fine. A fellow monkey behind the bush? Fine. The lightning in the sky talking to me? Fine. That meteor shower that just ended was talking to me? Fine. That I (or my surroundings for that matter) was created by something other than my mother (which also wouldn't ever enter the mind unless I had witnessed a birth at that point in my life)? Such an idea would never enter a hallucination because there isn't anything in nature which would potentially generate that idea. And yet, much to your obvious enjoyment, we are discussing it. So, where did it come from?

Ideas can come from many different sources. Some people believe they have seen ghosts. Therefore they have a belief in ghost. They influence others to believe in ghost with their ghost stories. People who are experts in deciphering ancient language can read the writings of ancient people. They know what they are saying - if they were not talking about gods and goddesses and demons they wouldn't say that they were. Some of those stories have exact duplicates in the OT and the researchers do know the facts.

Curtis said, "I'm sure you do read real science books. Congratulations on moving past your inner monkey. It is very surprising that you have arrived at the conclusion that this capability is based on non-existent hallucinations and associated behaviors."

It's not too difficult to believe that crazy people wrote the Bible. It's sure not hard to believe that they saw things and heard voices since they say it right there in the Good Book. As a mater of fact they thought it was desirable to see things and hear voices, and even kill people if God told you to do it. There are some very famous evangelicals today that claim to hear God's voice. I think it is just a matter of why they were nuts - not that they were nuts.

You are correct. I never took the time to read Jaynes' work. I knew I would find things like the following. This is his first reference to 'god' in this paper.

http://www.julianjaynes.org/pdf/jaynes_consciousness-voices-mind.pdf

"But if you take the generally accepted oldest parts of the Iliad and ask, '"Is there evidence of consciousness?"' the answer, I think, is no. People are not sitting down and making decisions. No one is. No one is introspecting. No one is even reminiscing. It is a very different kind of world. Then, who makes the decisions? Whenever a significant choice is to be made, a voice comes in telling people what to do. These voices are always and immediately obeyed. These voices are called gods. To me this is the origin of gods."

First, to draw the conclusion that humans from his 'bi-cameral' era were any different than they are now, solely based on the Illiad is laughable. Second, even if the Illiad truly constituted the most accurate sample of early human writing, there is nothing to suggest that there was no introspecting/reminiscing, etc. actually occurring. Just because it didn't show up in a story doesn't mean it didn't happen. That claim is not science. Third, he claims they called the voices "god". There is no attempt at addressing where this label came from or what drove its application. There are no references to any archeological works discussing translation attempts or context placement. If you have to preface your statement with "to me..." you didn't back it up well enough. He doesn't back it up at all. I don't think that is his intent. He is describing how 'god' evolved. And that's not my question.

You said "The only other possibility would be that God has just always been there...". Very interesting. So you do agree with Dawkins. Why do you consider God a possibility? I also find it amusing that you keep referencing the Bible when I haven't even hinted at it. Did you have a bad experience with it?

Curtis said, "You are correct. I never took the time to read Jaynes' work. I knew I would find things like the following. This is his first reference to 'god' in this paper. http://www.julianjaynes.org/pdf/jaynes_consciousness-voices-mind.pdf

When someone gets their information off the Internet without any personal knowledge of the subject or what the actual work is based on they usually wind up posting things that are false. I have read many web sites that state that there is more evidence for Jesus than any figure in history. There is none, and there are huge amounts of evidence for Julius Caesar who lived 100 years before the alleged Jesus. However, there are fools who continue to post those false statements.

Curtis said, "But if you take the generally accepted oldest parts of the Iliad and ask, '"Is there evidence of consciousness?"' the answer, I think, is no. People are not sitting down and making decisions. No one is. No one is introspecting. No one is even reminiscing. It is a very different kind of world. Then, who makes the decisions? Whenever a significant choice is to be made, a voice comes in telling people what to do. These voices are always and immediately obeyed. These voices are called gods. To me this is the origin of gods."

What is laughable is that you get your answers from the Internet. If they are writing that the Iliad is where Jaynes got (ALL) of his information that is simply laughable. They couldn't be even vaguely familiar with Jaynes' theory, or maybe that is just your interpretation of something that was dense to begin with. However, I never mentioned the Iliad in my writing so everything you are posting is just someone else's argument with someone. There are huge amounts of evidence from all kinds of studies that would have to be evaluated to even start to do a critique on Jaynes work. This was his life's work. You think he spent his whole life reading the Iliad?

I'm sure many people are told things that they believe with out question and what ever is written is taken as fact and then repeated. They never consider doing their own research and study, frankly this material would be challenging to scholars. That's why they can't focus on Jaynes' actual theory, but prefer to read the misconceptions of his work that are completely false, and then post them as facts. Not only have you never read Julian Jaynes work but you probably don't know that there are many other similar works.

No matter how anyone interprets the Iliad it does not contradict the many instances of human behavior directed by gods found in the Iliad.

Scholars believe that the text of the Iliad was edited at Athens in the time of Peisistratos (560 to 528 B.C). Jebb (1887) writes that "The poems were handed down by oral recitation, and in the course of that process suffered many alterations, deliberate or accidental. After the poems had been written down 550 B.C., they suffered still further changes." The neoclassicists also argue that the Iliad is made of older and more recent layers. An example of evidence for this is the armor of Ajax, which is from a much earlier time period (Cline, 2006).

Later editing and additions to the Iliad is highly relevant to this aspect of Jaynes's argument, yet is not even mentioned in the criticism of Jaynes' theory. It is likely that the Iliad is made up of various older and more recent layers, with the older layers reflecting a more bicameral mentality and newer layers showing evidence of consciousness. Jaynes discusses the issue of later additions on page 77 of The Origin, as well as in subsequent lectures.

The later additions to the Iliad (references) Leaf (1886), Lawton (1905), Jebb (1887), and Cline (2006).

Curtis said, "First, to draw the conclusion that humans from his 'bi-cameral' era were any different than they are now, solely based on the Illiad is laughable. Second, even if the Illiad truly constituted the most accurate sample of early human writing, there is nothing to suggest that there was no introspecting/reminiscing, etc. actually occurring. Just because it didn't show up in a story doesn't mean it didn't happen. That claim is not science."

The Iliad (which Jaynes explained in his book) and other scholars have explained were ancient texts mixed with more recent writing. This is only one piece of evidence for Jaynes's theory and is only one part of the evidence, which includes evidence of auditory hallucinations in other ancient texts, behavioral commands experienced by modern voice-hearers, historical linguistics, idols, oracles, divination, split-brain research, the psychology of pre-modern tribes, etc.

The Iliad and the Odyssey tell scholars a great deal about the lives of the Mycaenean Greeks and this includes their relationship to the gods. The "gods" are clearly not just a literary device; there is a great deal of evidence from a variety of sources that the Greeks had a close personal relationship with the gods. The gods are seen in a number of other early Greek poems referred to as the 'Epic Cycle' poems (there are only fragments of them today) and there is a prominent role of gods in the lives of men in The Epic of Gilgamesh.

I gave you plenty of examples of all of the scientists and scholars, as well as examples of the cuneiform text (ancient writings) that Jaynes considered and studied. You should have realized that his work was not based on one sample or even many samples of ancient writing. It was based on many things. Either you didn't read what I wrote or you don't comprehend what I write.

Jaynes defines consciousness as (self-awareness) interior dialogue, the idea of self, the ability of self to be motivated by self. Much of Jaynes book is devoted to anatomy, and split-brain studies, as well as archaeology, ancient art, ancient texts, and their use of language. Jaynes theory is that consciousness arose only relatively late in human development, appearing first in the Middle East at the end of the second millenium BCE, and this consciousness was dependent on language. Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, Hesiod, and the Bible are examined, ancient carvings and burial practices are considered, and the evolution of religious practices involving idols, sacrifices, prophecy, omens and divination are all looked at. There is no reason to keep answering the same issues again and again - the answers will not change.

There is no doubt that the characters in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad (the ancient written parts of the Iliad) and the oldest books of the Bible behave in a manner that is nothing like modern man or like anything written later on in history. The classic Greek dramatists' characters have the same kinds of self-awareness and motivations of modern man. This self-awareness is not present in ancient Greece, Babylon, Assyria, Egpyt, and less ancient but similar Mayan and Inca culture.

Jaynes sees prophets as remnants of the older mind; still able to hear the voices after most people had lost the ability. In Biblical times God interacted with people in a very different way than He does now. As the mind (or brain) developed consciousness this knowing God became a small voice in many people and in others a resounding silence. Jaynes sees idol worship and modern religious behavior as both signs of a longing for the lost certainty and simplicity of a world in which decisions didn't have to be made, and all were of one accord as to what the gods wanted done.

Curtis said, "Third, he claims they called the voices "god". There is no attempt at addressing where this label came from or what drove its application. There are no references to any archeological works discussing translation attempts or context placement. If you have to preface your statement with "to me..." you didn't back it up well enough. He doesn't back it up at all. I don't think that is his intent. He is describing how 'god' evolved. And that's not my question."

It came from very ancient texts that Jaynes and others scholars have interpreted and studied and they know what they say. I have already written about the cuneiform that were first pictographs and then both writing and pictographs and then writing. The knowledge of the ancient writings of the Akkadian, or transcripted Akkadian is one of the sources among many others. This is now a circular argument since most of this has all be answered - but not read.

You don't comprehend that Jaynes theory is that the idea of a God came from ancient people (who were not self-aware) and who hallucinated and heard voices. You asked for a reason for inventing God and I gave you one there are many. I think the vast amount of evidence clearly shows that "to me" is not what Jaynes ever used as an argument and neither did I. This is something someone wrote that has nothing to do with any of the evidence that was presented here, and it sure has nothing to do with Jaynes work. It isn't true or relevant.

Cuneiform records made some three thousand years ago give plenty of evidence of the ideas at the time of death and the afterlife and the story of the flood among the ancient peoples of the Tigro-Euphrates Valley.

The Gilgamesh Epic and other related Babylonian and Assyrian documents correspond to portions of the Old Testament indicates an obvious inherent historical relationship of the Hebrew and Mesopotamian idea.

Curtis said, "You said "The only other possibility would be that God has just always been there...". Very interesting. So you do agree with Dawkins. Why do you consider God a possibility? I also find it amusing that you keep referencing the Bible when I haven't even hinted at it. Did you have a bad experience with it?" What I find amusing is that you can't comprehend what you read. I do not think that there is the slightest possibility that there is a God. The idea I was trying to convey is that if man didn't make up the idea of a God then the only alternative is that God has always been there. Then I went on to show that there is no need for a creator - did you read it - or just not understand it? The concept of God came from man. God could not have just always been there. God cannot have created Time - God would have had to create time before there was time, which is not possible. Therefore, God did not create such things as the dimensions of the Universe, major physical constants and the mass/energy sum total. If God created the universe, then God existed before the universe, and if God created everything who created god.

LINDA: "First there had to be a made-up idea that there was a God (there could be several possible reason) why primitive man invented God..."

Do you believe god was made up? Or do you believe god was a label for voices that weren't made up, but that suddenly arrived as a biological condition? Why are you contradicting yourself?

The link I posted was a direct quote of Jaynes' from his community website, advertising his ideas.

This has been very informative. Thank you all for your contributions. It appears that Jaynes is the most popular theory for atheists to cite regarding how god came to be. It also appears that this particular community has nothing more to offer than that.

Anyone who is not totally devoid of common sense or that has a modicum of honesty knows that even though you ask the entire community your "questions" only one person answered you. That does not constitute an entire community's opinion. It appears no one else wanted to answer your questions. If and when they do answer these trite little questions you can include them in this fiasco - but not until they answer you.

Atheists do not believe God has a basis in fact otherwise they would be believers. There may be differences of opinion about how the idea of God originated or how the word God was coined, but I doubt that there is any disagreement that the stories came from ancient myths. There is plenty of evidence that has been presented, and does exist, which demonstrate where these myths originated. The fact is that most atheists are in agreement over the real issue (that the many Gods and "the one true God) is a man made up myth.

Ancient mythology (including the Bible) clearly states that people heard God's voice. The only options to explain what they heard are - God actually spoke to them - they were lying - or they were hearing voices. Those are the choices. There may be differences in the way we weigh the evidence, but our conclusions are all pretty much the same. There is no truth to any of the myths about Savior Gods.

Curtis said, "In other words, how do atheists explain the transition from 'un-named physical phenomenon' to 'active supernatural entity'."

I think you would be hard pressed to prove that there was ever any unnamed physical phenomenon that became a supernatural entity.

Curtis said, "What drove the creation of the label 'supernatural'?"

The Bible and all (ancient mythology) labeled many things supernatural that were not, because the authors were totally without scientific knowledge. They believed gods and goddess caused things that we know are natural occurrences.

Some people may think that Jesus was a real historical figure whose actual story was mixed with superstition, myths and legends. I do not believe that the Jesus myth was based on any actual historical figure. There is ample evidence that this myth had it's origin in ancient Egypt (and no evidence exists) for a historical Jesus.

People believe these ridiculous stories simply because the clergy does not admit that there was no historical figure responsible for Christianity, and there were hundreds of gospels (not just four) that existed. The clergy does not preach the real history behind this mythology, and what they do preach does not mean a thing. Their claims are not supported by anything more substantial than hearsay.

Curtis said, "The link I posted was a direct quote of Jaynes' from his community website, advertising his ideas. This has been very informative. Thank you all for your contributions.

I gave you the actual writer's words from his book that he wrote - not a paragraph from something on the Internet. There was later editing and additions to the Iliad that is highly relevant to this aspect of Jaynes' argument. That is not even mentioned in the criticism of Jaynes' theory. It is likely that the Iliad is made up of various older and more recent layers, with the older layers reflecting a more bicameral mentality and newer layers showing evidence of consciousness. Jaynes discusses the issue of later additions on page 77 of The Origin, as well as in subsequent lectures.

Scholars believe that the text of the Iliad was edited at Athens in the time of Peisistratos (560 to 528 B.C) Jebb (1887) writes that "The poems were handed down by oral recitation, and in the course of that process suffered many alterations, deliberate or accidental. After the poems had been written down 550 B.C., they suffered still further changes." The neoclassicists also argue that the Iliad is made of older and more recent layers. An example of evidence for this is the armor of Ajax, which is from a much earlier time period (Cline, 2006).

No matter how anyone interprets the Iliad it does not contradict the many instances of human behavior directed by gods found in the Iliad. The Iliad was not by any stretch all that Jaynes based his theory on. I gave all of the things Jaynes based his theory on; it all came from what Jaynes wrote about his work in his book.

Do you comprehend what the scholars have found out about the Iliad? That what we have is a compilation of layers of work. Some are very old and some are not - and some have been rewritten - just like the Bible. However, none of the Bible dates to the time of the alleged Jesus. No eyewitness accounts have ever existed. You never read Julian Jaynes' work but you probably don't know that there are many other similar works. The Epic of Gilgamesh is believed to be the oldest written story on Earth. It was originally written on 12 clay tablets in cuneiform script in ancient Sumeria between 2750 and 2500 BCE. Gilgamesh of Uruk is the greatest king on earth, part man and part god. There is no doubt that the Epic of Gilgamesh (and the oldest books of the Bible) behaves in a manner that is nothing like modern man or like anything written later on in history. Some parts of the Epic of Gilgamesh obviously are the same flood story that predates the story of Noah's ark in the Jewish and Christian Bibles.

Curtis said, "it appears that Jaynes is the most popular theory for atheists to cite regarding how god came to be. It also appears that this particular community has nothing more to offer than that.'

All of your conclusions indicate that you are incapable of grasping what is actually being conveyed. The community doesn't seem to be interested in answering your absurd tirades - didn't you notice. I'm the only one that attempted an answer. Someone else correcting the errors in other people's (and your) comments is not answering your questions.

There are all kinds of theories about the talking God - including some people are actually still talking to Him. Some of them believe Moses talked to a burning bush and The Ten Commandments were given to Moses - even though we know The Ten Commandments came from The Egyptian Book of the Dead - long before the alleged Moses got them from (a talking bush) or God. According to the Scriptures Moses wrote about his own funeral.

The Bible is very informative on the subject of things that can talk: Snakes, bushes donkeys etc. and nobody is ever shocked. It's not like anyone is saying; "did that bush just say something to me?" It's like, "hello bush!" Maybe they were crazy or maybe they were drunk or maybe they were just stupid -what's the difference. These are weird strange stories in the Bible by most people's standards except sadly most Christians.

It's clear that you don't understand that there are no spokesmen for all atheists. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as one and only one idea among atheists, and there is no doctrine concerning many issues - but atheists are all non-believers.

Linda, I apologize if anything I have said has been misconstrued as an attack. I was sincere when I suggested you consider physics research. The only other comment that I can find that could be ruled inconsiderate is labeling a statement as unscientific. And it was exactly that. There was no insult. It was a scientific assessment of "I don't know what the hell they're talking about..." If you ever want to be taken seriously in a scientific reference frame, don't use it. Oh, and the inner monkey. Evolutionarily speaking, that was a scientifically-founded joke.

The only relevant component of the previous conversations is Jaynes' theory and the list of researchers who have referenced his work. The time frames he is referencing far pre-date the existence of both the Bible and Christianity. An interactive god also already existed before either of them. I never asked for a history lesson. Similarly, the electron was introduced as a comparison. That comparison was reasonably extrapolated directly from comments by hosts on The Atheist Experience. It was not a request for more information about physics. No examples, no jokes. Noted.

Tom said "Science has nothing to do with proving the existence of a mythological being." Clearly there are many atheists who believe god is to be treated as a scientific theory. Read my first post.

Modern schizophrenics 'hear' voices and label them as god because they were born into, and then grew up in, a world that talks about god. Schizophrenics who grow up surrounded by atheists don't label them god. Likewise, the first primate who developed schizophrenia 4000 yrs ago would have needed a motive to call them god or treat them any differently than they would the resident alpha male. What are the theories regarding said motive? Why would they have any reason to label them anything other than ancestor, king, etc. I understand that they did. I want to know theories as to why.

To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong), modern non-human primate behavioral data doesn't point to the existence of hallucinations, schizophrenia or god. Given the vast similarities between non-human primates and humans, as well as the diversity within the primate family, some scientist must have observed something along those lines.

Curtis said, "Linda, I apologize if anything I have said has been misconstrued as an attack. I was sincere when I suggested you consider physics research. The only other comment that I can find that could be ruled inconsiderate is labeling a statement as unscientific. And it was exactly that. There was no insult. It was a scientific assessment of "I don't know what the hell they're talking about..." If you ever want to be taken seriously in a scientific reference frame, don't use it.

You couldn't insult anyone? Maybe you should post the entire statement, that way it would be obvious that what I was responding to was not a scientific statement when I said, "Well, I don't know what the hell they were talking about." Curtis said, "They were quoting Richard Dawkins; an atheist poster child if there ever was one. The show hosts agreed with his stance that an interactive god should be considered equivalent to a scientific theory. If that is the case, and given that theist observation and evidence tends to be rejected more often than not (some of it very justifiably so), we are left with lineage of thought and theory as the only source for that label. We've (both myself and Linda) already established that theory begins with observed phenomena."

What you said (about what someone else said) Dawkins said, does not require a scientific answer. I know what I think Dawkins probably meant, but without an exact quote from Dawkins (not what someone said he said) I would only be guessing. Linda said, "Well, I don't know what the hell they were talking about; all I can tell you is what I know. Nobody has put religion to any test - least of all a scientific test. If they just looked at what is written in their Holy Books and investigated how this religion was invented they wouldn't waste any more time on it."

I wrote about electrons and what we know about particles by smashing bits of matter together (particle physics) and string theory - even though you couldn't explain them or give a coherent connection to the discussion.

There is no scientific theory about God. A comparison is not a definition (God is like) is not a theory. Particles seem to move from the visible to invisible but really they don't. They are never invisible (they are not observable) not knowing the position of something does not mean it is invisible. Understand particles and how the universe was made is not the same thing as finding a Creator. We know things because we are conscious, but that does not mean that our minds create what we observe or that what we observe is conscious. However, that is another theory that led to the God of the consciousness gaps. These "theories" are the thing as always, just apply God to anything in science that you don't fully understand. If a Creator gave humans consciousness to observe the world, and He created human life, why didn't He give them the ability to understand it?

Curtis said, "Oh, and the inner monkey. Evolutionarily speaking, that was a scientifically-founded joke."

No it was an unscientifically founded joke. It's cartoon science. The Real Theory of Evolution has nothing to do with monkeys to man. Darwin's Theory of Evolution does not conclude that man descended from monkeys and apes but that man, monkeys, apes etc. all have a common ancestor. Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Monkeys branched off from the primates that apes and chimpanzees are from. Humans are a part of a classification class that consists of Chimpanzee, Orangutans, and Gorilla, which are our closest relatives. In the distant past none of these apes existed, instead there were less evolved apes from which the modern apes descended. The Theory of Evolution claims that all primates evolved from a common ancestor not from each other. Humans and apes share a common ancestor that gave rise to both. This species diverged into two distinct genealogies, one was the hominids, and the other evolved into the African great ape species.

Curtis said, "The only relevant component of the previous conversations is Jaynes' theory and the list of researchers who have referenced his work. The time frames he is referencing far pre-date the existence of both the Bible and Christianity. An interactive god also already existed before either of them. I never asked for a history lesson. Similarly, the electron was introduced as a comparison. That comparison was reasonably extrapolated directly from comments by hosts on The Atheist Experience. It was not a request for more information about physics. No examples, no jokes. Noted.

Anthropology and Archaeology are sciences that reconstruct ancient civilizations. What I wrote about were the ancient civilizations that were written about by Jaynes. The comparisons of writings in the Old Testament and those that came from Ugarit demonstrate a definite connection between the two. That means the origin or those ideas came from Ugarit. The OT story of the flood has an almost exact copy in Ugaritic literature, and I assume you know that Ugarit was long before the OT. The Ugaritic (Cannanite) literature is similar to work in Hebrew composed between the seventh and the third century B.C. Cuneiform records made some three thousand years ago give plenty of evidence of the ideas at the time of death and the afterlife and the story of the flood among the ancient peoples of the Tigro-Euphrates Valley. The Gilgamesh Epic and other related Babylonian and Assyrian documents correspond to portions of the Old Testament indicates an obvious inherent historical relationship of the Hebrew and Mesopotamian idea. You simply do not comprehend the relevance.

Curtis said, "Modern schizophrenics 'hear' voices and label them as god because they were born into, and then grew up in, a world that talks about god. Schizophrenics who grow up surrounded by atheists don't label them god.

Modern man's behavior (even schizophrenics) has nothing to do with the discussion of ancient man, or why ancient man labeled the voices they heard Gods. There have been approximately 15 million changes in our species' genome since our common ancestor with the chimpanzee. There are human accelerated regions in the genome with genes known to be involved in transcriptional regulation and neurodevelopment. They are expressed within brain structures that would have allowed precisely the types of phenomena that Jaynes predicted had occurred around 3,500 years ago. Related genes, attributed to religious beliefs, are found on the same chromosome (for example, chromosome 10) as propensities for specific forms of epilepsy (partial, with auditory features) and schizophrenia."

Jaynes thought that some people were throwbacks even when others developed consciousness. Schizophrenia is genetic and the condition still exists - what a modern person might think they hear has nothing to do with what ancient people thought they were hearing. And some of them do still hear God's voice, and others hear other voices.

Curtis said, "Likewise, the first primate who developed schizophrenia 4000 yrs ago would have needed a motive to call them god or treat them any differently than they would the resident alpha male. What are the theories regarding said motive? Why would they have any reason to label them anything other than ancestor, king, etc. I understand that they did. I want to know theories as to why."

The archaic people Jaynes described didn't develop schizophrenia - their brain was not like modern man's until they evolved consciousness.

Curtis said, "To my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong), modern non-human primate behavioral data doesn't point to the existence of hallucinations, schizophrenia or god. Given the vast similarities between non-human primates and humans, as well as the diversity within the primate family, some scientist must have observed something along those lines."

Julian Jaynes studied the earliest writings particularly the many early civilizations of the Near East. He gave many examples from Sumer, Ur, Babylon, Egyptian, Early Mycenean (Greek), Hebrew, and even Mayan and Asian cultures that support his theory. Archaic humans (functioning without self-awareness) they were ordered and moved by the gods through both auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations. Jaynes theory came from studies of ancient cultures, as well as a scientific understanding of the kind of condition that would produce the kinds of writing that were studied. I have given you all of the studies in my previous posts - these answers are all there. There is no doubt that these ancient people wrote about Gods, but Jaynes theory of archaic man does not have to be the only reason for ancient man's ideas about Gods - but there is no doubt that this is where the idea of Gods originated.

Curtis,

On paragraph 3 the spacing seems to have not come out right. I guess I must have hit something without realizing it. This is the correction because my answer (although the quote marks are at the end of your statement) came out together without a space and it shouldn't have.

Curtis said, "The point is that there is an observed phenomenon which drives the initial naming process. That naming process always relies on prior theory and labels. For example, the seeds for the kitchen microwave were sown when an engineer walked in front of a microwave antenna and the candy bar in his pocket melted."

When the Big Bang occurred after a time the electrons and protons (and other nuclei) combined to form hydrogen atoms; this is the recombination era, and we see it today as the cosmic microwave background.

This is what I was talking about.

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