Speciation patterns across five global religions

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Rok publikování 2017
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis This work is a first step in quantitatively modelling cultural speciation on a large scale. Based on a database of schism dates in five global religions – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism/Jainism/Sikhism, and Buddhism – we examine whether it makes sense to think of cultures as generally displaying a punctuated evolution with periods of cladogensis (rare bursts of rapidly splitting lineages). The starting points for data collection were encyclopaedias of religions, with more detailed sources being consulted as necessary. Higher and lower bounds for the birth (i.e., split) dates of sects (lineages) were recorded, alongside the names of “parent” sects. A split was defined as (a) the separation of a group, such that the separating group had a different history from the date of split, and (b) separation from the parent based on differences with respect to at least two of the following characteristics: (i) beliefs/creeds, (ii) rituals, (iii) social practices or organisation, and (iv) location, resulting in limited contact. Assuming that the higher and lower bounds over birth dates represented 99% confidence intervals, a mean and standard deviation were calculated as prior parameters for each birth date (and, by implication, for the age of each clade in a phylogeny), based on data for 83 retained Christian sects, 51 Islamic sects, 33 Jewish sects, 91 Hindu sects, and 101 Buddhist sects. For each tradition, we present a graph of lineages over time and formally test for punctuated evolution, quantifying how much of the diversity is due to cladogenetic vs. gradual anagenetic change.
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