Can a religion be completely rational?

Why religion cannot (only) be rational - the truth about honest signals

Evolutionary history of religion (s)

When I present findings from evolutionary research on religiosity and religions, I keep the astonishing experience that the reception is divided into two camps: The one, to which almost all experienced scientists belong, share the fascination and are critical -constructive one. The others, on the other hand, intuitively feel threatened in their ideological assumptions and "argue" quickly, defensively, agitated and unobjective when they escalate. In my English-language Scilog I deal with the latter mainly with religious creationists who fear that evolutionary research is a threat to faith. In the German-speaking countries, on the other hand, resolute critics of religion dominate who by no means want to admit that the theologian Charles Darwin correctly recognized that religiosity and religions are also successful aspects of evolutionary history. In my experience, scientific arguments do not get you any further, neither with religiously nor atheistically determined things - they only hide themselves deeper and deeper.

But maybe humor helps to counter these fears and blockages?

So what would it take for the German-speaking blogosphere? A cabaret artist with a video blog would be ideal. According to our blog mainstream, it would have to be male, academic and critical of atheism and religion. A degree in biology or zoology would be ideal - after all, word is only slowly getting around in Europe that evolution research has long been carried out on an interdisciplinary basis. It would be nice to have an origin and a slight accent that refer to regions that are dominated by Catholicism - there is more humor to be expected. 😉

May I introduce!? - Jörg Wipplinger with his Video blog "The Truth.at"!

And in his video contribution "Why religions have to be absurd"Jörg explains the evolutionary theory of honest signals - and therefore why religions should not (only) be rational if they want to establish communities with many children who cooperate successfully in evolutionary terms.

Scientific literature

Of course, a cabaret piece is not a scientific treatise, but can and must come to a polemical point, and yet commentators immediately asked for further literature. And there actually is. An open access classic in this area is, for example:

Sosis & Bressler (2003):
Cooperation and Commune Longevity
: A Test of the Costly Signaling Theory of Religion.
Cross-Cultural Research 37, 2

Using 19th century US data, the study empirically showed that a) religious communities lasted longer on average than non-religious ones, and b) those religious communities that received "costly signals" from their members such as clothing, Food and time commands demanded. What may seem "absurd" to those who do not believe or who believe differently has demonstrably strengthened the community context!

And there is even a special treat for zoological gourmets: In "Judaism in BiologicalPerspective - Biblical Lore and Judaic Practices"The famous Israeli evolutionary biologist Amotz Zahavi transfers the" handicap principle "he described to anthropology and religious studies. A pleasure:"The Handicap Principle in Human Social Interaction".

So, dear religious or atheistic fundis, get out of the respective trenches - there is so much to discover, no one has to be afraid and humor is allowed! 🙂

Dr. Michael Blume studied religious and political science and did his doctorate on religion in brain and evolutionary research. University lecturer, science blogger & Christian-Islamic family man, author, including "Islam in the Crisis" (2017), "Why Anti-Semitism Threats Us All" (2019) & "Conspiracy Myths". Has also experienced and survived a lot in crisis regions, representative of the state government BW against anti-Semitism. For many years he has blogged weekly on "Nature of Faith" in order to make religious studies accessible and open to discussion.