You know me well enough to make that statement?
I don't have to know you. I only have to know about the Christian religion. I used to be one, and I have read the bible cover to cover, some parts multiple times. There are things in the bible that contradict each other. This is to say they are mutually exclusive. Therefore it is logically impossible not to cherry pick.
I do know you well enough to know you don't approve of genocide, murder, having a bear maul some kids that made fun of a bald guy (2 Kings), and all that sort of thing. It goes both ways, atheists who say religious people must approve of all those things because they follow that religion, are quite mistaken, for the exact same reason. It's impossible not to cherry pick. By definition two mutually exclusive things cannot both be simultaneously held as an ideal.
This is balderdash. How do you know such a thing? What archaeological, genetic or historical evidence is there? None. This is an unfounded assertion.
There are whole books about it. We were just talking about Shermer's book. He is a science historian, and he has references.
As far as genetics, as I mentioned, we observe this sort of behavior in other animals. They call it "superstitious behavior". With a random reward experiment you can get many different animals to start performng rituals, because over time, they begin to think certain things they do, cause the reward. In a more sophisticated animal, such as people, we can put a lot more into seeing these patterns, and religion cannot happen without that.
Since the entire argument begins by asserting what it looks to prove, it's not worth bothering with, but let's have some fun debunking it.
I would not make such an elementary mistake. I may state my conclusion before and after, but that is just showing what I am going to be talking about. If you read it, it's clearly NOT a premise. Furthermore, the line you quote there, is obviously true. Homo erectus did NOT have the intelligence to have full blown religion. They had some of the things that later led to religion, but not religion itself. They simply were not capable. There is loads of evidence about their intelligence level by the way.
Humorous-Sarcastic Method: The two candidates for "Patient Zero" of the "All Religion Bad" meme complex are Frederick Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Most agree the infection in its full contagious form began with Freud, as it replaced all atheistic thought that came before it and all current atheistic thought in the West is pure re-hashed Freud. There, you have a meme too! (Or should we just say "idea" and not try to sound smart by making up a new word?)
Uh..ok... I said every idea is a meme... So of course that's a meme.
when some sociopath cooked up religion
That is a straw man. I said no such thing. In fact I said quite the contrary. Nothing complex like that just gets "cooked up". That is impossible.
Actual Logic: Ok, more seriously, it is not possible for humans to exhibit a trait, simple or complex, that did not arise from evolution. There is no other known mechanism for acquiring traits. Therefore, if all human societies ever encountered have been religious, it must be an evolved trait of homo sapiens to think this way, and that it is a positive survival trait.
Your premises are good, however your conclusion does not follow from them. This is analogous to the "irreducible complexity" argument. Religion in total is not a simple trait, nor does it, in total, evolve. It is actually all the things that make these ideas very common for people to have that evolved. This is a wide array of traits too. These traits also had survival value for reasons other than what role they later played in religion. Also as I said, the species we evolved from could not think anywhere near as abstract as we can. They may have seen patterns in things, even if they aren't there, but the rest of what became religion evolved as our brains did.
So I'm done with this conversation
Wow, you are taking this VERY personally. I thought you could handle a discussion like this. It was also you that wanted to talk about that. It's not like I cornered you, and forced you to talk about all this.