scilogs Biology of Religion

A chat with David Sloan Wilson about Evolutionary Studies of Religion and ETVOL

from Michael Blume, 06. September 2011, 23:28

One of the interesting experiences in doing a German as well as this English scilog about evolutionary studies of religion is to meet the dominant prejudices: While in the German blogosphere antitheist radicals tend to fight any studies exploring the field because of their fear of findings supporting adaptive scenarios, this English speaking blog is currently flooded by American-Catholic fundamentalists trying to fight evolutionary studies of humanity in general. But then, neither secular nor religious extremists managed to stop evolutionary sciences during the last century - and I happily assume they will not be able to do it in our time. ;-)

One of the reasons for my evolutionary optimism resides in the encouraging activities of David Sloan Wilson, rightfully one of the most popular evolutionary biologists around and author of famous books such as "Darwins Cathedral", "Evolution for Everyone" and now (and to be reviewed here) "The Neighborhood Project - Using Evolution to Improve my City".

As we had had contact by collaborating the network of Evolutionary Religious Studies, I was happy and honoured to be invited as an editor for the religion section in his newest project: The online-portal Evolution - This View of Life.

As a start, David and I came up with the idea of a chat about evolutionary studies of religions, which is available at the ETVOL-page, and here:

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  1. J. A. Le Fevre Thanks for the links
    07.09.2011 | 20:49

    Proves to be very interesting.

  2. J. A. Le Fevre Michael
    07.09.2011 | 22:40

    David makes a statement near the end of the talk that you glossed over, but reflects a common misconception. He stated that Europe represented the worlds’ dominant societies and were at the same time the most secular.
    I suggest a look across time to be more telling: For the better part of the last 600 years, devoutly Christian Europe has dominated the world politically, economically and militarily. 100 years ago, European armies and politicians directed the affairs of much of the world. Europe’s secularization has been marked by a dramatic retreat from its once dominant position. A retreat that continues, and I predict will continue as secularization continues. Religion is about a lot more than babies.

  3. Michael Blume @J.A. LeFevre
    10.09.2011 | 08:31

    Thanks for the comments! And, yes, evolutionary studies are about more than reproductive advantages, that's just the topic I specialized on.

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