UGent

lezing IS RELIGION AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION? door dr. Steve Clarke (University of Oxford))

Mei 2010

06/5/2010: lezing IS RELIGION AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION? door dr. Steve Clarke (University of Oxford))

Deze lezing gaat door op 6 mei om 14u30 in auditorium A, Blandijnberg 2, 9000 Gent, toegang gratis & iedereen welkom.
De taal is Engels.
Abstract: Many leading scholars in the cognitive science of religion, including Atran, Barrett, Bloom, Boyer and Norenzayan, favour what has become known as the Standard Model of the evolution of religion ('SM'). According to SM, religion evolved as a byproduct of a suite of adaptive cognitive structures that are associated with beliefs and behaviours in the non-religious domain. The SM purports to 'explain away' religious phenomena as nothing more than a functionless by-product. SM is favoured by its adherents in large part because it is alleged to have methodological advantages over various rival theories, including ones that invoke functional explanations. SM makes two questionable commitments. First, it assumes the methodological superiority of byproduct explanations of religion over competing functional explanations. Second, it presupposes the empirical plausibility of speculative accounts of the structure of human cognition, which attribute robust, invariant cognitive structures to the human mind, such as the 'massive modularity hypothesis.' We argue that byproduct explanations have no methodological advantages over their functional counterparts, and that they are in fact liable to methodological flaws that ordinary functional explanations do not suffer from. We also consider several alternatives to SM.