Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Religious Intolerance Is Good For You
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences by Dr. Corey Fincher and Prof. Randy Thornhill of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, tropical regions have more religions than temperate areas.
The reason is that religion helps to divide people and reduce the spread of diseases, which are more common the hotter the country, the research suggests.Supposedly this works because the adoption of a religion increases group cohesion, reduces migration and dispersal and generally increases cultural isolation. Besides supposedly reducing transmission of disease, the isolation may lead to genetic differences that, even if only slight, might confer some immunity to disease. According to the authors:
[W]e found that religion diversity is the highest where disease diversity is also the highest and the lowest where disease diversity is also the lowest. To our knowledge, previous evolutionary models do not offer an explanation for why religion diversity varies spatially across the globe.I wonder if constructing just-so stories has a similar effect?
Our analysis suggests that the nature of religion needs to be reconsidered. Although religion apparently is for establishing a social marker of group alliance and allegiance, at the most fundamental level, it may be for the avoidance and management of infectious disease.
That's so wrong it's almost unbearable.
Religious diversity is mostly found in larger, more liberal states. For example, The UK. One of the biggest pluralist states on earth. Yet it's not "disease ridden".
Also, United states (although, arguable more disease ridden and more multicultural).
There is no STRONG link between religion and disease. I admit, it must play some part in some places of the world. However, for the most part, it's nowhere near directly proportional.
I value you point as almost invalid, not entirely, but almost.