View Single Post
Old 09-28-2016, 11:12 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

C9H20's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 12,236


Originally Posted by Omacron View Post
Survival is a broad question. I believe our tendency to make up and believe in the supernatural is a direct result of our desire to know 'why things happen'. We want to know the cause and effect, but we haven't had the scientific method for the majority of our existence and whether or not we know about ions in the atmosphere exchanging electricity and discharging bolts of plasma to the ground, or we believe there's a man in the sky with a hammer who makes big "banging" noises, they both provide a psychologically satisfying explanation for, say, thunder.

Now, does knowing and understanding cause and effect constitute a survival mechanism? I'd say it impacts survival, it's a heavy part of our initial success as hunters and the creation of the agricultural revolution, but it's so much more than a "mechanism" that I feel it doesn't do it justice. Does every biological trait that contributes to survival count as a survival mechanism? Is our language a survival mechanism? Is architecture (not just shelter, but the creation of edifices) a survival mechanism?
A good case can be made that people who are too smart often show immense promise in their youth but then grow depressed quickly and wilt away. That is, being too smart and seeing the world for what it is, be that it's many human made cruelties, the horrible mediocrity of our societies or the uncaring nature of the universe breaks them.

It is entirely possible that after a certain threshold of intelligence organisms simply can't cope with the realities of the universe (and we constantly know more about those realities too). It's even a decent Fermi Paradox solution, societies grow, learn some awful/depressing shit and simply die out on their own accord from the pointlessness of it all.

Anyway that is where religion and other human delusions fit in, they help us cope. There is some evidence that even smarter versions of hominids than us existed but they died out. This is perhaps the reason why. Humans are the version that is smart enough to push ahead with technology but dumb enough to keep existential woes from overwhelming us.
Reply With Quote