Is God an adaptation? Robert Wright's The Evolution of God, Little Brown, 2009

Hugo Viciana, Pierrick Bourrat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this critical notice to Robert Wright’s 'The Evolution of God', we focus on the question of whether Wright’s God is one which can be said to be an adaptation in a well-defined sense. Thus, we evaluate the likelihood of different models of adaptive evolution of cultural ideas in their different levels of selection. Our result is an emphasis on the plurality of mechanisms that may lead to adaptation. By way of conclusion we assess epistemologically some of Wright’s more controversial claims concerning the directionality of evolution and moral progress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cultural evolution
  • religion
  • moral progress
  • group selection
  • teleology


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