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Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Publication date October 1, 2003
Pages 268
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780226901350
ISBN-10 0226901351
Dimensions 0.75 by 6 by 8.75 in.
Weight 0.80 lbs.
Original list price $16.00
Other format details university press
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description:

One of the great intellectual battles of modern times is between evolution and religion. Until now, they have been considered completely irreconcilable theories of origin and existence. David Sloan Wilson's Darwin's Cathedral takes the radical step of joining the two, in the process proposing an evolutionary theory of religion that shakes both evolutionary biology and social theory at their foundations.

The key, argues Wilson, is to think of society as an organism, an old idea that has received new life based on recent developments in evolutionary biology. If society is an organism, can we then think of morality and religion as biologically and culturally evolved adaptations that enable human groups to function as single units rather than mere collections of individuals? Wilson brings a variety of evidence to bear on this question, from both the biological and social sciences. From Calvinism in sixteenth-century Geneva to Balinese water temples, from hunter-gatherer societies to urban America, Wilson demonstrates how religions have enabled people to achieve by collective action what they never could do alone. He also includes a chapter considering forgiveness from an evolutionary perspective and concludes by discussing how all social organizations, including science, could benefit by incorporating elements of religion.

Religious believers often compare their communities to single organisms and even to insect colonies. Astoundingly, Wilson shows that they might be literally correct. Intended for any educated reader, Darwin's Cathedral will change forever the way we view the relations among evolution, religion, and human society.



Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780226901343
 
from Univ of Chicago Pr (June 1, 2002)
9780226901343 | details & prices | 268 pages | 6.25 × 9.00 × 0.75 in. | 1.25 lbs | List price $25.00
About: Proposes an evolutionary theory of religion that seeks to reconcile the debate between the scientific and religious histories of origin, profiling society as an organism for which morality and religion is a biological adaptation, and presenting evidence from science and history that demonstrates how religions have enabled collective progress.
Paperback
Book cover for 9780226901350
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from Univ of Chicago Pr (October 1, 2003)
9780226901350 | details & prices | 268 pages | 6.00 × 8.75 × 0.75 in. | 0.80 lbs | List price $16.00
About: One of the great intellectual battles of modern times is between evolution and religion.

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