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February 04, 2004

The Religion Instinct

The Secular Web has an essay up this month titled Narrative in the Rise of Religion-but it could be retitled "The Religion Instinct." The author uses the Chomskyian & non-Chomskyian models of language and their interrelationship with biology to elucidate the possible mental modules that form religious belief and practice. An analogy with verbal skills is interesting because in human beings the ability to use language is a default phenotype, but, there is still a normal distribution of aptitude underneath this. Religion is generally considered a "human universal," but, but most would admit that there is a spectrum of "zeal." Additionally, while women are characterized as having greater verbal fluency, they are also often considered somewhat more religious cross-culturally.

Posted by razib at 12:53 AM