Islam

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An Evolutionary Perspective

An intellectual gap separates the Islamic world and the West. Muslim children under-perform on almost all educational measures, and the societies as a whole produce fewer scientific advances and cultural achievements. Evolutionary psychologist Edward Dutton argues that this is not just a matter of genetics, war, or politics. It stems from Islam itself. Holding to Islamic belief interferes with analytical and creative ways of thinking. Veiling, female circumcision, the Ramadan fast, polygamy, and even praying regularly does the same, leading to worse education systems, increased poverty, and less intellectual development.

That said, Islam has clear advantages. The Muslim practices that reduce cognitive ability also elevate ethnocentrism-in-group co-operation. And it is the more ethnocentric groups that win in the intense struggle of Darwinian selection. Thus, Dutton predicts that Islam will come to triumph over the West precisely because it reduces cognitive ability. This raises disturbing questions. Are there terminal disadvantages to developing cultures of high intelligence and individualism? Might the West need to adopt something akin to Islam, and become rather less thoughtful, in order to survive?

 

Author: Edward Dutton
Pages: 200
Binding: Softcover
Published2020
Language: English
ISBN: 9781593680657

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