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Obey No1kinobe

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Do religions evolve?

Have religious belief systems evolved over time?

While many religious believers do not accept the theory of evolution in regards to the development of life, from a historical perspective it seems religious and spiritual belief systems themselves have evolved and developed over time.
From the earliest Venus figurines, cave paintings, early burial sites, naturel and ancestor spirits, polytheistic beliefs to the monotheistic, to deist and others.

Do the strongest survive? Do they adapt? Do they interbreed and influence each other? Do they go extinct? Is there some natural selection process that passes on religious ideas memes, and sees others become extinct?

What properties help a religion survive and thrive? Invisible gods perhaps. Evangelical rather than hereditary. Religions linked to economically and militarily strong cultures perhaps. Do religions have a symbiotic relationship with their host cultures - making them stronger and more united supporting development and progress and hence protecting the religion itself.

What are the greatest challenges to the survival of different religions today, and what will help them survive and thrive?

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  • Mar 20 2012: Benefits of believing give us our subconscious motivation to be religious. Religions with no formal leadership or administration tend to evolve less, like the Protestant branch of Christianity.....while Catholicism has an extensive administrative body that decides the direction for the future of the church, which functions almost analogous to a corporation following consumer demand. For example, Catholics have embraced evolution has an extrapolated explanation of creationism.
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      Mar 20 2012: Thanks Matthew. Its kind of counter intuitive. You would almost expect the less administered to be more flexible over time. The Protestant branch is much newer

      I guess Catholicism's organisation has allowed it to adapt to scientific discovery. But I note on social issues they continue to be quite conservative e.g. contraception, married clergy. Some things they just won't give up even if not core to the bible.

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