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Religion as byproduct of evolution

I read "The God Delusion" a couple of years back and there is one thing that struck me which recently grabbed my interest as I started reading "why we believe in gods" (probably being advertised as you read on the right of your screen). It is the notion that religion is a by-product of evolution, and not an adaption itself.

Is there any real difference between an adaption and a by-product, or is it really just semantics mixed in with opinion? Could by-products themselves become seen as adaptions?

I am fascinated by this topic so if anyone could shine any light on this matter, I would greatly appreciate it.



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