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'For what a man had rather be true he more readily believes' Bacon 16th Century. Causal beliefs can determine how we behave. We cannot tolerate not knowing the cause of important events like illness and death.

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Causal beliefs can determine how we behave.

We cannot tolerate not knowing the cause of important events like illness and death.


The original and only true function of the brain, from and evolutionary viewpoint, is to control movement and interaction with the environment.

That is why plants have no brains.


Causal beliefs make us human and different evolutionary viewpoint, is to control movement and interaction with the environment.

from all other animals.

It evolved in relation to use of tools. It led to

religious beliefs.


All cultures have beliefs about causes, but more evolutionary viewpoint, is to control movement and interaction with the environment.

than 90% of events have causes not easily

accessible to an individual.

Supernatural explanations are common:

telepathy

communication with spirits

homeopathy

ghosts and angels


Causal understanding in children is a evolutionary viewpoint, is to control movement and interaction with the environment.

developmental primitive.


From 3 months infants can reason about physical causality ; by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

By 18 months they can rake a toy to themselves.


By 3 years they understand that people by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

have different beliefs.

Many questions about causes.

Light on box -touch hand/head


..humans, but no other primates, understand by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

the causal and intentional relations that hold

among external entities.

Michael Tomasello


Seeing the wind shake a branch so that by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

the fruit falls, off would lead no animal

other than a human to shake the branch to

get the fruit.


Crows use sticks as tools by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.


Lack of causal understanding
Lack of causal understanding by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.


Chimps are at the edge of causal by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

understanding, but do not ever modify

a stone.

Kanzi was taught to make tools


The first human tools may have been by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

the result of a stone breaking when

used on nuts - but causal thinking was

essential


A million or so years in stasis in tool use, by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

and then some 100,000 years ago new

tools appeared.


Technology requires a concept of by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

physical cause, and drove human

evolution.


Language may have come from by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

gesture and throwing. It helped with

causal beliefs.


Technology drove human evolution. by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

Humans could manipulate their

environment.

Dunbar argues that it was social

understanding that drove human

evolution. But what was the big

advantage?


Religion provided causal understanding. by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

Religion offered the possibility of asking

for help by praying. All societies have

had religious beliefs.


Humans were the most obvious causal by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

agents and gods are human-like.

“men create the gods after their own image”

Aristotle


Religion is the commitment to the existence by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

of culturally postulated superhuman beings.


It was a selective advantage to have religious by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

belief, as it removed uncertainty. Such beliefs

may have become genetically programmed.

There is evidence that those with religious

beliefs have better health.


In almost all religions there is an afterlife. by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

This can reduce the fear of death and so is an

advantage. This involves mystical thinking.

Religion is not based on evidence.


Most by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move. mental illnesses involve false beliefs; common are delusions/hallucinations

Confabulation

Depression

Schizophrenia

Hypnotism

Capgras


Mysticism by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

I discovered that beauty, revelation,

sensuality, the cellular history of the

past, God, the Devil - all lie inside my

body, outside my mind

Timothy Leary on LSD

We have a mystical mind probably from

religion


There is evidence that the drug from magic by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

mushrooms can trigger a religious experience.

Also electrical stimulation of the brain can also.


Being a member of a religious community an be by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

an advantage. Sloan Wilson

Religion and the belief in God is most common

in societies that have the most intensive

struggle for existence. Is the USA a counter

example?


Science is special, not by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

technology -and it all comes from the Greeks.

Thales Aristotle Euclid

Archimedes

Egyptians no explanation

Greeks explain heavens

Chinese


Science by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move. is the best way to understand the

world, but it is unnatural - it goes against

common sense. Archimedes.

Moon; force and motion; quantum mechanics

Galileo and falling body.


No miracle should be believed unless the by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

evidence was such that it would be miraculous

not to believe in it. David Hume


There is no evidence that the fertilised human by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

egg is a human being. Implications for stem

cells and abortion.


Intelligent design is based on faith not science. by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

There will always be some unanswered

questions.

Science is the best way to understand the world.

If the history science were rerun the results

would be the same, but DNA might be googy.


Paranormal beliefs invoke forces and causes by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

both outside ordinary experience and science.

They offer believers new powers.

possible to contact the dead

to access past lives

horoscopes can predict the future

spiritual healing can cure

telepathy

angels and ghosts and aliens

read someone else's mind

spirits can move objects

levitation is possible


‘If a person is poorly, receives treatment to make by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

him better, and then gets better, then no power of

reasoning known to medical science can convince

him that it may not have been the treatment that

restored his health’.

Peter Medawar


Placebo effect determined by beliefs by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.


Three general purpose heuristics - availability, by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

representativeness, and anchoring.


Why did science persist in the West? by 7 months objects remain whole, and require contact to move.

Christianity was involved in argument and

rationality. They were concerned about the

nature of the physical world

Aquinas held that theology was science from God

Many religions believed in rebirth.

No good evidence for Gods


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