Are we evolving away from belief in God? Why did thousands of intelligent people let themselves be deceived by investment fraud king Bernie Madoff? Is morality really in decline in the West and can it be reconstructed?Yes, interesting questions asked of the wrong people:
Michael Reiss, Professor of Science at the Institute of Education University of London, a specialist in evolutionary biology (and an ordained Anglican priest) walked us through the history of theories on altruism as an evolutionary phenomenon (like vampire bats who support each other by offering up blood if a mate didn't succeed in his own hunting) and the advantages of being good at deception (think Bernie Madoff).Wut? Valid? WTF does that mean? What does it mean that some product of evolution is invalid? I really have no idea. And neither does science, because validity is a judgment, and nature doesn't judge. Only creatures do, such as humans imaginary gods. That a scientists speaks like this is embarrassing, and this is a good example of the muddled thinking that rsults when science is mixed with religion.
Even so, just knowing something has an evolutionary origin "tells you nothing about whether it is valid or useful," Reiss says.
"Is God actually dying?" mused Barbara Bradley Hagerty of National Public Radio.The notion that God is dead is amusing (ignoring for a moment that he is also imaginary). That Yahweh is omniscient and omnipotent is at best only hinted at in the Bible [Correction: no it isn't. It says so somewhere - see Arend's comment below.], and is up for a different interpretation. As recall it says somewhere that he is eternal, but not that he is immortal. Either way, it could be that the story of Yahweh was written down long after the events took place, and therefore badly remembered by the authors. Suppose Yahweh, like Odin and Zeus, actually could die, then maybe he did. That would explain a lot, like the amount of miracles in the past, but absence of them now.
"I'm not a prophet," quipped Reiss. "I have absolutely no idea." Still, he observed, human conceptions of the divine are very different today than in the past, different often than their own parents, and that it would not be surprising if they continued to change.
Anyway, that was a slight aside. Sorry. I don't do theology, because I think it is an empty exercise in philosophy about the nonexistent.