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Title: Toward an evolution of mind : implications for the faithful
Language of title: English
Author/Creator: Jeffrey Arnold Kurland

Description: This article provides a contemporary understanding of the human mind according to the viewpoint of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. The author outlines the principles of natural selection as they were proposed by Charles Darwin and traces how these principles can be applied to the evolution of the human brain and mind. The brain is a grouping of several modules that were each selected for by evolution because they allowed for success in reproduction and survival. The mind (and brain) developed, to a large degree, as a result of human social interaction in its own evolutionary process. In general, for humans, success in survival and reproduction required an individual to act altruistically to fellow members of one's in-group and antagonistically to member's of another group. As part of this complex social dynamic, the author describes theories about how the mind needed to develop abilities to detect deception and reciprocal ("altruistic") behavior in others. The idea that humans are ultimately the result of millions of years of an impersonal process of natural selection has important implications for ethics and religion. The author suggests that religion, too, can be understood as an evolutionary process in that religious authorities define ethics and espouse their own fixed view of reality so as to ensure in-group reciprocity (and thus survival). The findings of modern science ask us to confront our own history in an impersonal universe of ever-changing processes. The fact that humans are the result of many years of evolutionary development and brain and mind can be understood as a grouping of modules perfected over time for survival, reproduction, and existence amongst other humans suggests that metaphysical notions of a real self, soul, or God are no longer tenable. While evolutionary view is not compatible with most religions, Buddhism shares an affinity for eschewing a soul or independent self and emphasizes impersonal factors that come together to make us human. (Zach Rowinski 2004-12-31)

Publisher Place: Chicago
Publisher: Joint Publication Board of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science, etc.
Normalized publisher place: Chicago, IL
Publisher country: United States
Publisher URL: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0591-2385
Published Date: 1999-03
URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1111/0591-2385.1931999193/abs/
Subject: Science
Natural selection
Evolutionary psychology
Cultural evolution
Human evil
Cognitive neuroscience
Reciprocal altruism
Charles Darwin
Standard Social Sciences Model
Noam Chomsky
B. F. Skinner
Thomas Henry Huxley, 1825-1895
Darwinian theory
Prisoner's Dilemma
Evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS)
Philosophical Investigations
Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727
Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951
Classification: Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Cognitive Science
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Biology
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Biology -- Evolution
Buddhism and Science -- International Science -- Psychology -- Evolutionary Psychology
Cultural Coverage: Euro-American
Temporal coverage: 18th century CE
19th century CE
20th century CE
Language: English
Source URL: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0591-2385
Source: Zygon
Source Type: Journal
Source Volume: 34
Source Number: 1
Source Page Numbers: 67-92
Start Date: 1966
Frequency of publication: Quarterly
Submissions: See publisher's webpage for more information on submission policies to this journal.
ISBN/ISSN: 0591-2385 (print); 1467-9744 (online)

Means of availability: This text is available by internet and in print (by subscription)

Format: Text
Resource Type: Article
Release Flag: OK for viewing
Date Of Record Creation: 2004-12-22 20:55:26
Date Record Checked: 2004-12-22
Date Last Modified: 2005-12-20 17:17:59
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