In Gods We Trust has ratings and 23 reviews. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human. In got trust. Scott Atran In Gods We Trust The Evolutionary Landscape Of Religion (Evolution And Cognition). Topics atheism. Collection. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Atran, Scott, In gods we trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion / Scott Atran. p. cm. — (Evolution .

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Atran then argues that religion does serve as a relief valve for emotional distress. Entire phrases get recycled in passages across the book.

Scott Atran, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion – PhilPapers

Mimetics also fails to explain religion truzt to the general shortcomings of meme theory He also draws on his own first-hand field work and work in folk biology. Along the way, Atran provides a number of fascinating experiments, anecdotes, observations, and arguments to make his case and to criticize and critique other theories. A religious Holy Book is full of obscure and contradictory statements, which allows the religious authority to cherry-pick the ones they want.

Sociobiology and Group Selection 9.

Ahran what if you like the message but would not mind shooting the messenger because of the way he delivered it? And he links his knowledge to modern evolutionary and cognitive theory in interesting ways. On one hand it invokes a divine authority that we cannot question. Evolution, Religion and the Irrational.


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That’s comforting to me, as someone who has wasted countless hours trying to pin down definitions in discussions about religion. A attan cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, his publications include Fondement de l’histoire naturelleCognitive Foundations of Natural History: Review “So how, [Atran] asks, is it that religious beliefs and practices are manifest, anywhere there are people, past or present?

Open Preview See a Problem? He has studied and written about terrorism, violence and religion, and has done fieldwork with terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists, as well as political leaders.

Uncertain and “emotionally eruptive” events such as earthquakes, floods, disease, and death prompt humans to search for a reason or purpose behind them. Academic Skip to main content. Too much jargon and unreadable styleless writing. Anyone interested in Evolutionary psychology and religion. The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion: But natural selection tfust to stamp out waste and produce highly efficient organisms, so how did the human race evolve to habitually form and practice religions? De said, Atran has produced what is likely the most comprehensive and convincing account of the cognitive science of religion, but anyone with an interest in religion, cognitive trus, psychology, anthropology, or applications of evolutionary theory to human behavior should find this to be a fascinating work.

Wee fact that religious beliefs do not lend themselves to any kind of clear and final comprehension allows their learning, teaching, exegesis, and circumstantial application to go on forever. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. In the case of religion, these metarepresentational ideas are never fully assimilated with factual and commonsensical beliefs.


The reference itself is a gold mine. Whirling dance, deep-breathing meditation, and other things can cause “altered states of consciousness. Atran managed to combine the old and the new by relating the automatic cognitive operations to existential anxieties. This book seeks to explain the origins of religion using our knowledge of the evolution of cognition.

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran

One of his exceptional talents is in weaving together a vast number of strands that most of us keep asunder. Building Cultures of Trust. He does fault Dennett and Dawkins, above all, for the anti-religious and over-intellectual bias they bring to propositions about memes. Emotionally powerful, and long-lasing ties among relatively small groups of individuals but hinders wider inferential elaboration and public dissemination of religious theology and cultural ideology.

Major factors include a predisposition to infer agency, costly signaling of commitment to reduce free riders, and increased memory for stories with some, but not too many, irrational surprises.

The challenge is to not select only the evidence you want to believe.

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