Does religiosity mean greater social cohesiveness and societal health ?

The extensive study, “Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religi-osity and Secularism in the Prosperous Demo-cracies,” published in the Journal of Religion and Society ( examines statistics from eighteen of the most developed democratic nations. It reveals clear correlations between various indicators of social strife and religiosity, showing that whether religion causes social strife or not, it certainly does not prevent it.The study does show a direct correlation between religiosity and dysfunctionality, which if nothing else, disproves the widespread belief that religiosity is beneficial, that secularism is detrimental, and that widespread acceptance of evolution is harmful.The  United States is a strong exception, experiencing far higher rates of homicide than even (strongly theistic) Portugal, while Portugal itself is beset by much more homicide than the secular developed nations.

Whether religion leads directly to dysfunctionality, or religions merely flourish in dysfunctional societies, neither conclusion from this study flatters religion.What we can be clear about from this study is that highly religious societies can be dysfunctional, whereas by comparison secular societies in which evolution is largely accepted display real social cohesion and societal well-being.

The psychology of elections

One never knows what makes people choose a particular leader in democracy. An interesting theory proposed by  Barry Schwartz is that rather than choose an interesting leader with some positives and some negatives we all would prefer to choose a bland leader who gives us no reason to say no.It means that the leader is not preferred to be the one who “polarises “opinion. Perhaps there is an unwillingness to align ourselves with one extreme view with the result that we would elect a bland candidate who is willing to take positions and speak up his mind.

Lehrer believes the opposite is true .According to him the usual vote in reality is anti-bland because both the leaders  in fray are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I

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Human language is not a product of a single mutation

Researchers are challenging the idea thta the human language arose from a single mutation. The logic for the theory of lanuage being a product of a single mutation is the “universal grammar” being supposedly shared by all the languages of the world.The fossil evidence does not suggest such a single mutation. Another theory proposed was the amended scenario of two mutations : one the rudimentary proto-language for pre-Homo Sapiens speakers and the second,around the birth of the Homo Sapiens that gave us the whole syntax.
Evidence from the fossil record indicates a gradual evolution of the speech organs , suggesting a gradual evolution of speech supported by a gradual evolution of the organs.

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