We are, and perhaps always have been, a largely religious species. What is it about human evolution, human culture, and human cognition that makes supernatural agent concepts so easy to think about and—often—believe in?
If supernatural concepts are so “easy-to-think” and certain religious beliefs have proven phenomenally successful at the cultural level, why are there so many people out there for whom religion holds no appeal?
Most of the religions likely practiced throughout history don’t include an all-powerful, morally concerned god. Yet, most religious believers on earth today believe in exactly this sort of Big Moralizing God. What explains this pattern?
Gallup polls repeatedly show that atheists are among the least accepted groups of people in the United States. What’s the basis for all the negativity?
Although scientific opinion on the relationship between religion and morality is somewhat ambiguous, popular opinion seemingly is not. Most Americans report that belief in God is an integral component of morality, a sentiment echoed at least as strongly in most countries worldwide.
Recently, I made a very deliberate decision about how I wanted to conduct my research. There’s one way to boost statistical power without undermining replicability: run bigger studies. Much, much bigger.