April 9, 2015

Werner Callebaut

January 6, 2015


I started this blog when I started my postdoc at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research back in 2007. The institute’s scientific director was Werner Callebaut and it was he who on a day-to-day basis was in charge of the intellectual atmosphere at the Lorenz villa where the institute was housed. I […]

Posted in: religion

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

October 19, 2014


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 […]

Posted in: religion

Social function of religion in Krakow II: Function

October 15, 2014


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 […]

Posted in: religion

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

October 10, 2014


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 […]

Posted in: religion

Religion as Magical Ideology

April 30, 2013


Today is the official publication date for the UK (Acumen Publishing) edition of my book. With an altered title – Religion as Magical Ideology: How the Supernatual Reflects Rationality – the book is out in the Religion,  Cognition, and Culture series edited by Jeppe Sindig Jensen and Armin Geertz. Over the years I have written […]

Posted in: Books

Conference report: EHBEA in Amsterdam

April 9, 2013


The EHBEA meetings are held annually but the last one that I managed to attend was back in 2009 when the conference was held in St. Andrews. The meetings are highly multidisciplinary with a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to evolutionary explanations of human behaviour pursued. In terms of methodology, this year’s had […]

Reading Rossano

May 9, 2012


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 […]

The future of CSR in Brno

March 5, 2012


Returning from another visit to LEVYNA in Brno. As per always, it has been a very useful trip, with a lot of progress on setting up the empirical research that I am going to be doing with the people there. A number of the talks at the meeting were also very worthwhile, helping me to […]

New journal for the cognitive science of religion

February 29, 2012


A new journal has been started up to focus on cognitive science of religion. The name, not surprisingly, is Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion. It’ll be the official journal of the IACSR so a subscription will be included with membership (which will mean that the membership fees are bound to rise). At this […]