Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests

May 29, 2008

To determine if it was possible for religion to emerge as an adaptation, Dow wrote a simple computer program that focuses on the evolutionary benefits people receive from their interactions with one another.

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By distilling religious belief into a genetic predisposition to pass along unverifiable information, the program predicts that religion will flourish. However, religion only takes hold if non-believers help believers out – perhaps because they are impressed by their devotion.

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