On The Evolutionary Adaptation of Religious Belief:
Does religious belief have survival value? Was it naturally selected for in the environment of our ancestors or is it an example of cultural selection? Some people claim that if religion were completely maladaptive and useless, it never would have stuck around so long and became a dominant factor within our societies. But what other factors are involved in the success of religion? How great a role do the forces of evolution play? Could religious belief be an adaptation with useful functions? At what point does it cross over from adaptive to maladaptive? How deeply are the beliefs rooted and what difficulties does this pose to the embracing of naturalist philosophy and the discarding of religious belief? Here we hope to explore a few of the issues involved by presenting two opposing viewpoints.