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Supernatural SelectionHow Religion Evolved$
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Matt Rossano

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385816.001.0001

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Religion’s Past and Future

Religion’s Past and Future

Chapter:
(p.197) 9 Religion’s Past and Future
Source:
Supernatural Selection
Author(s):

Matt J. Rossano (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385816.003.0009

Chapter 9 summarizes the evolutionary model being proposed in three major steps: (1) the proto-religion that existed prior to the African Interregnum period, (2) the major social/cognitive transitions that occurred during the African Interregnum and, (3) the important changes that occurred after the Interregnum. A number of the model’s general predictions are then discussed and various means of testing the model are presented. Finally, the book concludes with a discussion of religion’s future. Returning to the theme of religion-as-relationship, it argued that all relationships have costs and benefits. In our past, religion was adaptive because the benefits considerably outweighed the costs. In the modern world, this equation is much more variable. Given the general propensities of the human mind, there will likely always be religious believers, but whether religion has significant social impact or not depends much more on social factors that either increase or decrease religion’s cost/benefits ratio.

Keywords:   adaptive function, cost/benefits, midrange social players, predictions, relationships, secularization, social intermediates, testing, theoretical model

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