Prof. Craig Palmer: The Contribution of Modern Evolutionary Theory to the Understanding of Traditional Religions


This one is in English and other talks from the conference can be seen here

Link to the full program here

YouTube link

Prof. Craig Palmer, Cultural Anthropologist from the Dept. of Anthropology in the University of Missouri, conducted the lecture What Can Modern Evolutionary Theory Contribute to the Understanding of Traditional Religions? during The 2nd Annual Conference on Judaism and Evolution – A one-day symposium devoted to exploring the evolutionary biological bases of Jewish religious practice and a study of Rabbis in spiritual crisis that took place The Center for the Study of Bio-social Perspectives on Judaism at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies on 14.7.13

Written By: Schechter Intstitutes Israel – 2nd Annual Conference on Judaism and Evolution
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  1. In reply to #1 by SGHeathen: Our very own Dr. Andy Thompson

    My thinking too.

    If I may say so, I think Professor Palmer starts off well but then gets bogged down.

    When we are very young the avoidance of danger is paramount, so if mum and dad tell us that their religion will protect us now and in the long term, we are naturally inclind to believe them. And if that belief is implanted at an early enough age it may remain with us for life, even if we subsequently learn that it is an irrational notion.

    That, I think, goes some way to explaining why people so afflicted will, despite being highly intelligent, withdraw into their emotional shell intermittently when in debate with a non believer; despite fully comprehending the argument intellectually, emotionally they can’t stand the exposure that it subjects them to because they’ve spent their lives within a religious carapace; when danger threatens they withdraw their heads inside that warm protective shell of blind faith.

    Whilst making sure they know that they’re always loved and can at all times come to mum and dad for protection and advice, leave children alone to decide things for themselves.

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