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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Religion versus DNA Evolution

Religion versus DNA Evolution

A former member
Post #: 478

After reviewing a time line of religion and how one religion evolved into another religion it didn't add up to a scientific study by Dr. Spencer Wells who tracked the origins of Modern Man through a specific DNA marker. In his book and subsequent National Geographic video, he explains his dating process of this DNA start to the San Bushmen on the continent of Africa back approximately 60,000 years ago. The oldest religion, a precursor to current Hinduism was approximately 3,000 years ago on the subcontinent of India.


So, something happened in between. There is a big void on the timeline between the start of this population (60,000 years ago) and the commonly held belief of the first religion. The The Bushmen had one god that was a trickster and eventually evolved into two Gods. The early Hindus had the ability of duality to believe in one god while still recognizing other gods. This original faith set the basis for many Vedic-based religions of the east

Around 1,600BC in Persia (Iran) Zoroastrianism was practiced from which the three major non-Vedic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam in the order of their development) most likely evolved.

So looking back, what was everybody doing between the 60,000 year mark and the 3,000 years ago mark in regards to religion. It would be interesting to overlay Spencer Well's time line of the history of the DNA of mankind with the origins of religions timelines. Then track the evolution of thought against the migrating populations to see contemporary religions started and how everyone has created their own version of it. Dr. Wells had five branches that grew from the originating Man. There seem to be two major branches for the evolution of religion - Vedic (Generally the Eastern religions) and Non-Vedic (Abrahamic families of faith which are Indo-European).
And today everyone is still arguing about whose god is the right god and today we have more permutations of the religions that came before. One big game of "telephone". passing along religious thought person by person with minute changes every time it is retold to someone else, complete with modifications that work with the lifestyle of the era or convenience of the user. All faiths jockeying for their "marketshare" as their ability to get the word out through modern means allows them to brand and market their faith. Total chaos.

Let separation of church and state be an important concept.
A former member
Post #: 504

Scottish rocks reveal key point in evolution occurred 400 million years earlier

Short article can be found on at:­

Just a stretch..........

But do you think our behavior, as in, the inability to shift from traditional, environmentally destructive energy sources to alternative renewable energy sources with least environmental impact which is resulting in global warming, will be part of our de-evolution? Perhaps the environmental factors are affecting DNA to mutate. We see more autism, premature births. Although, it has been postulated that autism creates bright focused children who are the precursors to the next wave in the evolution of man.

Just a pause............

A former member
Post #: 3
There is no reason to suppose that the psychological traits that continually give rise to religion today were not shared by our ancestors as far back as 70,000 years ago (and quite possibly more). We're not likely to uncover any artifacts definite enough to describe such an antediluvian religion. But we may assume that such religions featured continuing dialogue concerning ethical standards, and made frequent reference to deities, djinns or similar superior and volitional anthropomorphic beings considered to hold power over the tribe or the environment, etc.

Forgot to mention: my view also assumes that spoken language was in use at least a million years ago (a supposition shared by only about half of the scientific community, as best as I can tell). Spoken language would allow for the continual consensual testing and redefinition of ethical standards, and the emergence of folklore.

A former member
Post #: 505
Thanks Ben: Was actually wondering about the language premise, but you brought it up and closed it in your discussion. The article did reference back 1.2 billion years ago, but it was only dealing with bacteria at that point and didn't really reference when they thought man was on the scene, although, due to their latest postulates, they are thinking it is much earlier than what came up with Spencer Wells.

When you reference "psychological traits" were you referencing to my comment of autism or the broader spectrum of traits?

A former member
Post #: 4
Religion is arguably the only aspect of human culture that is the same today as it was (probably) 4,000 years ago. It remains the same because it addresses questions (and feelings) of social responsibility, personal security and acquired or invented "meaning" for one's existence--all of which I'm summarizing as "psychological traits."

I've long thought that mythology was (is) a kind of mass-psychology version of what Freud said about trauma; that is, we have a deep psychological need to re-enact or reiterate a shocking or incomprehensible juxtaposition of ideas in order to try to resolve it.

Prime example: each of us knows from a very early age that people aren't always reliable. They can be dishonest, unfair, variable in their reactions, etc. How can we live with the unreliability of information or the possibility of being cheated? In part, by inventing a myth that covers questions of ethics. Now (we tell ourselves) it doesn't matter as much if the other guy cheats, because he's probably going to Hell. And our good behavior (as we describe ourselves) is going to be rewarded with eternity in Heaven. Once we get used to rehearsing/accepting the myth, we feel more comfortable with life in general.

Ben B
A former member
Post #: 5
Oh, yeah. DNA. Our ancestors evolved into a type of creature that relied heavily on social interaction, but didn't always follow its own rules. Religion is one of the ways we try to cope with that continuing conflict.

Don't ask me why this happened; I haven't worked it all out yet.

A former member
Post #: 506
Never mind that I made any comments. I guess I am not in the same conversation as you.
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