Paul Bloom: "Evolutionary Accounts of Religion: Explaining and Explaining Away"

Paul Bloom's lecture for the above referenced panel.

The virtual universality of religion is one of the most fascinating, yet previously underattended issues being explored by current evolutionary theory. Recently emerging scientific accounts of religion, while at one time a proverbial 'elephant in the closet' have now become a prominent and polarizing issue fro science and religion dialogue. This session will describe and assess a variety of alternative evolutionary proposals for the origin and nature of religious beliefs and practices, from the perspectives of biology, cognitive science, and philosophy. We will also explore and critique the implications of naturalistic explanations of religion, with an eye toward distinguishing between genuine challenges these theories raise for the warrant of religious belief, possibilities they entail for consonance, and the hyperbolic assertions on each pole.

4 June 2007

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