What are atheists for?

Dominic Johnson, What are atheists for? Hypotheses on the functions of non-belief in the evolution of religion, Religion, Brain & Behavior, Vol. 2, No. 1, February 2012, 48-99


“An explosion of recent research suggests that religious beliefs and behaviors are universal, arise from deep-seated cognitive mechanisms, and were favored by natural selection over human evolutionary history. However, if a propensity towards religious beliefs is a fundamental characteristic of human brains (as both by-product theorists and adaptationists agree), and/or an important ingredient of Darwinian fitness (as adaptationists argue), then how do we explain the existence and prevalence of atheists – even among ancient and traditional societies?”



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