The Evolution of Religion
The guests are the authors of two innovative books on the subject. “In The Faith Instinct”‘s Nicholas Wade of the New York Times examines the scientific evidence for religion’s role in evolution. The book has been described as a turning point in the religion evolution debate.
Evolutionary studies have accumulated enough convincing explanations based on enough factual discovery for it to be indisputable that religion is biologically rooted. Wade, a science journalist whose vita includes stints with the revered journals Nature and Science before he joined the New York Times science section, draws on the most famous and influential researchers to synthesize the story of religion through the ages.
Lionel Tiger is the Charles Darwin Anthropologist at Rutgers University, and co-author, with Michael McGuire, of “God’s Brain,” which has been called the best book on the nature of religion to appear in some time.
Taking a perspective rooted in evolutionary biology with a focus on brain science, they elucidate the perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? What is its source? Why does every known culture have some form of it?
Their answer is deceptively simple, yet at the same time highly complex: The brain creates religion and its varied concepts of God, and then in turn feeds on its creation to satisfy innate neurological and associated social needs.