The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior (The Frontiers Collection)

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New Releases. Description In a Darwinian world, religious behavior - just like other behaviors - is likely to have undergone a process of natural selection in which it was rewarded in the evolutionary currency of reproductive success. This book aims to provide a better understanding of the social scenarios in which selection pressure led to religious practices becoming an evolved human trait, i. This aim is pursued by a team of expert authors from a range of disciplines. Their contributions examine the relevant physiological, emotional, cognitive and social processes.

The resulting understanding of the functional interplay of these processes gives valuable insights into the biological roots and benefits of religion. Product details Format Hardback pages Dimensions x x Illustrations note 18 Tables, black and white; X, p. Other books in this series. Mindful Universe Henry P. Add to basket. Elegance and Enigma Maximilian A.

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Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence H. Decoherence Maximilian A. Quantum Mechanics at the Crossroads James Evans. The Quantum World Herve Zwirn. Brain-Computer Interfaces Bernhard Graimann. Back cover copy In a Darwinian world, religious behavior - just like other behaviors - is likely to have undergone a process of natural selection in which it was rewarded in the evolutionary currency of reproductive success.

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This book aims to provide a better understanding of the social scenarios in which selection pressure led to religious practices becoming an evolved human trait, i. This aim is pursued by a team of expert authors from a range of disciplines. Their contributions examine the relevant physiological, emotional, cognitive and social processes. The resulting understanding of the functional interplay of these processes gives valuable insights into the biological roots and benefits of religion.

Eckart Voland is professor for philosophy of life sciences at the University of Giessen, Germany. His main research interests are human sociobiology and behavioral ecology. In particular he is interested in the biological evolution of social and reproductive strategies in humans. Moreover, in pursuing the project of naturalizing the human mind and its achievements, he works on the philosophical implications of evolutionary anthropology as reflected in evolutionary ethics and aesthetics.

Das Buch mit Wie es der Klappentext formuliert, geben die verschiedenen analysierten Prozesse und ihr Zusammenwirken einen fundierten Einblick Stoff zum intensiven eigenen Nachdenken und zu einer notwendigen Diskussion auf einer breiten gesellschaftlichen Basis Stefan Schneckenburger, in: evo-magazin. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Springer, Condition: New.

More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Brand: Springer, Furthermore, children never asked what the animals were made for, which suggests that design stance and basic-goal stance are domain-specific separated mechanism. Keil found that second-graders preferred teleological explanations for biological kinds and mechanistic explanations for non-biological kinds.

Concordantly, Kampourakis et al. Kampourakis et al. However, future longitudinal research is needed to confirm this pattern Kampourakis et al.

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The Frontiers Collection The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior gives valuable insights into the biological roots and benefits of religion. The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior. Editors; (view Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL). Download book PDF.

Evidence from our closest living relatives, the great apes, also supports the distinction between basic-goal and belief stances Apperly and Butterfill, Call and Tomasello reviewed 30 years of comparative evidence and concluded that chimpanzees understand the goals and intentions of others, as well as the perception and knowledge of others. However, there was no evidence that chimpanzees understand false beliefs in terms of fully human-like belief psychology. Recently, Krupenye et al. Maybe in the future there will be evidence of belief stance in self-conscious animals.

It is expected that we see a gradual instead of a sharp distinctions between humans and other apes, but until further replication one can conclude that the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees 7. Moreover, reviewing evidence from 20 non-human species mammals and birds , Emery and Clayton largely supported the distinction between basic-goal and belief stances, in concluding that non-human animals are excellent ethologists, but poor psychologists. Wobber et al. They found that in physical cognition space, causality, quantities , 2-year-old children and Pan apes performed comparably, but by 4 years of age children advanced and apes persisted at earlier levels.

While in skills of social cognition communication, social learning, theory-of-mind , children already out-performed Pan apes at 2 years, and increased the discrepancy even more by 4 years. They documented an emergence of goal understanding and of intention emulation at 2 years of age in humans and at 7 years or more in Pan apes.

However, results comparing children and apes should be viewed with caution because of anthropocentric interpretative bias, inadequate controls and lack of ecological validity Leavens et al. Nevertheless, this may indicate that the development of physical and basic-goal stances had different trajectories in humans versus Pan apes after separation from the common ancestor.

Given all the costs and drastic effects of minimal social interaction upon autistic individuals lacking mindreading, belief-stance also has benefits as a social instinct. Smith argues that ancestral ToM enhanced social functioning and behavior prediction, and it facilitated conversation, social expertise, parental care, and deception. Thus, by improving detection, understanding, and forecasting of adult human behavior, the belief stance might have improved survival and reproduction i.

All of those possible ancestral adaptive values of ToM should be tested properly to qualify as truly adaptive advantages Schmitt and Pilcher, Barrett et al. All the available evidence supporting the distinction among the four stances affirms that they are specialized for tracking different, recurrent, and evolutionary relevant phenomena.

The physical stance may have helped survival by improving understanding, forecasting, and coping with the physical world. The design stance may have promoted survival and reproduction by improving detection, use, and creation of functionality. The basic-goal stance may have benefited survival by improving detection, understanding, and forecasting of agents, particularly non-human prey and predators.

Indeed, Csibra and Gergely argued that goal-directed reasoning promotes on-line prediction and social learning by drawing action-to-goal and goal-to-action inferences.

Table of contents

In the face of limiting resources and competition, natural selection influences the evolution of fairly well-designed and roughly optimized body parts and behavioral strategies Dennett, ; Ayala, ; Tooby and Cosmides, , which have co-evolved with the perceptual and inferential abilities of design, basic-goal and belief stances Hudson et al. Economy, efficiency, and functionality are among the hallmarks for identifying adaptations Buss et al.

Moreover, the optimal foraging theory explains the presumption of optimized choice for food in many species Pyke et al. Importantly, there is a strong evolutionary reason for the adaptiveness of anthropomorphic tendencies. Rather than being a simple byproduct or another flaw in human cognition, propensity toward anthropomorphisms may be an evolved design feature.

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In contrast, over-detecting harmful functions, goals, or planned intentions where there were none would hardly be lethal. When we feel fear, many internal reactions occur, one of which is that signal detection thresholds shift. Less evidence is needed to trigger the threat response, thus more valid positives will be perceived at the low cost of a higher rate of false alarms Tooby and Cosmides, Foster and Kokko tested this logic using evolutionary modeling and concluded that natural selection favors strategies that make many incorrect causal associations in order to establish those that are essential for survival and reproduction.

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Similarly, Brown et al. Therefore, natural selection has made us more teleologically apprehensive and vigilant. Still, evolution is more than natural selection, thus other evolutionary factors may also play a role. It also demonstrates that overly active calibration is possibly an evolved design feature to avoid harmful contexts that explains the widespread occurrence of anthropomorphisms. This confirms and expands the depth of the presumed biopsychological roots of mental anthropomorphism, and sets the stage for exploring the occurrence of anthropomorphism in philosophy of biology and teaching of evolution with the mosaic of three overactive psychological tendencies in mind.

In connection with other tendencies, those four systems exert a considerable influence on science matters, mostly on biology, but also on chemistry and physics Kampourakis, This does not mean that biological science is less scientific, not objective neither that it cannot be materialistically explained Mayr, Particularly, design, basic-goal, and belief stances are commonly related to the comprehension of processes and products of evolution by natural selection with negative and positive consequences.

On the positive side, they enable specialized scientific thinking by providing its cognitive foundations e. Moreover, relying on the three genuinely teleological stances while reasoning about biology and evolution leads to the pragmatic advantage of engaging a high-powered, acute, and skillful use of our minds; they easily organize data, explain interrelations, and integrate disparate topics Dennett, , ; Pinker, ; Haig, Lombrozo and Gwynne found that compared with a mechanistic mode of explanation physical stance , properties of species and artifacts that are explained functionally design stance are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions.

Hence, they also promote generalization. This occurs when there is over-attribution within the appropriate domain. For instance, attributing functional design to all aspects of a designed system, e. This occurs when over-activation is directed to an inappropriate domain. Based on Table 1 , one can try to explain all four groups of material phenomena with all four modes of thought and observe the types of anthropomorphic extrapolations whereby schema from a given stance are erroneously transferred to an unsuitable phenomenon.

TABLE 2. Not surprisingly, most anthropomorphisms come from the cognitive devices focused on agent interpretation. The basic-goal stance generates anthropomorphism when used to explain non-agent systems cells 3-I, 3-II. By far the higher-order belief stance generates the majority of anthropomorphic acts given its narrow focus and high activity in a socially complex species such as Homo sapiens cf.

Thus, the design, basic-goal and belief stances generate at least six different predictable acts of mental anthropomorphism. In Table 3 I try to specify each occurrence of overextended type of mental anthropomorphism. Dacey mentioned several variants of anthropomorphisms within the field of animal behavior. TABLE 3. Specific label to each over-activation-with-over-extension type of Anthropomorphic error. The three teleological stances also may be extrapolated to other phenomena, fictional or non-fictional.

Basic-goal and belief stances can animate fictional agents such religious, mythological, folkloric and extraterrestrial ones Guthrie, ; Shermer, ; Blancke and De Smedt, The non-fictional phenomena that the human mind surely was not evolved to grasp and which involve basic-goal and belief stances include: the dynamic of the market economy, e.

The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior (The Frontiers Collection)

Those two phenomena share some conceptual connection Carey, Although metaphorically anthropomorphic, the use helps to better grasp these abstract population dynamic Darwin, ; Dennett, , ; Pinker, ; Blancke et al. Interestingly, the distinction among design, basic-goal, and belief stances helps to explain specificities and to organize a variety of misunderstandings regarding selectionism and adaptationism.

In a systematic review, Varella et al. All of these mistakes mostly were influenced by basic-goal and belief stances. They combined incorrect underlying premises about mechanisms and deep-seated cognitive biases Gregory, They are much deeper than lack of acceptance, media exposure, lack of formal education, or religious impediment cf.