The Fracture of an Illusion: Science and the Dissolution of Religion - Frankfurt Templeton Lectures 2008

Pascal Boyer argues that religion is largely an illusion. The anthropologist traces religion's cognitive and evolutionary aspects. By religion he means a kind of existential and cognitive package that includes views about supernatural agency (gods), notions of morality, particular rituals and sometimes particular experiences, as well as membership in a particular community of believers. The package, however, does not really exist as such. Notions of supernatural agents, of morality, of ethnic identity, or ritual requirements and other experience, all appear in human minds independently. This implies that there is no such thing as a conflict between science and religion. Boyer takes the reader onto a journey through science and the dissolution of religion.