Is it due to natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinian evolution)? Is it adaptive? A byproduct? A stop on the road to extinction? Papers wanted here:
Evolutionary perspectives on atheism/unbelief
Despite increasing secularization and a decreasing role played by institutionalized religions in the western world, many scholars within the study of religion – from history through sociology and evolutionary accounts – continue to focus their inquiries on the study of the religious, without giving much attention to non-believers. There are few evolutionary explanations of atheism, and those that exist are either under-developed or investigate atheism through the lens and default starting position of religious belief. An example of this is the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR), since even though many scholars are working towards an evolutionary paradigm for atheism, a widely established Cognitive Science of Atheism does not yet exist, so studies of cognition and atheism fall within CSR.
We would like to invite scholars interested in the evolutionary study of atheism (including unbelief, nonbelief, agnosticism, etc.) to submit their paper proposals to the special issue of the “Studia Humana” journal published by De Gruyter (affiliate at the Department of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow, Poland). We are going to consider, among others, the following topics:
– Critical evaluations of CSR and other literatures that approach nonbelief as an irregularity
– Atheism as an adaptation/feature of evolution
– Atheism in the light of bio-behavioral and epidemiological theories of culture
– Atheism in the light of gene-culture co-evolutionary approaches
– Atheism as a default or alternate human cognitive mode
– The atheistic worldview being an evolutionary source of morality
– Atheism as group and/or individual level adaptation
– Ultimate causes of atheism
– The evolutionary functions of atheism
Note: Atheism is being used as a blanket-term here for any studies dealing with the religiously unaffiliated, unbelievers, non-believers, and to a lesser extent, agnostics. If your work falls within these boundaries, please feel free to send us a proposed article. More
All interested authors are welcome to send a summary in the form of an abstract by the end of June. Papers should be submitted by the end of Septemberto firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Studia Humana Special Issue” in the title of the email. We anticipate the special issue entering press around the beginning of 2019. [Color emphasis added.]
This is likely overdue. Lots of apparent pop sociology and social news is written about atheists:
Claim: Atheists have mutant genes, don’t live as long
Are atheists generally smarter than religious people?
The “Bias Blind Spot” Makes Smart People Say Really Stupid Things (Barry Arrington)
Atheists To Put Up Their Own 10 Commandments of Atheism
And now for something completely different… Darwinian PZ Myers laments the sad state of atheism today
It would be interesting to see what a sustained, serious effort at scholarship would sound like.
See also: Shambolic atheist community faces some tough choices