Ah…good ol’ science trying to infringe on our territory. Actually this article, “Are Humans Hard-Wired For Faith” is short interesting read. Minus the basic claim that Religion is a by-product of the evolutionary process, I do not see it making much a religious difference.
Anthropologists like Atran say, “Religion is a byproduct of many different evolutionary functions that organized our brains for day-to-day activity.”
To be sure, religion has the unparalleled power to bring people into groups. Religion has helped humans survive, adapt and evolve in groups over the ages. It’s also helped us learn to cope with death, identify danger and finding mating partners.
Today, scientific images can track our thoughts on God, but it would take a long leap of faith to identify why we think of God in the first place.
A few problems and questions I would have for Neurotheologians:
1) If religion is a heightened evolutionary function that helps the strongest survive, are a-religious people then malformed humans that do not have the full evolutionary function like us “more evolved” religious-humans? (sarcasm intended).
1b) Doesn’t it basically reinforce the claim that all people, whether self-acknowlding or not, have a god/meta-narrative which they have been hard-wired for? Even those postmoderns?
1ba) Could this not retreat back into a modernist approach that seeks to prove religion as valid based upon human theory?
2) If “bringing people into groups” is an evolutionary advancement, is our Western individualism, pluralism and privatization of religion the next evolutionary step or a mere blip in the evolutionary process that will not have longterm effect?