A recent book, "Theological Incorrectness: Why Religious People Believe What They Shouldn't (Hardcover, 2004)" written by D. Jason Slone (ISBN: 0-19516-9263) tries to answer the discussed question.  You will also find overviews of eloquent trials within the book.


... "Slone expressed that by using Cognitive Science, �an interdisciplinary approach to understanding human behavior,� scientist are able to show that the brain is not a �blank slate� and that our brains are �pre-programmed about how things in the world work.� He gave examples of this by illustrating how babies have the concept of gravity and other fundamental ideas very early in their lives." ...


"Why do religious people believe what they shouldn't - not what others think they shouldn't believe, but things that don't accord with their own avowed religious beliefs? Slone terms this phenomenon 'theological incorrectness'. He argues that it exists because the mind is built in such a way that it is natural for us to think divergent thoughts simultaneously. Human minds are great at coming up with innovative ideas that help them make sense of the world, but those ideas do not always accord with official religious beliefs. Slone presents the latest discoveries from the cognitive science of religion and shows how they help us to understand exactly why it is that religious people do and think things that they shouldn't.

Readership: Students and scholars of religion and psychology"



"This cross-listed course explores the contemporary (not classical) psychology of religion, that is, the newly emerged cognitive science of religion

. We explore the basic mental processes that underwrite ordinary religious thought and behavior across cultures and eras (rather than the experiences of the mentally ill [Freud] or the experiential elite [James]). We will try to answer questions like why does religion exist in all homosapiens cultures; is religion a product of cognition or culture (or both); why are there so many different versions of religion; how do mind-brain processes govern religious thought and behavior; what impact does religion have on human life, etc. The course is scientific in orientation and universal in scope."

Best regards,



From :  <erobert52@...>
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Sent :  Thursday, July 22, 2004 10:09 AM
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Subject :  Re: [Nostratica] Re: Message not approved: Proto-World
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In a message dated 22/07/04 03:34:54 GMT Daylight Time, waluk@... writes:

IMO the ability to speak was etched into the brains of humans and has always been their calling card.  This language, with assistance from parents, has been fostered throughout the generations.  However, there are those unlucky souls who because of parental disinvolvement were never offered the finer arts of language. 

Because of the initial plasticity of myelin sheaths, early
learning experiences are important for the individual.
However, the contents of brains cannot get inherited, and
the development of language in humans as a species
did not occur by "etching" and to suggest otherwise, by
"memes" or whatever, is Lysenkoist nonsense. Any
changes in the brains of humans as a species occurred
purely by natural selection. It is possible that the human
environment may have been affected by social changes
at a species level, and this in turn may have fed back
into the selection process by changing which qualities
were selected for, but the only *mechanism* by which
evolution occurs is natural selection.