Others, like Benjamin Purzycki, Scott Atran and former EAS president Frank Marlowe, have been examining the contribution of religion to the evolution of increasing population size and societal complexity. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity. This has been a challenging few months for all of us, with no end in sight…, We hope that you are all managing to find some peace and balance in these challenging times…. Discerning devotion: Testing the signalling theory of religion. Xygalatas, D., Mitkidis, P., Fischer, R., Reddish, P., Skewes, J., Feertz, A. W., & Bulbulia, J. This may be why religions with moralistic gods (e.g. (2014). Norenzayan, A., Shariff, A. F., Willard A. K., Slingerland, W. E., Gervais, R. A., McNamara, R. A., & Henrich, J. Watts, F., & Bretherton, R. (2017). In this chapter we critically review evolutionary approaches to understanding religion by looking, in turn, at three main perspectives: religion as a by-product, religion as an adaptation, and religion as the product of cultural evolutionary processes. B., Meyer, K. K., Varley, A. H., & Brewer, G. A. Wlodarski, R., & Pearce, E. (2016). A primary focus for the group­ level study of evolution and religion has been on ‘moralistic gods.’ Hervey Peoples and Frank Marlowe (2012) found a positive association between the size and social complexity of a society and belief in a moralistic god or gods (meaning the society has perceptions that gods are increasingly knowledgeable of one’s thoughts and actions and that they are increasingly likely to punish violators of social norms). Signaling, solidarity, and the sacred: The evolution of religious behaviour. Sosis and others have shown evidence for the honesty of the signal: religious signalers across societies are, on average, more prosocial than those who do not signal their commitment to the group via religious ritual. Tinbergen, N. (1963). This service is more advanced with JavaScript available, Religion, Crime and Punishment Hafer, C. L., & Sutton, R. (2016). Evolutionary religious studies: A beginner’s guide. 2011). Sosis, R., & Bulbulia, J. The virtues of intolerance: Is religion as an adaptation for war? Do triangles play tricks? Richerson, P. J., & Newson, L. (2008). Religious cognition and behaviour in autism: The role of mentalizing. (2013). Sosis, R., & Bressler, E. R. (2003). Some subjects of interest include Neolithic religion, evidence for spirituality or cultic behavior in the Upper Paleolithic, and similarities in great ape behavior. A. Belief in moralizing gods. ), Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. In S. Clarke, R. Powell, & J. Savulescu (Eds.). Durrant, R., & Ward, T. (2011). Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations. Fischer, R., Callander, R., Reddish, P., & Bulbulia, J. In a discussion with Purzycki, he suggested the path forward for the study of religion by evolutionary anthropologists can serve two critical purposes. Norenzayan, A., Gervais, W. M., & Trzesniewski, K. H. (2012). Religion is not an adaptation. Durrant, R., & Ward, T. (2012). First Edition. Terrizzi, J. Those who perform greater and costlier acts in the short­term are more likely to be perceived as physically strong and hard­working, while those performing subtle, long­term investment behaviors are more likely to be seen as more devout and more prosocial by their peers. “Religion” is complex and diverse. an overview for an evolutionary approach to religion that is not reliant on “cultural evolution,” which he terms Evolution Without Cultural Evolution (EWCE). Subsistence and the evolution of religion. However, in order to complete the circle and apply the reputational benefits to the appropriate actor, (2015). A well-disposed social anthropologist’s problems with the ‘cognitive science of religion’ Abell, F., Happe, F., & Frith, U. Amore, R. C. (2014). Kelemen, D. (2004). logical naturalism and the issue of its justifiability in the evolutionary study of religion as well as for the study of religion in general. Buss, D. M. (1995). pp 19-53 | (2011). Atkinson, Q. D., & Whitehouse, H. (2011). Evolutionary theory, he says, can tell us why religion evolved and what it was meant to achieve, which means it can explain why the religious act the way they do. First and foremost, we hope that this email finds all of you in good health. One topic that has been given only minimal space is religion. There are three forms of modern Darwinian evolutionism in the social sciences and humanities: the gene-based biological, the social learning-based sociocultural, and gene–culture coevolution dealing with their interaction. Cognitive science of religion: What is it and why is it? How do rituals affect cooperation? Hunter-gatherers and the origins of religion. Not affiliated Most notably, the evolutionary sciences do not offer one clear procedure to study religion or any human activity. Powered by. The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion. Schloss, J. P., & Murray, M. J. We have seen an increase in the exploration into evolutionary explanations for religious behavior and religious affiliation in the evolutionary and human behavioral ecological literature over the last few years. 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