Mitchell Diamond On Origin of Religion Theories: Why They Fall Short


DarwinsAppleThe phenomenon of human religion is both pervasive and mysterious. People have practiced religion for at least 50,000 years, far longer than agriculture and written language. Despite modern philosophical and scientific investigation into the theories of religion, the origin and purpose of religion remain unexplained. A comprehensive cognitive theory of religion is lacking as academics cannot agree if religion is an accidental byproduct or an evolved adaptation. The various theories explaining the evolutionary and biological origin of religion do not show comprehensively how or if religion is adaptive and increases individual fitness. In this talk, Mitchell Diamond examines the prevailing explanations for the origin of religion, and why they are insufficient to account for religious behaviors.


Mitchell Diamond got his BA in Biology from UC Santa Cruz and has maintained a keen interest in the biology of human behavior ever since. He decided to investigate the origins of religion since religious behaviors were universal and persistent in all human societies, and yet the existing explanations for religion were glaringly deficient. He found that virtually all people writing about theories of religion focused on beliefs in gods and the supernatural—not particularly amenable to scientific analysis—rather than religious behaviors, which are more appropriate for scientific study. Examining actions rather than beliefs, Diamond shucked the prevailing dogma and derived a new hypothesis for the origin of religious behavior, which led to his book, Darwin's Apple: The Evolutionary Biology of Religion.


Copies of the book will be available after the talk for $15, cash or check.


Afterwards we will go to dinner at King Dong at 2429 Shattuck Ave at Haste.


When: Saturday, May 21st at 1:30


Location: Public Meeting Room, Third Floor, Berkeley Public Library, Main Branch, at 2090 Kittredge at Shattuck


BART Access: Less than one block from the downtown Berkeley BART Station.


Parking: All day parking is available for $7 on the weekend at the lot at Allston & Harold Way, a short block from the library.


Information: Larry Hicok, Coordinator: 510-222-7580

Ski Grabowski, Treasurer: 510-652-8350

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Albany Hill Cross On the Way Out


IMG0150webThe Albany City Council is negotiating with the Lion's Club for removal of this cross from their city park. We will update you on more details when we have more time. Meanwhile thanks to all of you for the support you have given to this campaign.

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