Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg? Update

Watching scientific research be done in real time

So, back in early April, I posted about a study that had atheists like Rosa Rubicondior positively crowing things like,

Gods, it seems are the product of human cultural evolution.

As I pointed out though, some of the conclusions in the paper itself seemed, well, problematic, and seemed to run in the opposite direction of some of the research that it was using to support its conclusions.

Well, it seems that other researchers saw a similar problem with the data in the research, and a brief, but very technical response of sorts has been published. The response by Benjamin G Purzycki, et al, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology notes that the previous research had a serious deficiency in qualifying belief in High Moralizing Gods, in that,

“…their definition of MG requires written evidence in order for MGs to be detected. Yet, as one proceeds back through the archeo-historical record, both literacy and written materials become less common.

The paper outlines other data points that Whitehouse and his researchers seemed to either gloss over or ignore.

Does this necessarily mean that Whitehouse’s conclusions are refuted?

No, but it does raise serious questions, like: did they begin with a conclusion and then cherry pick the data to prove it?

Anyway, you might want to bookmark or download the paper in case anyone brings up the earlier on.


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