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

Here are some warning labels for books that you can print onto sticker paper. The top left sticker is an actual sticker from Cobb County, Georgia. Creationist parents had pressured the school district to paste it into biology textbooks that mentioned evolution (they all do). Their sticker made me angry (I was teaching evolution at the time), and it inspired me to waste an entire afternoon creating similar stickers based on the same silly logic.

Textbook, disclaimers, stickers, science, evolution, biology, gravity, Earth, tectonics, round, age, fossils, theory, fact, religion, creationism, book, textbook, school, school boardI sent these stickers to the lawyer in Georgia involved in getting the sticker removed. The lawyer had them printed up large, as courtroom props. I hear the judge thought they were hilarious. I was happy to do my part.

If you live in a town with pitchfork-wielding parents who like to meddle in science instruction of other people’s kids, 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.

Here’s the version I did for the New York Times:


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