Tag Archives: belief

Evolution of religions

Nothing in religion makes sense except in the light of imagination.

I posted this graphic on Flickr in 2006, but thought I’d re-post here since I’d long ago stopped using Flickr.  It shows how religions might have evolved from pre-existing religions, which in turn evolved from the early myths of our prehuman ancestors.  If you are a religion buff, you are no doubt frothing at the mouth because of all the mistakes I’ve made … in my defense, it was just a quick sketch because I needed an “evolution of religions” slide for a talk and I couldn’t locate one on the internet thingy.

Evolution of religions

If you’re interested in the evolution of religions among primates, check this out:

McClenon, J.  1997.  Shamanic healing, human evolution, and the origin of religion.  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 36:345-354. JSTOR

By the way, my lead sentence is just a riffing on the phrase and article by Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

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Textbook disclaimer stickers

Anti-science folks love to emphasize the “just a theory” part of scientific understanding when such facts tend to fatally undermine a supernatural world view, and sometimes their actions can cause school districts to place “warnings” in kids’ textbooks. So I made stickers. My hope was that people might like share them with friends and teachers to help beat back the forces of ignorance.

Textbook, disclaimers, stickers, science, evolution, biology, gravity, Earth, tectonics, round, age, fossils, theory, fact, religion, creationism, book, textbook, school, school boardThe top left sticker is an actual sticker from Cobb County, Georgia (creationist parents forced the district to put it in biology textbooks). I sent these stickers to the lawyer involved in getting the sticker removed. The lawyer had them printed up large, as courtroom props. I hear the judge liked them a lot. Probably not critical for winning the case, but it made me happy to do my part.

If you live in a town with pitchfork-wielding parents who have charmingly Neolithic views on reality, please consider downloading the PDF of the above and printing onto sticker paper.  Then give them to your kids to use at school. It’s fun.


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