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Rethinking the Origins of Religion

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:23 pm
by white_harmony
A very interesting read.
"A new study finds that religion may have evolved as a by-product of non-religious, cognitive processes, dispelling a competing theory that religion served as an adaptation to help unrelated individuals cooperate.

The findings, published Monday in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggests that people’s gut instinct for what is right and wrong operates independently of religious upbringing.

Harvard psychology professor Marc D. Hauser, who co-authored the study, argues that from an evolutionary perspective, cognitive mechanisms involved in moral decision-making precede organized religion.

“Morality is far more ancient than religion,” Hauser said. “Most, if not all, of the psychological ingredients that enter into religion originally evolved to solve more general problems of social interaction.”"
More from the news article: ... cognitive/

The full article written by the professor: ... %2900289-7