New blog on cognitive science of religion

February 3, 2012


Robert McCauley, who is the President of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion and one of the central figures in cognitive science of religion has begun writing a blog for Psychology Now. The blog has the same title as Bob’s recent OUP book – Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not. […]

Review of Westerhoff’s Twelve Examples of Illusion

February 1, 2012


monkey reaching for the moon

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 […]

Which conferences to attend?

January 22, 2012



This is a question I always ask myself at the beginning of every year. With a few years of experience behind me I think I am in something of a position to make a judgement as to which of the many conferences that take place every year are the most likely to be valuable to […]

Werewolves in scientist’s clothing

January 14, 2012



Reminded by a point I raised in my last post, I realised that I have apparently failed to mention an article of mine that is forthcoming in a University of Chicago volume edited by Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry – The Philosophy of Pseudoscience. I have now put an almost final draft of that paper on […]

On Astrology

January 12, 2012



An old post of mine - from the middle of 2007 – has recently been replied to by someone who takes their astrology very seriously. Anthony Louis, who has published books on astrology and tarot, runs quite an active blog on the topics. His somewhat curious response is quite short so I’ll quote it in […]

Malinowski’s magic, Skinner’s superstition

January 11, 2012



Just finished a first draft of an article that is to go into a volume edited by Dimitris Xygalatas and William McCorkle. The volume is to be called Mental Culture: Toward a Cognitive Science of Religion and is to show how modern cognitive science of religion is connected back to traditional approaches to the study […]

Spaghetti, cumulative cultural evolution and ritual traditions

December 9, 2011



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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