Part of the confusion over religion debates is the sheer mediocrity of subjects like evolutionary psychology which has confused the issue of religion almost completely. And evolutionary psychology (distinguished by some to defend core darwinism, but they are both the same subject) shows a willful refusal to adopt the categories of humanism in the name of ‘science’, that is reductionist mechanization.
Take an example: altruism. Any serious science would acknowledge the complexity of consciousness and the need to peg altruism at the right level of its manifestation, viz. ethical consciousness. This would entail first a theory of the evolution of consciousness and then of ethical will. Since the two are hopelessly complex and without any significant evidence (due only to the thinness of the record) either way, we find ourselves watching evo-psychists trying to simply ignore the issue of consciousness to study ‘altruism’ as a trait in isolation with a potential for the trick math we see in the analysis of population entities. The mechanization of altruism is an open question but we can say that once we renounce the place of altruism in an ethical being as a function of action as an ethical good we have renounced real evolutionary theory for crackpot scientism. How can one produce an analysis of altruism as a mechanical state using statistical arguments about very dubious observations of animal populations. The real issue must be the evolutionary context of conscious hominids learning the value and, more, the rightness of certain forms of sharing, etc…Now it may well be that correlated statistical arguments about an isolated trait of mechanized altruism might show some significance. But it seems as if the act of doing science has turned scientists into a moronic oversimplification and an imaginary conclusion they have explained anything.
Meanwhile a careful study of world history in the light of the ‘macro model’ of WHEE at history-and-evolution.com shows that religion in world history is not so simple. It is more than a sociological entity in causal motion. We see clear evidence of religion generation at a near global level and its intangible character relative to the categories of so-called science.