Religion as an Evolutionary Byproduct: A Critique of the Standard Model

The dominant view in the cognitive science of religion (the ‘Standard Model’) is that religious belief and behaviour are not adaptive traits but rather incidental byproducts of the cognitive architecture of mind. Because evidence for the Standard Model is inconclusive, the case for it depends crucially on its alleged methodological superiority to selectionist alternatives. However, we show that the Standard Model has both methodological and evidential disadvantages when compared with selectionist alternatives. We also consider a pluralistic approach, which holds that religion or various aspects of religion originated as byproducts of evolved cognitive structures but were subsequently co-opted for adaptive purposes. We argue that when properly formulated, the pluralistic approach also has certain advantages over the Standard Model
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr035
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Richard Samuels (1998). Evolutionary Psychology and the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):575-602.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Glenn Carruthers (2009). Commentary on Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):515 - 520.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2009). Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.
Aku Visala (2008). Religion and the Human Mind: Philosophical Perspectives on the Cognitive Science of Religion. Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 50 (2):109-130.
Carole J. Lee (2007). The Representation of Judgment Heuristics and the Generality Problem. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Cognitive Science Society:1211-6.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

90 ( #36,775 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.