Evolution of religious capacity in the genus homo: Trait complexity in action through compassion

Zygon 53 (1):198-239 (2018)
Margaret Boone Rappaport
Ohio State University (PhD)
In this third and last article on the evolution of religious capacity, the authors focus on compassion, one of religious expression's common companions. They explore the various meanings of compassion, using Biblical and early related documents, and derive general cognitive components before an evolutionary analysis of compassion using their model. Then, in taking on neural reuse theory, they adapt a model from linguistics theory to understand how neural reuse could have operated to fix religious capacity in the human genome. They present a teaching tool on “Religious Capacity in Action,” and develop an example of compassionate decision making in very early Homo sapiens in North Africa. They round out their analysis of compassion by exploring theory in neuroscience on a standard decision-making model, and investigate what goes on in the human brain when a values-based decision is made.
Keywords anthropology  cognitive science  compassion  cultural evolution  decision making  evolutionary biology  genetics  neural reuse  neuroscience
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/zygo.12388
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,555
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Neural Reuse and Cognitive Homology.Vincent Bergeron - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):268-269.
Compassion in the Landscape of Suffering.Christina Feldman & Willem Kuyken - 2011 - Contemporary Buddhism 12 (1):143--155.
Can Compassion Be Taught?G. E. Pence - 1983 - Journal of Medical Ethics 9 (4):189-191.
Towards a Unified Science of Cultural Evolution.Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
8 ( #609,294 of 2,303,255 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #430,305 of 2,303,255 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature