Browsing All Posts filed under »religion«

The second coming of evolutionary explanations of religion I: Historical background

October 19, 2014

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From an early draft of a paper I am working on: Work within CSR tends to most strongly identify with the multidisciplinary tradition of research into human behaviour that can be traced back to the ethology of Lorenz and Tinbergen in the mid-twentieth century. The vital turning point in that tradition was provided by the […]

Social function of religion in Krakow II: Function

October 15, 2014

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Talk of the social function of religion obviously harks back to the work of functionalist sociologists. Given that I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert in sociology, I have sought to learn a little about structuralist functionalism in order to understand the basic position advanced by that group of scientists and the […]

Social function of religion in Krakow I: Abstract of the talk

October 10, 2014

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Later this month I am to give a talk at the Religions: fields of research, methods and perspectives conference in Krakow, Poland. This is the abstract of the talk I plan to give there: Social function of religion in the light of contemporary evolutionary theory Traditional accounts of social function, such as used in structural […]

Reading Rossano

May 9, 2012

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How did February turn into May? It must have been magic! Among the thousand and one things that have been keeping my away from updating my blog over the last couple of months has been a very much overdue review of Rossano’s Supernatural Selection. Reading the book has been interesting but from a meta perspective […]

Abstract for the Brno workshop

February 28, 2012

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The lovely people at Levyna in Brno have been very busy. The research centre has its own website and they’re about to host a research workshop to which I’m about to head off. To fit in with the general theme, I have decided to present a paper which takes a step back from the approach […]

Review of Westerhoff’s Twelve Examples of Illusion

February 1, 2012

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There are people who seem to really enjoy writing very harsh reviews. I find myself left with a sour taste in my mouth afterwards. And so it is with my review of Westerhoff’s recent book published by Oxford University Press. The review is going to be in the journal Religion but it is already up […]

Spaghetti, cumulative cultural evolution and ritual traditions

December 9, 2011

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Back in 2009 I went to a European Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference in St Andrews. One of the highlights of that conference and definitely the bit of it that has stuck in my mind was a paper presented by Christine Caldwell. Caldwell talked about a methodology that she’s been using to test claims about […]

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