Wednesday, August 30, 2006

 

On Point : Religion's Evolutionary Origins (Audio - Dennett)

Wbur - Boston's NPR News Source.
Aired - Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11-12PM ET.

On Point: The urge is so strong, most people don't fight it. In the presence of religion and religious icons - churches, temples, altars, scripture, holy relics from the Ganges riverbank to Rome - most people become reverent. Not Daniel Dennett.

Dennett is a philosopher on a mission. His mission is to break religion itself open to scientific inquiry, to 'break the spell,' in his words, of faith.

Dennett's conclusion is that religion is not miraculous or supernatural, but a product of nature itself -- of Darwinian evolution, like the finch's beak or the opposable thumb. If that sounds like sacrilege, maybe it is.

Hear about the evolutionary theory of religion.

Guests:

Professor Daniel C. Dennett, Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University (Author of "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon" - currently appearing on the 'Featured Books' page of the Evolution Book Store: UK | US or go directly to Amazon: UK | US

Stephen Pope, Professor of Theology, Boston College.
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The 'Listen To Show' link is on the right-hand side of the above webpage. A number of listening options are given - Windows Media Player, Quicktime, Real Player, etc. - but at the time of writing the recording begins at different points in the program depending upon which one you chose (maybe Wbur haven't quite ironed out all the bugs yet!). [Audio]

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