religion

The Origins of Religious Disbelief: Will Gervais

According to recent research, approximately one in five Americans don’t identify with a religion. Will Gervais, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, studies the origins of atheism, and is a recent addition to UK's faculty. In January 2013, he co-authored an article, "The Origins of Religious Disbelief," in the journal, Trends in cognitive sciences. Co-written with Ara Norenzayan from the University of British Columbia, the article defines four different types of atheism and their origins. 

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The Meaning of Life: Will Gervais

During the 2013 fall semester, University of Kentucky students will have the opportunity to delve into questions that explore some of society's most deeply held beliefs. The ambitiously titled class, "A&S 300: The Meaning of Life - Psychology, Evolution, Religion, and Morality," will be led by Psychology Professor Will Gervais who has focused his research around this very topic.

In the class, students can expect to investigate the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of religious and moral beliefs through studies of cognitive and evolutionary science. Gervais hopes to use this lens to encourage students to not ask questions around whether or not a higher power exists, but instead question why people believe what they do and the implications of that on society.
 
In this podcast, Gervais touches on these issues and how now more than ever, it's important that we use the tools of science to examine the roles of religion and morality.
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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