Sunday, November 22, 2009

Evolution: Twilight of the Godless

Editor's NOTE:

There are a number of significant errors in this piece which detract from the author's otherwise correct hypothesis/contention that religion is an effective antidote to below replacement levels of human reproduction.

The cursory discussion of Aristotle's "4" causes particularly with respect to "ultimate" (final) and "proximate" causality is incorrect. The author falsely attributes "final" or what he terms "ultimate" causality to evolution. The "4" causes of Aristotle/Aquinas (material, efficient, formal and final) are specifically repudiated by Darwinism in which the nebulous concept of "causation" has replaced material causality as classically understood.

In the classical formulation "final" and formal causality is non-material (spiritual). "Final" causality is synonymous with the Supreme Being which is specifically excluded from Darwinism and neo-Darwinism as is "formal" causality. As I have argued elsewhere, efficient causality has been effectively expunged from neo-Darwinism as well, leaving only material "causation" as part of its recognized framework in which temporal proximity serves as a weak marker for "causation."

The author of this piece and Richard Dawkins appear to want it both ways--to abandon the "4" classical causes of Aristotle/Aquinas in biological science and yet to sneak them back in when convenient.

There are other errors involving the dating for evidence of first human burial of the dead and that of spiritual worship of Deity which are poorly documented. Pre-human bipedal primate "burial" practices should not be included in a discussion of credible evidence for the earliest evidence of human spiritual worship as the former can occur in the complete absence of the latter. While all human evidence for worship includes some form of burial ritual(s), pre-human "burial" rituals are not documented to be associated with spiritual worship of Deity.

With the above mentioned provisos, I include this piece.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

by Richard Hoste on November 03, 2009

Feminism is a Darwinian blind alley. In biological terms, there is nothing that identifies a maladaptive pattern so quickly as a below-replacement level of reproduction; an immediate consequence of feminism is what appears to be an irreversible decline in the birth rate. Nations pursue feminist policies at their peril.
~Katarina Runske

It’s no secret that Western man has given up breeding. A society needs to have 2.1 births per woman in a lifetime if it’s going to maintain a steady population. Besides the U.S. and Iceland, no western nation is even close.

Putting the problem in chart form may help to illustrate its enormity. Here are some of the fertility rates for western countries and their projected white populations by 2050, not counting migration. I estimated 4.9 million nonwhites for the UK and knocked that out of the population, 6.4 in France, 1.7 in the Netherlands, 2.5 in Germany, and 10 million for all other EU countries. The total EU white population is 491.5 million- 25.5 million nonwhites = 466 million. Also, the TFR was adjusted from the official number of 1.51 to 1.45 due to the higher nonwhite birth rate. Canada has around 2.7 million nonwhites. Their overall TFR is 1.58; I estimated the white number at 1.5. Russia is about 20 percent nonwhite.

^EU member
*ex Soviet state, non EU member

It can be projected that the total number of white people lost from the EU, Canada, Switzerland, the Balkans, Norway and the ex-Soviet states including Russia will be around 279,000,000. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the losses due to World War I, World War II, the Nazi regime and all communist governments in history combined. Of course, deciding against having children is not equivalent to starving people in gulags. Still, whatever the causes of the birth slump, the result is hundreds of millions of lives not existing that otherwise would have.

Perhaps low birth rates are not a cultural phenomenon and the number of children people have is based more on economic considerations. Looking at birth rates for the world as a whole casts doubt on that possibility. The top five countries are Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Niger and Afghanistan. Not exactly places known for their prosperous middle-classes. Even within first-world countries, if there’s a correlation between wealth and fertility, it’s negative. In the U.S., black and Hispanic households are worth about one tenth of what white household are. But according to estimates, Hispanic women have 3.0 children each, blacks 2.2, and whites 2.0. Ukraine’s nominal GDP per capita is less than $4,000 a year while its TFR is indistinguishable from that of Italy ($39,000), Spain ($35,000) or the Czech Republic ($21,000).

We must conclude that there is something besides economics that is going on here. If you find a white population somewhere, it’s almost certain that it’s not going to be reproducing itself enough to survive.

There is one major exception.

After the 2004 presidential election, Steve Sailer famously analyzed Caucasian fertility rates in Red (those that voted for the Republican candidate) and Blue (those that voted Democratic) states. He found that the top 19 states in fertility (and 25 out of the top 26) voted for George W. Bush. Amongst the 50 states and Washington, DC, the correlation between white fertility rate and the Republican share of the white vote was 0.86 (0.84 in 2000).

Sailer hypothesizes that the lower cost of living in Red States makes child bearing more feasible.

In a tempting contrast, the cost-of-living calculator provided by says that a $100,000 salary in liberal Manhattan buys only as much as a $38,000 salary in conservative Pinehurst, North Carolina. Likewise, a San Francisco couple earning $100,000 between them can afford just as much in Cedar City, Utah, if the husband can find a $44,000-a-year job—and then the wife can stay home with their children. Moreover, the culture of Cedar City is more conducive to child rearing than San Francisco.

While this kind of thinking is on the right track, it doesn’t address why some women choose carriers and others families as much as it does why those with particular characteristics end up in one place rather than another. After all, those from New York are free to move to Idaho and vice versa. But it does show that we’re dealing with a cultural issue—one of the soul, not the pocketbook. Utah, the only majority Mormon state in the Union, has a 2.45 TFR. That’s pretty impressive, especially considering Utahans watch the same TV and listen to the same music (both of which encourage libertinism and nihilism) as the rest of America. While cost of living considerations may explain some of the difference in TFR between New York and Utah, they do less to shed light on the disparity between Utah and the rest on the socially conservative and sparsely populated heartland.

Taking an international perspective, there seems to be two ways to have a replacement fertility rate in the modern world.

A) Be really religious.

B) Be really r-selected.

Since Europeans aren’t Africans, that leaves option (A) as the only proven method for replacement Caucasian fertility. The potential success in this area of any secular philosophical system is speculative. Remember that next time you see Bill Maher on TV foaming at the mouth about those stupid Christians who won’t bow before the god of evolution. The ultimate irony is that championing Darwinism has, as Katarina Runske wrote of feminism, been a Darwinian dead end.

Put bluntly, liberal secular humanists are on the verge of extinction.

To get an idea of the cluelessness of the evangelical Darwinians, look not further than Richard Dawkins’s recent article “What Use is Religion?” The author begins by distinguishing between proximate and ultimate causes. To get an idea of what he’s talking about, think of a moth that flies into a lamp and kills itself. The proximate cause is that the physiology of the insect and physical properties of light cause the moth to behave in a suicidal way. An ultimate cause is evolutionary: in the conditions in which the insect evolved, the only light in the night sky was the moon, which the moth was able to use as a compass without ever running into it.

Saying we believe in religion because it feels good is a proximate explanation, the same way that saying we eat sugary foods because they taste good is. The evolutionary “why” just isn’t there.

Dawkins’ answer to “what use is religion?” has something to do with children, but nothing to do with the likelihood of having them.

My specific hypothesis of the necessity of religion is all about children.

More than any other species, we survive by the accumulated experience of previous generations. Theoretically, children might learn from experience not to swim in crocodile-infested waters. But to say the least, the child whose brain includes this rule of thumb will be at a selective advantage: Believe whatever the grown-ups tell you. Natural selection builds child brains just this way.

In addition, this very quality automatically makes them vulnerable to infection by mind viruses. For excellent survival reasons, child brains trusts parents and elders whom their parents tell them to trust. An automatic consequence is that the “truster” has no way of distinguishing good advice from bad. The child cannot tell that “If you swim in the river, you’ll be eaten by crocodiles” is good advice but “If you don’t sacrifice a goat at the time of the full moon, the crops will fail” is bad (or at least, unnecessary) advice.

Dawkins compares religion to an Internet virus in this way. A good computer does what you tell it. That makes it a wonderful machine capable of doing spreadsheets, but also likely to follow harmful instructions. To Dawkins, religion is a late arriver like the artificial light which kills the moth that is behaving in ways that in other conditions were evolutionarily adaptive.

The problem with using that explanation for religion is that spirituality has been around for too long. There has been plenty of time for evolution to preserve the positive results of blind obedience and do away with what’s harmful and wasteful. For similar reasons, Harpending and Cochran theorize in The 10,000 Year Explosion that Jewish intelligence was a recent adaptation. The Jews have unusually high intelligence and a susceptibility to a group of similar diseases. The genes for disease may have not had time to be selected against. They are around because they are part of the package that includes traits which are adaptive and make up for the fact that the carrier is more likely to die from a particular group of illnesses. Had Jewish intelligence been around for much longer—Harpending and Cochran say it reached its abnormal level in the Middle Ages—then evolution would’ve had time to create a healthier high-IQ race. If man’s spiritual side goes back tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years, it’s unlikely that he couldn’t have evolved to both obey elders as a child and as an adult only believe things that he has empirical evidence for, if such a thing was adaptive. After all, evolution does produce secular, empirical-minded men (Dawkins and I among them). We simply haven’t been able to out-breed believers. [Editor's NOTE: It would be more accurate to say that irreligiousity is associated with an evolutionary mindset as both religious and irreligious persons can be and are empirical-minded].

Since man’s been talking a lot longer than he’s been writing, it’s hard to date the birth of spirituality or belief in life after death. As good a guess as any for the start of religion is when humans started taking the trouble to ceremoniously bury their dead. That’s been happening for at least 100,000 years. We may trace spirituality even further. has put together the evidence for religiosity in the great apes in their “Appendices for Chimp Spirituality.” As the article recounts, after a 10-year old female bonobo was killed by a leopard, the tribal elders encircled the body almost immediately, some making loud displays and calls, others sitting in solemn silence. The body was eventually groomed and cared for, and the high-status apes wouldn’t allow any other apes access to the body. Surely if these alpha apes could talk, they would’ve declared themselves a priesthood and said they were praying for the poor child’s soul! (Editor's NOTE: Here the author of this piece assumes what he has attempted to establish, a fatal error in logic).

There’s also evidence that animism and a certain reverence for nature has a very long lineage. Jane Goodall observed that at the onset of thunderstorms, chimpanzee males would often perform spectacular aggression displays, charging, swaying back and forth, and brandishing and shaking branches. Goodall sensed that the Chimpanzees were expressing something like the emotion of awe. (Editor's NOTE: Chimpanzee behavior during thunderstorms has nothing to say about the date of earliest human spirituality and should not have been included in the discusion).

Religion may have evolved to protect us from slipping into hedonism, or to instill a sense of duty in order to go bear the difficulties of childbearing. It may simply be that those who thought God was on their side exterminated the prissy atheist cavemen (who probably also believed their women should be “liberated” and hunt for themselves.) The issues of the evolution of religion and exactly why it’s good for the fertility rate in the modern world are outside the scope of the article. There isn’t even an established theory on the evolution of the brain yet. (I’m partial to Geoffrey Miller’s belief that it has something to do with sexual selection, but I wouldn’t bet a week’s salary on it.)

What we can say with certainty is that Dawkins’s idea that religion brings nothing to man, or, indeed, harms him, is patently false, whether we see things from the perspective of how long faith has been around or what’s happening today to people without it. A quick look at the CIA Factbook proves that Dawkins is very wrong when he claims, “religion has no survival value for individual human beings, or for the benefit of their genes.” If, in the end, all evolution cares about is survival, it’s liberalism that must be considered the virus. Our ancestors who had religion survived while those of us without it might not.

The two most evolutionarily successful men in written history were probably Genghis Khan and the Prophet Muhammad. But only the latter invented a religious justification for his conquests. Now his ethny (loosely defined) continues to claim land while the Mongolians are a measly five million and dwindling. Among whites, the two most fertile groups are by far the mentioned Mormons and the Anabaptists. Though the Old Testament ignores the afterlife, the Hebrews’ great reward for pleasing God was that the they could spread their genes. Millennia later, God’s chosen are still around, while the Canaanites exist only in word.

There may be nothing we can do to stop the current trends. Whites may simply not be fit for the world they created. Perhaps the few that are have already become religious fanatics and simply need time to expand their numbers. We won’t know until there’s a white elite that doesn’t declare war on the traditional beliefs of their people. Russia may be providing a test case (albeit not a perfect one. The government may have started to encourage nationalism and religion, but there’s still the poisonous effects of the Western-American media).

Even if it was granted that the modern world, with its feminism and secularism, produced all the happiness one can imagine, it cannot last. A baby born today may live to see the extinction of the Lithuanians (projected to be a population of 760,000 by 2100, possibly all assimilated into other ethnicities). Any philosophy that guarantees that those that adopt it will be gone within a few generations can only be embraced by nihilists. The patriarchal and god-fearing will inherit the earth, one way or another.