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Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan.

Despite a lack of agreement concerning the theoretical basis for work in cognitive science of religion, it is possible to outline some tendencies. Most significant of these is reliance upon the theories developed within evolutionary psychology. That particular approach to evolutionary explanations of human behaviour is particularly suitable to the cognitive byproduct explanation of religion that is most popular among cognitive scientists of religion.[4] This is because of the focus on byproduct and ancestral trait explanations within evolutionary psychology. A particularly significant concept associated with this approach is modularity of mind, used as it is to underpin accounts of the mental mechanisms seen to be responsible for religious beliefs. Important examples of work that falls under this rubric are provided by research carried out by Pascal Boyer and Justin L. Barrett.

These theoretical commitments are not shared by all cognitive scientists of religion, however. Ongoing debates regarding the comparative advantages of different evolutionary explanations for human behaviour[5] find a reflection within cognitive science of religion with dual inheritance theory recently gaining adherents among researchers in the field, including Armin Geertz and Ara Norenzayan. The perceived advantage of this theoretical framework is its ability to deal with more complex interactions between cognitive and cultural phenomena, but it comes at the cost of experimental design having to take into consideration a richer range of possibilities.