Episode 10 (Minicast): Religion and the Enshrinement of Hierarchy


A provisional introduction to my book — An Almighty Alpha: How Our Primate Instincts Contribute to Belief in Gods This episode coincides with my Kickstarter campaign for the book, running from September 22 to October 22, 2014. References

Wright, R., The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life, Vintage, NY, 1995, p.242

Goodall, J., My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees, National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., 1967. p.140

Burkert, W., Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1996. p.82

de Waal, F. Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are, New York, Riverhead Books, 2005, p.16

Boehm, C., 1999, p. 3

Sogon, S., & Masutani, M., “Identification of emotion from body movements: A cross-cultural study of Americans and Japanese,” Psychological Reports, 65, (1989), p. 35

Tracey, T. J., “An examination of the complementarity of interpersonal behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1994, 67(5)

Savin-Williams, R.C., “Dominance Hierarchies in Groups of Early Adolescents,” Child Development, Dec. 1979, p.923

Gould, R. V. Collision of Wills: How Ambiguity About Social Rank Breeds Conflict, University of Chicago, Chicago, 2003, p.22

Goffman as paraphrased in, Power, M. The Egalitarians: Human and Chimpanzee, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991, p. 173

Sometimes and act of deference can be used by the superior to assure the inferior that the individual/relationship is valued.

Here is a study idea: Do measures of religiosity increase after events that “shake a person’s world,” causing feelings of vulnerability and lack of control? Many animals cower under such circumstances. Do humans?

Thompson, J. G., The Psychobiology of Emotion, New York: Plenum, 1988 p.336&337

Kagan, J., The Nature of the Child, Basic Books, New York, 1984, p. 176

de Waal, F., 2005, p.59

de Waal, F., 2005. p. 79

Power, M., 1991. p. 47

Burkert, W., 1996, p.4

Wilson, D.S. Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, 2002., p.3

Certainly, in recent centuries and decades, gods are generally becoming ‘airbrushed’ into something less incompatible with the modern mind. The trend is from specific traits to abstract qualities, most likely for reasons pertaining to social politics and conflict with scientific knowledge.

Boyer, 2001, p.142

Boyer, 2001, p.137

Unless that tree is anthropomorphized in some manner.

Boyer, 2001, p.90

Asimov, I., Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: The Old and New Testaments, Wing Books, New York, 1969, p.185

Zuckerman, M., 1991, p.225

Zuckerman, 1991, p.397

Gould, R. V., 2003, p. 49

McCrew, W. C., The Cultured Chimpanzee: Reflections on Cultural Primatology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004

Benthall, J. & Polhemus, T., 1975

Here’s an idea for a psychological experiment: Are people more likely to take the advice of a well-dressed person if that person has a pen clipped into their chest pocket? My guess is yes. Like the sword, the pen is a mighty instrument, even as a mere symbol.

Gould, R. V., 2003, p.45

Gould, 2003, p.40

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you human? Please answer this: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.