Born Believers: Is Religion really an adaption?
Religion is a big part of many peoples life. In 2001, eighty-one percent of the adult population identified with one or another religion group. In the United States, seventy nine percent of the Americans who is a part of religion are some kind of Christian who worships the same God. Anthropologist Scott Atran of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor says “I don't think the idea makes much sense, given the kinds of things you find in religion,” I feel the same way with what the bible reads. I am not a Christian, I have read parts of the Bible and while other Christians believe in the bible, I think the book is just a fairytale. The Bible talks about events that would happen in a fairytales.
I am Hmong and most Hmong people holds a strong belief in Shamanism, but I have Hmong friends who are Christians and many Hmongs who is still holding to the original religion thinks that the Hmong Christians are traitors to the Hmongs but that is usually what the parents of first generations would think. My parents believe in Shamanism, but that doesn’t make me one, I consider myself an Atheist. Shaminism is the belief in communicating with the spirits from the Spirit World. So when a family member is sick, we don’t pray for that person to become well, we believe that a bad spirit has taken that person’s soul with the spirit. The family will then hire a Shaman who can enter the Spiritual World and communicate with the dead to bring that soul back. Like I said, I do have Hmong friends who are Christians, but I do not care what religion they live for. Whenever my Hmong Christian friends talk God to me, I find it hard to believe in what they believe in and I just keep that feeling inside. I am the type of person who needs facts before I can believe in it. For example, the evolution theory has a lot of scientific facts behind it to prove how animals are related to each other through evolution. With the Christian religion belief, they believe that the Creation of Earth, Humanity, etc. is all due to God. So far with this belief not many can prove this theory using scientific reasoning.
I agree strongly agree with Michael Brooks’ article “Born believers: How your brain creates God.” He uses scientific reasonings through psychology on how people created God and not the other way around. It all starts with a psychologist at Yale University, Paul Bloom who observed different age groups from pre-school students to adults and record results on how they use their minds. In the studies shows that part of our brain are capable to create supernatural thoughts and beliefs proving that the thoughts of God could be just created through the mind.
If you ask the Christians who are strong believer of God, they will have a testimony about how God has touched them. Most of the testimonies are about how they were in trouble and God saved them. That gives the reason why during the leanest of times, the strictest, most authoritarian churches saw a surge in attendance. When people are stressed, sad, or when they feel like no one is there for them anymore, they turn to the one they hear as the “Almighty God,” this Almighty God will save you from your misery and bring you happiness. What's going on, Jennifer Whitson of the University of Texas in Austin suggests that when we feel a lack of control we fall back on superstitious ways of thinking. Having a religion, for example church, makes people feel like they belong to a group. When they go to church, it is not just a building to them; it is a sanctuary that hides them from the corrupted world filled with crimes, poverty, selfishness, greediness, hatred, etc.
Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford strongly identified with the religion-as-adaptation argument. With Robin Dunbar argument, I think what he is trying to say is that religion is part of survival method to humans and Darwin Theory clearly states “Survival of the Fittest.” That means that believing in God is not going against the theory of evolution, it is part of the evolution. Religion is a part of the evolution of humanity.