Friday, September 17, 2010

Blackmore shows ignorance of both memes and religion

Susan Blackmore admits that religion isn’t a “virus of the mind.”
Are religions viruses of the mind? I would have replied with an unequivocal "yes" until a few days ago when some shocking data suggested I am wrong.

From a conference on “Explaining religion,” she cites the following reasons.

1. Religious activity correlates with more children.

And, no others.

Yep, that’s it.

First, despite her noting her previous mea culpa over believing in the reality of paranormal phenomena, it shows Blackmore might still lack intellectual rigor in some areas.

This is a prime example. She didn’t even look for additional information, like average lifespan of children from religious vs. nonreligious families.

Nor did she take a look at a single datum of cultural evolution that might be connected.

Nor did she acknowledge this might be an issue of cultural evolution trumping genetic evolution.

Shoddy, shoddy.

Beyond that, she didn’t even ask the most pertinent question:

Shouldn’t this put another nail in the coffin of “strong” theories of memes, at least?

Answer? Yes.

Meanwhile, I can't wait for the Christian version of a Pop Ev Psycher to actually cite this column.

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