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Life Sciences - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology | The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior

The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior

Voland, Eckart, Schiefenhövel, Wulf (Eds.)

2009, X, 304 pages with 13 illustrations

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  • Presents new scientific evidence for controversial hypotheses about religiosity
  • Combines modern psychology and psychiatry with evolutionary biology, archeology, and anthropology to explain religious phenomena
  • Survival value of religious behavior is analyzed
  • Questions whether similar mental states underlie spirituality, mysticism and delusions

In a Darwinian world, religious behavior - just like other behaviors - is likely to have undergone a process of natural selection in which it was rewarded in the evolutionary currency of reproductive success. This book aims to provide a better understanding of the social scenarios in which selection pressure led to religious practices becoming an evolved human trait, i.e. an adaptive answer to the conditions of living and surviving that prevailed among our prehistoric ancestors. This aim is pursued by a team of expert authors from a range of disciplines. Their contributions examine the relevant physiological, emotional, cognitive and social processes. The resulting understanding of the functional interplay of these processes gives valuable insights into the biological roots and benefits of religion.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Adaptive value of religion - Anthropology and religion - Charles Darwin - Darwin - Evolution - Evolution of religious behaviour - Evolutionary psychology - Group selection - Natural selection of religious behavior - Propensity for religious behavior - Religion - Religion instinct - Sociobiology and religiosity - natural selection

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Philosophical Traditions - Religious Studies

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