Jump to content
Science Forums

Do Ideological Systems Serve An Evolutionary Function?


Recommended Posts

If there was no such thing as an ideology or a religion, would the world be better off?

 

What would it be like if everyone had different values, if everyone thought our nation had different goals and that everyone had different ideas as to what was the obstacle to achieving those goals?

 

It seems to me that there would be far more dissention in our society, even everywhere, than there is even now. Fortunately, we have common secular beliefs. Where would the world be if we did not have them and did not agree on them? If so, perhaps ideologies and religions serve an evolutionary function . . .

Link to post
Share on other sites

If there was no such thing as an ideology or a religion, would the world be better off?

 

What would it be like if everyone had different values, if everyone thought our nation had different goals and that everyone had different ideas as to what was the obstacle to achieving those goals?

 

It seems to me that there would be far more dissention in our society, even everywhere, than there is even now. Fortunately, we have common secular beliefs. Where would the world be if we did not have them and did not agree on them? If so, perhaps ideologies and religions serve an evolutionary function . . .

 

 

I think it most definitely is, although I'm not sure I can raise much evidence to support my assertion. I often wonder if at the root of the whole mythos of religion and or ideology, possibly even the phenomena of "cult of personality" can be traced back to our roots as social beings with the small group with a leader and a care taker to Chiefs and Shamans and as the groups got bigger, Priests and Kings and so on to the complex vague governments and mega religions of today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it most definitely is, although I'm not sure I can raise much evidence to support my assertion. I often wonder if at the root of the whole mythos of religion and or ideology, possibly even the phenomena of "cult of personality" can be traced back to our roots as social beings with the small group with a leader and a care taker to Chiefs and Shamans and as the groups got bigger, Priests and Kings and so on to the complex vague governments and mega religions of today.

 

Yes, it had to evolve into being. Natural selection had to be involved in our progress all along, not biological but social evolution in perhaps the last 40,000 years. I believe I have the evidence needed to show it:

 

As you know, we evolved all that time as small-group primates. We were never a herd animal! We are still small group primates. Our biggest difference was that we developing language. By about 40,000 years ago,

we began to form into larger groups. That is the evidence. If we treat it logically, I think we come up with this:

 

By 40,000 years ago our language ability had evolved to the point where we could develop grand ideological systems. Because that enabled people to believe more or less the same, they were able to be bonded or bound into larger groups. The common beliefs enabling them in their larger groups to still feel as safe and loyal, with the same sense of community, as they did in the small group.

What was it about the religions that could enable them to do that? It is not the mythology of the ideologies that is important here but rather the characteristics that made and still make a successful-for-the-time ideology so that it can serve its social evolutionary function. What seems to me to be the main characteristic is that they all serve to answer four questions regarding the so-called "mysteries of life": what is our origin, our goals, the means or rules we must follow in common to achieve them and what stands in our way?

 

I'd be interested in what you think of that . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wouldn't you say ideologies serve a social function rather than evolutionary? Maybe i misunderstand the question.

 

Yes, I agree, they do serve a social function. This is the way I see it: The social and evolutionary function amount to the same thing.

 

We know from world history that religions have never lasted forever. Each appears and then eventually is replaced with a new one. If we see their function as bonding the people into larger societies than we are biologically, instinctively evolved to live in, then the growth and then death of religions is the same as a life cycle of the society they bonded. In other words, each mainline religion bonds its society into a sort of social organism with a life cycle. Social theorists shy away from this type of reasoning because of the impllications. Of course, social organisms are not biological multicellular organisms as we generally think of them, but the important consideration is that there is a natural selection process that goes on between them that explains what we refer to as human progress.

 

So, ideologies serve both a social and evolutionary function and both are the same.

Link to post
Share on other sites
By 40,000 years ago our language ability had evolved to the point where we could develop grand ideological systems.
AFAIK, at that time we were already the current species and already had the capability called complex language. We were already chattering away, gossipping about or flattering each other according to our aims, campfire yarns in the evening were already a long standing habit, all this had long replaced other mechanisms of organizing society.

 

Where do you get your facts from? Your own book?

Link to post
Share on other sites

AFAIK, at that time we were already the current species and already had the capability called complex language. We were already chattering away, gossipping about or flattering each other according to our aims, campfire yarns in the evening were already a long standing habit, all this had long replaced other mechanisms of organizing society.

 

Where do you get your facts from? Your own book?

 

Why be rude and offensive? You can be wrong and not know everything. I am well aware that language had developed to the level you state above. I never wrote anything to indicate otherwise. The ability to devise an ideological system that united hunting/gathering tribes into single groups was a major new step. Do you know what it took to form such a system? Do you know what it had to do to be successful?

Link to post
Share on other sites

chuck, there is no such thing as an "evolutionary function" in the sense you imply by the title. evolution has no goals, no ambitions, no plan. evolution is a process of change in genetics, plain & simple. you needn't embrace or believe in the standards & nomenclature of bilogical evolution, but you do have to learn them before expounding on the subject in any sensible manner.

 

i find the first two words of your signature quite telling; spare us your reiteration of it in a rebuttle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

chuck, there is no such thing as an "evolutionary function" in the sense you imply by the title. evolution has no goals, no ambitions, no plan. evolution is a process of change in genetics, plain & simple. you needn't embrace or believe in the standards & nomenclature of bilogical evolution, but you do have to learn them before expounding on the subject in any sensible manner.

 

i find the first two words of your signature quite telling; spare us your reiteration of it in a rebuttle.

 

Why be personal? I go by "brough" here and we all have petty hates.

 

And you are being dogmatic regarding "evolutionary function." I never stated nor implied that "evolution" serves a theistic function. You, I and nearly everyone else do, however, believe in "progress" as our goal, and whatever serves that goal serves a function. Social evolution serves a function for us. I know you are just trying to be objective, but there are many other ways to try than that.

 

Also, you are being to restrictive regarding the meaning of "evolution." What you are referring to is only biological evolution. That is the prime form and does necessarily involve natural selection and genetic change. However, there is a natural selection process going on among societies which is not genetic but the change is carried foreward anyway by means of another, none-genetic process. The term is not restricted to genetics as you state. It is even applied to "the evolution of matter. http://www.cambridge...te_locale=en_GB

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why be personal? I go by "brough" here and we all have petty hates.

 

yes i see you edited out "charles" from your sig. if you like you can ask an admin to take it out of your forum name as well. as to your hate, if it's petty why trumpet it out front? at the very least, as an author promoting a work and a new forum member, it's rather a poor pitch to the readers. :throwtomatoes: to me personally it is an unwarrantable provocation and i am not averse to rebuking unwarrantable provocations.

 

And you are being dogmatic regarding "evolutionary function." I never stated nor implied that "evolution" serves a theistic function. You, I and nearly everyone else do, however, believe in "progress" as our goal, and whatever serves that goal serves a function. Social evolution serves a function for us. I know you are just trying to be objective, but there are many other ways to try than that.
yes, dogmatic. because there are so many uses of the word "evolution" today, & your title does not make it clear which you refer to, there is the implication that you refer to "biological evolution". again, as a writer trying to convince readers to read, let alone accept your arguments, this is not up to snuff. it is no less a stumbling block than misspellings.

 

if you specify social evolution, then i have no problem with the term, but specify it you must or you lose the reader. just saying "nearly everyone" has progress as a goal does not make it so. moreover, social evolution is still a process just as biological evolution is a process and processes don't have goals in & of themselves.

 

i have no idea why you introduced theistic as i did not mention it or mean to imply it. :shrug:

 

Also, you are being to restrictive regarding the meaning of "evolution." What you are referring to is only biological evolution. That is the prime form and does necessarily involve natural selection and genetic change. However, there is a natural selection process going on among societies which is not genetic but the change is carried foreward anyway by means of another, none-genetic process. The term is not restricted to genetics as you state. It is even applied to "the evolution of matter. http://www.cambridge...te_locale=en_GB

 

as i say above, i have no problem with the term or idea of a "social evolution". i specified that i was referring to biological evolutiontion, so what is the point?.

i agree societies can evolve, i.e. change over time, but you have offered nothing in evidence that it does so by natural selection as the term is used in biological evolutionary theory. you need to specify, i.e. define the term as you use it. if you mean to use "natural selection" just as it applies to biological evolution, then you have to find and present evidence in support of the process of natural selection in social evolution.

 

finally, and on a note i hope isn't too personal for you, i visited your book page. :read: you might consider engaging a professional editor; someone who can leave your ideas intact but put them in a reader friendly form.

 

as to the questions in the op of this thread, social evolution notwithstanding, they are so unqualified that any answer is as good as another. as mark is said to have remarked, predictions are hard to make, especially about the future. :turtle:

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes i see you edited out "charles" from your sig. if you like you can ask an admin to take it out of your forum name as well. as to your hate, if it's petty why trumpet it out front? at the very least, as an author promoting a work and a new forum member, it's rather a poor pitch to the readers. :throwtomatoes: to me personally it is an unwarrantable provocation and i am not averse to rebuking unwarrantable provocations.

 

It seems you are defensive about nit-picking!.You are perhaps attacking criticism of it because you yourself use it as some sort of tactic. I would be happy, myself, to end these long, in whole pointlless, and time consuming posts.

 

You still don't grasp the picture, so I'll try again. I never had my first name in my signature, only at the top. There is no need to use each other's names in here at all and when someone actually uses their own name, as I, it is rude, even cowardly, to take their name and abuse it by using the famillar form---such as "chuck". It is an an arrogant, supercilious, attempt to seem you are teaching a child. Your excessive use of the cartoon characters is also part of your personal attack tactic. All that is unprofessional.

 

yes, dogmatic. because there are so many uses of the word "evolution" today, & your title does not make it clear which you refer to, there is the implication that you refer to "biological evolution". again, as a writer trying to convince readers to read, let alone accept your arguments, this is not up to snuff. it is no less a stumbling block than misspellings.

 

It seems you think I was dogmatic because I did not specify what kind of evolution I was referring to in the title to this thread.(!) It really never occured to me that anyone would think that ideological systems serve some biological function. Why would you think that's what I meant?

 

if you specify social evolution, then i have no problem with the term, but specify it you must or you lose the reader. just saying "nearly everyone" has progress as a goal does not make it so. moreover, social evolution is still a process just as biological evolution is a process and processes don't have goals in & of themselves. i have no idea why you introduced theistic as i did not mention it or mean to imply it. :shrug:

 

I never stated that any processes has a goal. What I stated in the first post is that it serves a function. That function is the growth of our cultural heritage and the size and enlarging of human society and human numbers. It serves to do that by the process of us having goals in our ideological systems. The goals have in the past seemed real to the people but were even so only mythological, such as "heaven", "God's Kingdom," "nirvana," "achieving the Promised Land," and "a communal paradise." By having these common goal systems, people of each such society could cooperate and by so doing work together to achieve what is progress.

 

Don't you believe in human progress? Don't you marvel and feel any pride in the immense cultural heritage we have built up? Doesn't it mean anything to you? Don't most people want it to continue even if you don't? How depressing it must be for the few who do not believe and want human progress.

 

as i say above, i have no problem with the term or idea of a "social evolution". i specified that i was referring to biological evolutiontion, so what is the point?. i agree societies can evolve, i.e. change over time, but you have offered nothing in evidence that it does so by natural selection as the term is used in biological evolutionary theory. you need to specify, i.e. define the term as you use it. if you mean to use "natural selection" just as it applies to biological evolution, then you have to find and present evidence in support of the process of natural selection in social evolution.

 

Here is the direct quote from your post: ", evolution is a process of change in genetics, plain & simple." In other words, you were stating it is the only type.

 

I would have been happy to show examples of how social evolution works and I believe you would be one of those who would be able to understand it, but your offensive approach with all the nit-picking and personal superciliousnes indicates you really don't want that and only want to seem the academic victor. (!?)

And finally, and on a note i hope isn't too personal for you, i visited your book page. :read: you might consider engaging a professional editor; someone who can leave your ideas intact but put them in a reader friendly form. as to the questions in the op of this thread, social evolution notwithstanding, they are so unqualified that any answer is as good as another. as mark is said to have remarked, predictions are hard to make, especially about the future. :turtle:

 

I am sorry you have difficulty understanding the book and want it re-written. Do you want your money back? I would have sent you a free copy had you indicated any interest.

 

Have predictions ever been made that are not about the future?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems you are defensive about nit-picking!. You are perhaps attacking criticism of it because you yourself use it as some sort of tactic. I would be happy, myself, to end these long, in whole pointlless, and time consuming posts.

 

i was being defensive in regards to your hate. if by "nit-picking" you refer to pointing out misstatements of fact and logical fallacies, then i decry your stance on that as well. you can end your long, in whole pointless, and time consuming posts simply by not making them.

 

You still don't grasp the picture, so I'll try again. I never had my first name in my signature, only at the top. There is no need to use each other's names in here at all and when someone actually uses their own name, as I, it is rude, even cowardly, to take their name and abuse it by using the famillar form---such as "chuck". It is an an arrogant, supercilious, attempt to seem you are teaching a child. Your excessive use of the cartoon characters is also part of your personal attack tactic. All that is unprofessional.

 

no; i grasp the picture. what vexes you is my finding fault with it. you are not alone in disliking my style, but for every detractor of it i have a supoporter. if you find a post of mine so rude as to be a violation of our rules, report it. :shrug:

 

It seems you think I was dogmatic because I did not specify what kind of evolution I was referring to in the title to this thread.(!) It really never occured to me that anyone would think that ideological systems serve some biological function. Why would you think that's what I meant?

 

no, no, no! i was saying that I was dogmatic (implying dogmatism about the principles of technical writing) in pointing out your ambiguity. that you would "never" consider my contention is illustrative of your shallow analysis. you do not consider a lot of things.

 

I never stated that any processes has a goal. What I stated in the first post is that it serves a function. That function is the growth of our cultural heritage and the size and enlarging of human society and human numbers. It serves to do that by the process of us having goals in our ideological systems. The goals have in the past seemed real to the people but were even so only mythological, such as "heaven", "God's Kingdom," "nirvana," "achieving the Promised Land," and "a communal paradise." By having these common goal systems, people of each such society could cooperate and by so doing work together to achieve what is progress.

 

Don't you believe in human progress? Don't you marvel and feel any pride in the immense cultural heritage we have built up? Doesn't it mean anything to you? Don't most people want it to continue even if you don't? How depressing it must be for the few who do not believe and want human progress.

 

again your analysis is fallacious. i have said nothing to indicate my valuation of cultural heritage. moreover, as has been pointed out in rebuttal to some of your other posts, there are numerous exceptions to mythological "goal systems". they may be sufficient, but they are not necessary. for example, must grouped people in any or all cultural systems share an ideological goal founded in mythos in order to cooperate in securing food?

 

Here is the direct quote from your post: ", evolution is a process of change in genetics, plain & simple." In other words, you were stating it is the only type.

 

:doh: taken out of context as you have done one might jump to that conclusion, but i in fact specified that i was talking about biological evolution. that specification does not limit or restrict other types of evolution; to the contrary, it allows for them.

(boldenation mine)

chuck, there is no such thing as an "evolutionary function" in the sense you imply by the title. evolution has no goals, no ambitions, no plan. evolution is a process of change in genetics, plain & simple. you needn't embrace or believe in the standards & nomenclature of bilogical evolution, but you do have to learn them before expounding on the subject in any sensible manner.

 

i find the first two words of your signature quite telling; spare us your reiteration of it in a rebuttle.

 

I would have been happy to show examples of how social evolution works and I believe you would be one of those who would be able to understand it, but your offensive approach with all the nit-picking and personal superciliousnes indicates you really don't want that and only want to seem the academic victor. (!?)

 

I am sorry you have difficulty understanding the book and want it re-written. Do you want your money back? I would have sent you a free copy had you indicated any interest.

 

Have predictions ever been made that are not about the future?

 

there you go again with unfounded fallacious conclusions. :doh: i did not read your book or say that i read your book. i said "i visited your book page". during my visit to the page, i read the page. i most certainly did not buy your book.

allow me to quote from señor brough's book page:

 

INTRODUCTION/ABSTRACT

In science, words need to be used with precision.

 

indeed.

 

a prediction is by definition about the future. you are making predictions about social evolution & mark pointedly summed up the historical unreliability of such predictions. :turtle:

Link to post
Share on other sites

...a prediction is by definition about the future. you are making predictions about social evolution & mark pointedly summed up the historical unreliability of such predictions. :turtle:

 

inasmuch as fame is a subject of social evolution, allow me to set the context of mark's quote so as to clarify for my readers the relevance to this discourse. boldenation mine. :read:

 

Mark Twain's Reply to a Prophet

Professor E. Stone Wiggins, a famous Canadian weather and earthquake predictor known as the "Ottawa Prophet," forecast earthquakes for the southern part of the United States in 1886. His predictions were widely reported in newspapers across the United States and residents in the southern states experienced a great deal of dread and uncertainty during the months Wiggins had issued dire forecasts for their areas. Wiggins's predictions read like scientific hogwash and were a ripe target for Mark Twain's humor. Below are one of the news articles covering Wiggins's forecasts along with a response from Mark Twain which was first published in the New York Sun on September 29, 1886 and copied by newspapers around the country. ...
Link to post
Share on other sites

i was being defensive in regards to your hate. if by "nit-picking" you refer to pointing out misstatements of fact and logical fallacies, then i decry your stance on that as well. you can end your long, in whole pointless, and time consuming posts simply by not making them.

 

 

 

no; i grasp the picture. what vexes you is my finding fault with it. you are not alone in disliking my style, but for every detractor of it i have a supoporter. if you find a post of mine so rude as to be a violation of our rules, report it. :shrug:

 

 

 

no, no, no! i was saying that I was dogmatic (implying dogmatism about the principles of technical writing) in pointing out your ambiguity. that you would "never" consider my contention is illustrative of your shallow analysis. you do not consider a lot of things.

 

 

 

again your analysis is fallacious. i have said nothing to indicate my valuation of cultural heritage. moreover, as has been pointed out in rebuttal to some of your other posts, there are numerous exceptions to mythological "goal systems". they may be sufficient, but they are not necessary. for example, must grouped people in any or all cultural systems share an ideological goal founded in mythos in order to cooperate in securing food?

 

 

 

:doh: taken out of context as you have done one might jump to that conclusion, but i in fact specified that i was talking about biological evolution. that specification does not limit or restrict other types of evolution; to the contrary, it allows for them.

(boldenation mine)

 

 

 

 

there you go again with unfounded fallacious conclusions. :doh: i did not read your book or say that i read your book. i said "i visited your book page". during my visit to the page, i read the page. i most certainly did not buy your book.

allow me to quote from señor brough's book page:

 

INTRODUCTION/ABSTRACT

 

 

indeed.

 

a prediction is by definition about the future. you are making predictions about social evolution & mark pointedly summed up the historical unreliability of such predictions. :turtle:

 

 

Noted but not read . . . and you wonder why I hate nit-picking! You'd think even you would be adverse to wasting time!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...