Dialogue about science in general and about evolutionary sciences, history and epistemology has never been more important than in our times. That’s one of the key reasons This View of Life was brought to life.

So, I am glad to promote a creative book-project by Julian Derry called “The Dissent of Man” today. The approach is bringing together established as well as new voices and ideas debating evolution and darwinism. From my field of study, I could say that Julian Derry got it right as he described some of the fresh insights gained by evolutionary studies of religion:

“Current understanding suggests that religion is partly an adaptive advantage by fostering cooperation between individuals. However, antagonistic to this strengthening of community relations, psychological predisposition for faith initially established and now perpetuates a polarised science-religion debate. Yet this evolutionary preprogramming of people is an important but often omitted element. It is also why reasoned arguments are ineffectual because, in the minds of different people, the architecture of reason is constructed differently. Both cannot, by definition, be correct. Hence the conflict.

Human brain evolution has produced an inherently curious and intelligent reasoning that from a very early age seeks to identify causes for effects. Coupled with a propensity for patterns and design, it is hardwired into our cognitive faculties to recognise structural design in nature and interpret a purpose for natural phenomena. While reason and logic are evolutionary adaptions towards problem solving, faith-based myths and religions are likely secondary products of our interpretation of the natural world (e.g., Darwin’s Cathedral by David Sloan Wilson, UCP 2002). Consequently, as faith in the individual is an evolutionary by-product, there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in setting evolution against religion in order to criticise personal religious philosophies. Put another way, if faith is only nature in action, then reacting against it is, in one sense of the word, unnatural.”

Well read and well written, indeed! If you are among those that would like to learn more check out the unbound-project-page that includes a video about “The Dissent of Man”. http://unbound.co.uk/books/the-dissent-of-man

Published On: January 18, 2013

Michael Blume

Michael Blume

Michael Blume was born in 1976 in Filderstadt, Germany. He lectured Religious Studies at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, Leipzig and currently in Jena. His doctoral thesis focused on theories on religion in the brain sciences (the so-called “neurotheologies”). Dr. Blume then specialized on the reproductive potentials of religiosity – the complex workings of religious communities augmenting cooperation, birth and survival rates (and thus: evolutionary success) of religious people in comparison to their (more) secular neighbors.

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