Browsing All Posts filed under »Psychology«

Abstract for talk in Aarhus

May 10, 2010


On May 21st I will be giving a talk in Aarhus to the Religion, Cognition and Culture people in Aarhus. Here is the abstract: Explaining the magic/religion distinction using a dual inheritance model The dual inheritance model of religion seeks to explain it as based upon cognitive byproducts that have been co-opted for prosocial functions. […]

ESF funding application

May 10, 2010


It’s another of those cases where I wish I were more superstitious. I have submitted an application to the European Science Foundation for funding to organise a workshop on dual inheritance models of religion and now have to wait till November to find out if my application was successful. The attraction to cross my fingers […]

A couple of older posts about religion

February 6, 2010


I am getting ready to head off to Budapest, where I am going to give a talk to the Philosophy crowd at the Central European University this Tuesday. I have been trawling the net for some things and come across again a couple of posts about religion that I found most interesting when I’d originally […]

Does Barrett think that Superman is a counterintuitive concept?

December 11, 2009


Still working through Barrett’s Why Would Anyone Believe in God? with my cognitive science of religion class. We’ve got to chapter 6 in which Barrett considers the traits of the christian deity and I have found myself gobsmacked by the argument that Barrett presents. He considers in turn the christian claims that their deity has […]

Pigeon qualia soup

December 4, 2009


Well, actually, The Superstitious Pigeon on Qualiasoup – an extremely well put-together visual presentation of some ideas and research concerning superstitions. The Qualiasoup videos are a great resource to use in teaching critical thinking classes, I think. Nothing paltry about it.

Adaptive value of psychological mechanisms

September 21, 2009


One the BCDC people raised an important issue in the question time after my talk in Bristol. She said that, as a psychologist, she did not ask why certain things were the way they are but was just interested in what they are like. She was talking about the fact that she, like most psychologists, […]

Atheism as the out-group

September 3, 2009


On the Epiphenom blog, Tom Rees has an interesting discussion of a study concerning the way atheists are distrusted in the US. He ties it to a claim I made a little while ago about religion being used as a marker of the in-group/out-group distinction. He thinks the evidence in the study points against it […]