Why the Oneida Community Dissolved

The Oneida Community was a religious commune that existed from 1848 til 1881 in Oneida, New York. This community practiced complex marriage whose aim was to control human breeding. Doctors’ handwritten medical records now made available for research by the Kinsey institute prove that the breeding system was real and meticulous.

As demonstrated before, religions and religious communes might be considered fauceirs (here and here). Applying evolutionary rules, religious communes might be considered as individuals and the set of all such communes as the population. Communes propagate if they show better fitness than their competitors. The fitness of a community nowadays is mainly defined by the fecundity of its members. It was not always that way. In the period of early Christendom missionary work played the dominating role because of two reasons Christians have been persecuted and killed and there were lot of people still not under such a strong religious control. This picture changed with time, as the competitive religions evolved a missionary defense system compatible to our immune system. For the reason that most people are capable to fend off religious intrusions, Blume pointed out that mass conversions are rather an exception. In recent history the success of a religion is determined solely by the fecundity of its members and the capability to effectively indoctrinate the children with their parents’ faith. Not surprisingly then are the facts

  1. that the world’s dominating, hence most successful, religions dislike birth control, and
  2. that communities that successfully proliferate show the highest rate of increase.

However, knowing this rule does not answer the question why the Oneida community dissolved. On the contrary, the Oneida community launched an active breeding system, encouraging its members to proliferate. They practiced eugenics that should have assured an increasing number of outstanding members. Despite of all that they dissolved, or should I better say because of all that. There is an other fauceir rule that explains the dissolution of that community (which had been outlined before.)

A social fauceir can be stabilized by stereotyping its members,

And the reversal of that rule is also true. A human society becomes unstable and even dissolves if its members become capable enough to leave the stereotype.

From that rule follows that each human society that encourage its members to become more capable is digging its own grave. This is not only the case with the Oneida community, but also the recent Tunisian Revolution that started years after the government launched a huge program to advance education.

Well I admit fauceir theory develops ultimate causes of a historic process only. The immediate causes why the Oneida Community dissolved are quite different. But even these causes that were mainly conflicts between the older and the younger generations support the ultimate cause that more favorable properties of the engineered new generation cause conflicts with the existing old-fashioned rules of the society.

By contrast to what social leaders want to make us believe, the dissolution of a social fauceir is not a catastrophic event. On the contrary, if the dissolution takes place because of reasons of improvement, the members usually form new even more successful social fauceirs.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.


Is there a gene that determines religiousness?

Yes, there probably is. No, there certainly is not.
First of all, what we mean by gene in that context is not the gene itself but its allelic variants. Apart from this common inaccuracy in defining the terms gene and allele, there is probably some more serious misunderstanding over the action of genes and environment. And the question of a gene for religion might serve a superb example to explain fauceirs’ structure and inheritance.

This example illustrates the rule that the more distant the fauceirs the weaker the interaction or the more other fauceir exert their modifying influence.

Let’s illustrate this by some examples:

  1. Take a monogenic disease such as PKU. Mutations of the gene have the effect that a specific amino acid, phenylalanine, can not be properly metabolized, accumulates and causes brain damage. Although accumulation of phenylalanine inevitably happens the outbreak of the disease can be controlled by environmental factors, simply by changing the diet.
  2. Hypercholesterolemia, by contrast, is rather a polygenic though predominantly caused by mutations of the LDL receptor gene. Myocardial infarction may develop as a result of prolonged hypercholesterolemia, but only if it triggers a chain reaction, and at every stage environmental factor may input either accelerating or delaying the course of disease.
  3. The picture becomes even more complex if behavioral and social aspects are involved. The next example shows drug addiction, which is reported to go in families and some genetic variations have been spotted to cause such a behavior. But drug addiction will not develop if the individual is never exposed to the drug, also in certain social environments drug addition is rare while in other more common, which indicates that there are some social factor that have a bearing too.
  4. Finally, the problem with genetics of religion is still more complex. Religiousness is not a behavioral but a social fauceir, and social involvement depend not only on inherited genes and imprinted behavior, but also learned social values.

One may doubt whether there is genetics of religion at all, as so many social factors seem to be of much more importance, but please let me relate a short story that might underpin some genetic input in our specific social behavior. This morning I woke up early to be at work punctually. While I prepared my breakfast my 7-years-old son came downstairs, a little bit weeping and complaining about pain in his right eye. I inspected his eye and found nothing wrong, I took him on my lap, gently rocking, and after a few minutes he fell asleep again. We ended up sitting in an armchair for half an our or so. My little son needed me so much, and there was nothing more to do than just sit and wait. But over that period, disquieting thoughts were torturing me. What about my work, the telephone calls that don’t reach me, the emails waiting to be answered, my boss looking for me in my empty office. Torn between my duties at work and my duties as a father, I decided to stay with my son.  Well, what would happen, if my supervisor were not so tolerant. As a father himself he values family commitments, but I can imagine social environments that wont accept such an excuse. Thus parents with strong parental feelings will probably end up in societies that value parenthood, and these are doubtlessly religious societies. Emotions, such as those associated with parenthood, are regulated by hormones which in turn are regulated by genes. Conclusively, some genetic traits will segregate into religious behavior. The connection is not so strong and straightforward as in PKU, but it still might exist.

Please allow to conclude by an other fauceir rule: The more recent a fauceir evolved the more it is affected by environmental factors.

In our example phenylalanine metabolism evolved millions of years ago, while religion is a recent human invention that dates back only some thousand years, so PKU can be treated by diet only and  hypercholesterolemia by cholesterol lowering drugs. Drug addition requires a complex therapy that involves drugs and psychotherapy. What concerns religiousness. We have to ask, firstly, if it is a disorder at all. If we agreed upon calling fanatic, zealous, and destroying religiousness to be treated, it predominantly would needs a social approach.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Evolution of Political Assassinations

Triggered by the latest assassination that took place in Arizona, and inspired by reviews of facts from the POV of a more democratic and a more conservative bloggers, I want to outline a short history of political assassination. My intention is not to list all the millions of victims that happend over thousands years or so, I’d rather focus on common rules. The most general rule was already outlined on this blog. It is the rule that natural selection works against human individual capabilities. In other words, statistically, the better a politician’s capabilities the higher the risk of being assassinated. Apart from this general rule that holds for the whole human history, there are distinct historical periods that had their specific rules. This blog entry is focused on these rules.

Stone age people probably did not know political assassination. As we can deduce from animal behavior, stone age men surely fought for dominance, to become the tribe’s alpha male, but this probably seldom resulted in killing each other. Animals evolved an inborn aversion to killing its own kind, and the same is reasonably true for prehistoric humans.

Political assassination emerged when humans became political beings, homo politicus. In fauceir terms, political considerations superseded biological behavioral patterns, or in even more abstract terms social fauceirs dominated biological fauceirs. This coincides with the formation of human societies, division of labor, and the backbone of altered behavior religion.

The primordial political structures were based on individuals. These were called Emperor, Cesar, King, or Pharaoh depending on the scene. Individual political leaders were the immediate successors of alpha males in stone age tribes. Economic and religious reasons allowed those political leaders to gain more and more power, and by the same token their job became more and more dangerous. It was within that period that killing a single person helped to changed the whole political direction. We know about regicides, but what we know is probably the tip of the iceberg only. I dare say that almost every political leader suffered an unnatural death even if he grew old. The extraordinary death rate among royals had been outweighed by the death rate of common people that was height, too, because of starvation, infectious disease, and crime.

The picture changed significantly when political parties appeared. By contrast to individual leaders, political parties could not be removed by killing a single person or a large quantity of members. This Germans convincingly demonstrated. First they killed Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the founders of the German Communist Party which did not succeed in stopping the communists. Almost a decade later Hitler tried to mass murder them in concentration camps, but the communists prevailed.

By the advent of political parties, fundamental political changes could not be expected by killing the leader of a political party as a surrogate always exists eager to succeed, but this by far did not stop political assassination. On the contrary, the picture became more complex only. While in royal times, we could have been sure that the successor had been involved in the assassination, this simple rule does not hold true anymore. Nowadays it might be friend and foe.

Now follows a list of reasons for political assassination today:

  1. The murder is engineered by the political enemy
    1. to eliminate an preeminent leader,
      successful only if the prospective successor is easier to handle
    2. to blame others,
      successful only if a scam exists
  2. The murder is engineered by the same political camp
    1. to promote a successor,
      reasonable only if the successor is more capable
    2. to blame the political enemy,
      successful only if the enemy made the mistake to behave suspiciously

Today, uncovering the reason of a political assassination requires a much more subtle analysis.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.

Religion and Inequality

Encouraged by a discussion sparked by an article, I want to elaborate on the topic of inequality and religion based on fauceir analysis. My thesis that I’m about to prove is “religion allows inequality” or in other words “religion enables people to tolerate inequality”. By enforcing this type of tolerance religions made an all important contribution to evolution of human culture.

Adapting an evolutionary position requires to analyze what came first. No evolutionary biologist would claim that mammals influenced the origination of echinodermata because the latter originated millions of years before. As with mammals and echinodermata, the same holds true with other fauceirs. Therefore we have to study the political and social context of every originating social fauceir. The time-line of social fauceirs that we are going to analyze is the following. Religion and inequality originated almost at the same time. Social responsibility evolved in Christianity when the secular powers took over the responsibility to enforce inequality, notably by the Roman Empire. The social welfare state, on the other hand, is the most recent achievement, and again it materialized when the responsibility for maintaining inequality passed to free market’s economic competition, an other fauceir to maintain inequality.

Among many other things religions define codes to accept other peoples properties. Rules similar to the Ten Commandments in the Bible can be found in every world religion. The division of labor, without which social progress is unthinkable, is only possible if strong rules exist that tame people’s natural jealousy. These rules have been indoctrinated by religious leaders, and everywhere on this world where such religious rules had been successfully enacted population grew, technical inventions appeared, culture and science flowered, and people became successful in martial competitions. In fact those societies that adapted such religious fauceirs conquered and swallowed other societies thereby amplifying and spreading these religions and allowing division of labor to propagate.

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This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.