“We are getting tantalizingly close to a comprehensive cognitive neuroscience of religious belief. Robust Theories. Empirical evidence.”
Dr. Anderson Thomson Psychiatrist Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith Pitchstone Publishing (June 1, 2011)
One of the most profound scientific theories coming out of the neuroscience field is that humans are biologically programmed to misbelieve all the wrong things, and thus science (knowledge) was brought into being by various Greek philosophers, Stoics, and others, to systematically ward against this biological mandate through investigation, logic, deductive reasoning, etc. We erroneously, and perhaps, romantically, hold this idea that humankind is guided by a moral search for the truth, whereas it is much more evidentiary that the opposite is true.
“Other approaches notwithstanding, the currently dominant evolutionary perspective on religion remains a by-product perspective. On this view, supernatural misbeliefs are side-effects of a suite of cognitive mechanisms adapted for other purposes. Such mechanisms render us hyperactive agency detectors, promiscuous teleologists, and intuitive dualists; collectively and incidentally, they predispose us to develop religious beliefs– or at least they facilitate the acquisition of such beliefs.”
Dennett and McKay (2009)