Before I start here, let me say that I know this sounds a bit insensitive to the LGBTQ community, but it is not intended as such.  I am in no way attempting to diminish the contributions to our species by homosexuals in our branch of the Tree of Life, but for simplicity's sake, I'm sticking with the very basic, primitive idea of a family unit here.  Please forgive me if it offends...

  It is statistically proven that there are far fewer female atheists than male. After reading about that, I also came across a statistic regarding prayer, which says that the women polled prayed more often than the men polled.  There's a very simple explanation for this, I think, and thank you, Dusty, for your post about Atheism needing more women because you got me thinking about it and about how true your conclusion really is.  I think you're 100% right.  Humans are still evolving, though the changes are very subtle these days.  Women have begun to turn away from using their prefrontal cortices to chose mates and, in some cases, have started looking for an intellectual connection, or, to put it more plainly, the smart guys.  Times have changed and the primitive needs of a male's family don't really exist anymore.  They don't need to hunt, nor do they need to be the protectors of the family anymore.  We have grocery stores and houses with locks and alarm see where I'm going with this.  It's the innovative guys we're looking for now.  The guys we need are the ones who can fix a problem or help solve a puzzle (not a literal one, of course, but maybe those too). There's something more, however, and it goes much deeper than guys trolling girls and scaring them off.

  I've blogged before about empathy and morality and how it is encoded into us.  Now let's take that just a bit farther.  Let's pretend for a moment.  Let's imagine a family of early hominids: There's an adult male and an adult female and they have a baby.  Now we're pretty sure that these families lived in groups, but let's just use one family in this scenario.  The male, being the larger and stronger of the two, would be the one to protect the family and bring home the bacon, literally.  The female is responsible for making sure the offspring have what they need to grow and thrive in order to eventually pass on the genes to the next generation, which is the ultimate goal for all living things.

  Because of those divided roles being passed on in our genes, it only makes sense, to me, that there be a discrepancy in the male to female ratio in Atheism.  Ours is a brand of survival that has worked incredibly well for a large portion of species for a long time.  As Sir David Attenborough put it, in essence: a species encountering no change sees no cause for change.  That brand of survival has led to more emotional females and more dominant males. Before I get bashed for that, I don't think that men are more primitive, they just evolved slightly differently for the good of the species.

  When a female reacts (I'm talking about primitive reactions here) to an offspring that expresses a need for something, they react, first, by getting a worried kind of feeling, just plain empathy perhaps, that doesn't go away until the problem is fixed.  A female's secondary reaction would be defensive if the need exists to be so.  Males, again, in a primitive sense, react first by getting agitated, ready to defend his family and the secondary reaction is an empathetic one if no danger is present to defend against.

Women have an encoded need to be emotional and Atheism, having a marketing campaign of being "logical and reasonable" doesn't, in the mind of a LOT of people, leave any room for a spiritual side.  That's one of the main arguments I've been battling lately.  smh  I have, thankfully, been able to find an incredibly spiritual side in Atheism and, no, it doesn't have anything to do with me having a soul.  That's something I'll address in a little more detail later on.  Since there is that mindset, however stereotypical it may be, it makes it difficult for women to get behind Atheism in some aspects.  If that deep, emotional feeling I used to get when I went to sing with the congregation at church, for example, doesn't exist in Atheism, then that's one mark against it without even taking into account any doubts concerning "conversion" that may exist already.  When I went to church, I got that feeling of connectedness, that warm feeling in my chest, the tears streaming down my face and the feeling of amazement.  I am in no way saying that men don't get that feeling, nor am I saying they don't need it, however, it's a more deep seeded need for women, in my opinion.  If more women are to come to an atheist viewpoint, we'll have to work with that, I think.

  Men, having the strong defense reaction, automatically get "pumped up" by an attack, be it a physical attack or an intellectual one.  I've watched enough male Atheists vlogs and blogs to know that's true.  I think that maybe Atheism, being dominated by males, has gotten the "angry" label because of this.  Again, but on the opposite side, I'm not saying women don't get angry for the cause of Atheism.  One listen to Madalyn Murray O'Hair or Greta Christina will affirm that women are very capable of expressing their anger. Again, the ratio of men to women is what makes it seem like an unfeeling way of thinking. Yes, I know how oxymoronic that sounds, but it's true, I think.

  As to the things I get emotional about, you can read my "Poetry of Reality" blog here for a longer list.  Since it's not the intended purpose of this blog, I'll just share one of my favorites.  I said it once before and I'll say it again. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says it best with this quote:

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

  Right behind that is the amazing, lottery-winner feeling I get when I think about the fact that, in evolutionary terms, we are the 1%.  About 99% of the species that ever lived are now extinct, but we were lucky enough to be part of a branch of the family tree that flourished.  I find that pretty fucking amazing.

Thanks for joining me!  Noodles be with you!  R'Amen!

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Comment by Nontheist Central on March 31, 2012 at 5:23pm

I knew that's why you came in here breathing fire.  You could have just said you thought I was being anti-feminist.  I've said several times that these are my own conclusions.  I'm not an expert.  The fact that I offered very few citations should have indicated that.  Your message would have been much better received if you didn't give the appearance of coming in here wagging your finger at me.  I'm simply proposing the idea that it might be because of an evolutionary thing that we need to work with in order to bring more females to Atheism.  Nothing more.

Comment by TNT666 on March 29, 2012 at 9:28pm

I didn't get my biology BSc form internet links, actually no one does. You can get tidbits off the internet but if you're really interested in this topic, before you go around calling females inately more emotional, you should do some real studies. All over the place you repeat this: "women are more emotional", that's some kind of absolute statement which does not jive biologically speaking. However, if you want to talk about human beings in general who have to repress their personalities because of certain environmental conditions (males or females), then yes these humans will end up more emotional. Have females been more repressed than males over the last 2000 years yes. But we weren't repressed before that, we weren't repressed for most of our evolution. And males can be equally emotional as females given similar repression. So emotionality : response of hardship and repression, not female. In the world of statistics correlation does not mean causation, and just because something may be true temporarily, it by no means signifies that it's a fact of life. So instead of making grand statements like "women are more emotional" maybe you should think of saying "repressed people are more emotional..." you know... like those boys who in fits of hurt and anger go around killing their classmates.

Comment by Nontheist Central on March 29, 2012 at 11:51am

I have tons of comments on my blog now and you're the only one I've had this problem with.  I NEVER ONCE said that I was an expert, however you learn things by listening to people who know more than you.  They have shown that they know more than me, so I listen to them.  If you doubt what they have to say, that's on you.

As I said before, I don't mind being challenged and being shown where I'm wrong.  That's not what you've done here.  You're not coming in with an attitude of sharing ideas.  You're coming in here pointing fingers and sounding like you think you're better than me.

All I was asking for was some links or something to show me where I'm wrong.  I love learning, but your intention is not to teach, but to ridicule someone for not knowing something and not showing them how they're wrong.  You've been rude, condescending and not at all helpful to this conversation.  Thanks.

Comment by TNT666 on March 29, 2012 at 9:39am

wow, no wonder you were getting no responses on the other site. You ask to be read, but you don't want to hear the criticism. If you had not requested that people come read your blog I would not have. IMHO you do not get an education in evolutionary biology from watching nature shows on television. So... good luck with those writing projects of yours.

Comment by Nontheist Central on March 29, 2012 at 8:22am

TNT666 - I specifically said, twice now, that "I'm referring to a basic, primitive view of a family unit like modern ape groups".  Again, I'm not sure how you got confused.

It seems to me that you're trying to nit-pick me for some reason.  The fact that you feel the need to tell me "Of my many years spent in university in biology..." like that's supposed to make a difference.  Millions of people around the world go to universities and are given the same information, but come to different conclusions.  Also, just because you went to a university doesn't mean you got good grades or learned anything there.  Are you trying to prove that you're smarter than me or something?

Lastly, if your going to contradict me in such a condescending way, it would be nice if you at least linked something to show me where I'm wrong.  You're saying things that contradict things that I've learned from Dr. Alice Roberts and David Attenborough without showing anything to prove it that your view is correct.  I watched several programs on the subject, read a lot, came to a conclusion, and shared that conclusion to get feedback on my ideas.  I don't mind being challenged, but you don't have to be such a...not nice person about it.

Comment by TNT666 on March 28, 2012 at 10:12pm

Of my many years spent in university in biology, which in all courses discusses evolution, there is no such thing as a "basic primitive "family" ". Now if you want to call an ape group a family, then biologically speaking that's an entirely different definition than the common modern humanities' definition of family. There is no archeological evidence showing monogamy (which is usually underlying "family" discussions for humans). All biological and anthropological evidence points to non-monogamy, and tribal societies, with earlier tribes being smaller, later tribes developed metropolises, but monogamy only came into play 2-3000 years ago, shortly after males discovered their role and procreation, and decided to control the whole process. So to pursue this discussion, IMO, we have to give up using the word family entirely, because it is not that  helpful in biological terms.

As for lengthening of human lives... There have always been some humans who've lived longer than others. North American First Nations people often lived longer than the colonising European forces, not due to medicine but due to living in a land of plenty, with little to no warring, which was the scenario in Eastern temperate N.America, from New York to the Gaspésie. However, looking back further in time... human biological "fitness" has actually been demonstrated to have been reduced with the advent of agriculture, creating a more sedentary human, a weaker human. As for today's life expectancies, it is expected that today's youth will be the first generation to live less years than their parents. Of course pharmacological companies will find ways to extend the slow dying of these people, to maintain higher and higher profit margins, and create the illusion of maintained lifespan. But it's nothing more. We are the only species that consistently outlives our natural longevity. Unfortunately, we don't spend more time living, only more time dying.

Comment by Nontheist Central on March 28, 2012 at 12:24pm

TNT666 Not sure how you got confused here, but I said that I'm referring to a basic, primitive view of a family unit like modern ape groups.  I'm looking much farther back than when you're talking about.  You should watch "The Incredible Human Journey" with Dr. Alice Roberts.  Not sure what evidence you're looking at.  Why do you think we weren't meant to live in families?  Why are you using "old evidence"?

As to the LGBTQ comment, it would be offensive, I think, to imply that they had nothing to do with a primitive family unit being successful.  It doesn't have bearing on my point, per say, but I didn't want people to think that I was using a "50s concept of what a family is".  I'm thinking you missed that entirely.

As to your assumption that the only reason we live as long as we do is because of medical advances: If you understand evolution, then you would realize the fallacy of this statement.  Medical advances have extended our lives, that's true, but if they never existed in the first place, humans would have kept evolving to better fight off illnesses, for example.  We stopped evolving in that area because of the medical advances, I think.  In the cases of broken bones and things, yes, you are right.

Not sure what you mean by "hindsight of the future".  Seems to be a contradictory statement.

Comment by TNT666 on March 28, 2012 at 10:55am

It seems your entire reasoning on this topic is based on some 50s concept of what a "family" is. Of all my readings, I've never seen any evidence for this type of family until the last few thousand years, when patriarchal religions took over the Europe and the Middle East (different timelines elsewhere). Humans are meant to live as small tribes, not "families". Most old evidence points to offspring being reared by small groups made up principally of females.

As for the LGB (T, Q, I, and whatever other letters get tacked on to increase numbers), opening... it has no bearing on this discussion.

With the hindsight of the future... we will probably find that we are among the shortest-lived of all species to have ever come what with our propensity to destroy our own environment. Just like a dog trapped in a kennel who keeps on shitting on his own environment til it's no longer salubrious. We have reached that status for humans, we live only through pharmaceutical and surgical corrections. Normal, evolutionary based, human life should mean that we do not live past the age of menopause. We'd do well to pay more attention to what has worked in nature for millions of years, vs our human shortsightedness which thinks we can undo evolution in a couple of hundred years. Funny that pompousness.




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