Religion and the "evolutionists"

By Razib Khan | June 21, 2007 1:02 pm

Greg Graffin & Will Provine report on the results of the Cornell Evolution Project in The American Scientist. Emerging out ot Graffin’s Ph.D. work it is a survey of prominent evolutionary biologists (see the full list) in regards to their views about religion and science. Their conclusion is:

Only 10 percent of the eminent evolutionary scientists who answered the poll saw an inevitable conflict between religion and evolution. The great majority see no conflict between religion and evolution, not because they occupy different, noncompeting magisteria, but because they see religion as a natural product of human evolution. Sociologists and cultural anthropologists, in contrast, tend toward the hypothesis that cultural change alone produced religions, minus evolutionary change in humans. The eminent evolutionists who participated in this poll reject the basic tenets of religion, such as gods, life after death, incorporeal spirits or the supernatural. Yet they still hold a compatible view of religion and evolution.

…and now, here’s the lead author in the music video for “Punk Rock Song” (he’s vocals)….

Here’s an article about Graffin’s double life as a musician and academic.
Via John Hawks.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Religion
  • http://www.scienceblogs.com/interactions Rob Knop

    Sociologists and cultural anthropologists, in contrast, tend toward the hypothesis that cultural change alone produced religions,
    Heh. My question upon seeing this was, “and in what way is religion different from anything else here?”
    -Rob

  • http://scienceblogs.com/mixingmemory Chris

    On a related note, linguists believe religion is a product of language, and the ocean is still filled with water.

  • Caledonian

    A better survey would have asked something like “Do you think there is an inevitable conflict between creation myths and evolution?”

  • Sihem

    There is no conflict between religion and evolution for those who accept the religious teachings as sociological rules tha allow people to coexist in the same environment. However, the conflict is in the fact that religion teaches us that Adam and Eve are our ancestors…which contradicts the theory of evolution

  • quidnunc

    That’s an interesting juxtaposition to me because “punk” strikes me as a proto religion. It’s nominally about individualism and rebellion but that’s pretty typical of views expressed in teen cult(ure). If you listen to 90s Bad Religion in particular it’s all angry politics, the other is bad, the world is falling apart, conformity is mind control.

  • M. Sajjad

    Religion is certainly a natural (not supernatural) product of human evolution (not divine revelation).
    so far as conflict between religion and science is concerened, that should depend on how one defines science and religion. one can be a scientist and still have faith in one or many religions.

  • Caledonian

    so far as conflict between religion and science is concerened, that should depend on how one defines science and religion

    The question is asked in the pre-existing contexts of the terms’ generally accepted meanings. Any questions’ answers will change if you redefine its terms.
    You cannot be a scientist and have “faith”, no more than you can be a Muslim and reject the Koran.

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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