Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Natural Selection by Religion?
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Does religion confer an evolutionary advantage on a human culture?

It recently occurred to me that I've never seen a discussion of religion in evolution in terms of human culture. (If you have, please send me the reference.)

As far as I know, all present human cultures have religion of one sort or another, or of many sorts. That's not to say that some states, like the USSR, didn't try to outlaw it. They did, but I don't believe they succeeded – religion was already part of the culture in that section of the world before the USSR and is again, after its breakup.

So, if every culture has religion, does that mean it's evolutionarily beneficial and that all present cultures have beat out those that once lacked it? Or have no cultures developed without religion?

Why could that be? Does having religion, overall as a society, mean that it's somehow conferring advantages on enough of its individuals that they live longer, become stronger, compete better, reproduce faster, against a neighboring atheist culture?

Now, I'm not sure that every earthly culture has or had religion, but certainly all present major ones do. And obviously having religion may not guarantee success against another religion, but natural selection theoretically (or theocratically in this case) weeds out the weak in favor of the strong, so perhaps having religion means strength.

Of course it's possible that no non-religious culture has ever evolved, so we have no control group to test, but it might be very interesting, going forward, to look at one religion versus another in evolutionary terms and see what happens, no?

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