In Gods We Trust has ratings and 23 reviews. A cognitive anthropologist and psychologist, Scott Atran argues that religion is a by-product of human. In got trust. Scott Atran In Gods We Trust The Evolutionary Landscape Of Religion (Evolution And Cognition). Topics atheism. Collection. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Atran, Scott, In gods we trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion / Scott Atran. p. cm. — (Evolution .

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Oct 26, Suhrob rated it really liked it.

The book is sprinkled with lists, chosen as examples in support of a point. The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Risto Saarelma rated it it was amazing Mar 10, His thesis is that religious behaviour derives from an evolutionary adaptation to help people function in a hunter-gatherer society.

In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion by Scott Atran

Showing of 30 reviews. Towards an Anthropology of Scienceand Folk Biology. We are thus equally free to cherry-pick whatever we want to believe from the tree of conflicting theories, ignoring how valid they are.

Part 1 Evolutionary Sources.

Atran rejects various previously proposed explanations for religion, while also denying that it is naturally selected as an adaptation with benefits which outweigh its costs. Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers. One person found this helpful. Avoiding the reification of religion allows Atran to rebut competing evolutionary claims as well.

Civil War American History: In Gods We Trust: Repetition is often a feature of academic writing for the sake of thoroughness, but it feels like the editing was slipshod in some places. Apr 01, Ryan Houlette rated it did not like it Shelves: Contents An Evolutionary Riddle.


Scott Atran In Gods We Trust The Evolutionary Landscape Of Religion ( Evolution And Cognition)

This has unfortunately often been the exception rather than the rule in much psychological evolutionary theorizing, but Atran eschews cartoonish hypotheses like the alleged “god module” in the brain. If you aren’t prepared for some dry, academic writing, avoid this book and pick up Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained instead, which covers much of the same ground but in a more accessible style. For example, we can always find someone scientific-sounding enough to reassure us that genetically modified foods are a great danger.

I found the writing murky and obtuse, and ultimately it just wasn’t interesting enough for me to keep plowing through it. Thus, there is little penalty for over-detecting agency but sometimes severe penalties for under-detecting agency, which leads to a “hair-trigger” on our agency detection abilities. Evolution and Stran Paperback: There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

Real issues are being addressed using the religious part of the brain, which obscures identifying real causes and finding workable solutions. In conclusion, Atran asks whether religion and science can coexist in the modern Western world, or whether they are part of a zero-sum game. It is responsible for motivating people to do both great good and great evil; it is highly malleable and can be adapted trhst refashioned to suit myriad needs and purposes.

Their cognitive role is to mobilise a more of less fluid and open-textured network of ordinary commonsense beliefs to build logically and factually impossible worlds that are nevertheless readily conceivable and memorable. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Yet there are odd things like for instance the study which I’m sure would have benefitted greatly from the addition of “a rock with atrqn vision” as a test case.


Atran managed to combine the old and the new by relating the automatic cognitive operations to existential anxieties. For example, an entire chapter is titled ‘The Trouble with Memes,’ and it gently bashes Dawkins, Blackmore, and Dennett, because, in Atran’s opinion: Atran draws a number of parallels between brain changes in PTSD sufferers and changes in brain function in religious and spiritual experiences.

Scott Atran, In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion – PhilPapers

Evolutionary Theory and Victorian Culture. Overall, the book is thoroughly researched and Atran has a clear mastery of the relevant literature, which is simply massive. I almost gave up on it part way through. Very good and comprehensive treatise of religion in human societies.

Only a mild interest here gosd me to try it but I was sucked into wanting to know so much more, I read this years ago and only now got around to reviewing it – this boo, was responsible for a love of the topic I have now.