Counterintuition, existential anxiety, and religion as a by-product of the designing mind

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):739-740 (2004)
Abstract
In arguing for religion as a side effect of everyday cognition, Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) provide useful analyses of the strengths of the “naturalness-of-religion” position over others; however, experimental shortcomings limit the contributions of their empirical work. A relevant addendum involves considering research on children's orientation to teleological explanations of natural phenomena, which suggests that relatively rich cognitive proclivities might underlie religious thought.
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