Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous? by Alix Spiegel An article on the National Public Radio site
I am an atheist because there is no evidence of the existence of a god and any attempt to prove or disprove the existence of a god is a frivolous waste of time. I certainly would not confuse a wind chime with a "god detection device" and continue to call myself a scientist. Wind chimes are called wind chimes because they make sounds in response to wind not because they send messages from the spirits of dead mothers who want to inform their offspring that they have successfully "crossed over." What does that mean: 2 "dings" for heaven, 3 "dongs" for hell. The assumption that human co-operation exists because of a scheme of rewards and punishments enforced by a supernatural entity ignores the existence of altruistic behaviour in "social" animals like elephants which have been observed to protect their fellows often against apparent self-interest and at risk of their own lives.
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