Making Evolutionary Science of Religion an Integral Part of Cognitive Science of Religion

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Year of publication 2018
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Standard Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR) Model treats religion as an evolutionary by-product and considers proximate mechanisms, and not ultimate causes, as intrinsic to CSR explanative objectives. Such theoretical stance suggests that the full spectrum of evolutionary analyses is yet to be embraced by the young field. I argue that by transforming the originally legitimate by-product argument aimed against bad practice within the adaptationist programme into an argument against the adaptationist programme itself, and by making the by-product position a default point of departure, CSR turned standard evolutionary logic on its head hampering its own advancements. Furthermore, discussing Tinbergen´s Four Whys, I stress that all four questions of ontogeny, phylogeny, mechanism, and function are of equal importance in our strive for the full CSR project.
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