ABOUT Michael Blume

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During the last years, a new, biocultural perspective on religiosity, defined as behavior towards superempirical agents (such as ancestors, angels, gods or God), has developed and improved dynamically. In interfaculty and international networks, scientists in the humanities, cultural, psychological, social and religious studies teamed with evolutionary biologists, geneticists, neurologists and anthropologists to explore the evolutionary, natural history of religion(s). Dr. Michael Blume was born in 1976 in Filderstadt, Germany. He's currently lecturing Religious Studies at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. His promotional thesis focused on theories on religion in the brain sciences (the so-called "neurotheologies”). Dr. Blume then specialized on the reproductive potentials of religiosity - the complex workings of religious communities augmenting birth and survival rates (and thus: evolutionary success) of religious people in comparison to their (more) secular neighbours. Together with biologist Rüdiger Vaas, Dr. Blume published “Gott, Gene und Gehirn. Warum Glauben nützt. Die Evolution der Religiosität” (Hirzel 2009). He was the first German to be invited into the directory of the Evolutionary Religious Studies. His science-blog “Natur des Glaubens” won the Scilog-Award 2009. In 2010, he was awarded the "Vermittlungen" (German: Mediation)-Award of the Protestant Academy Villigst for his work bridging religion(s) and the natural sciences. Blume is the editor of the Religion-section at the Online-Magazine "Evolution - This View of Life" by David Sloan Wilson. Dr. Blume is part of a Christian-Muslim family and a father of three.


Michael Blume: All Posts


Are religious Children meaner than their secular counterparts? Report of a study with a fatal flaw

Posted 8 November 2015 by Michael Blume

Another exciter moves through the network world, cheered on by a Guardian article: Scientists have found (i.e. it must be unquestionably true it) that religious reared children are "meaner" than children from secular families! Although the religious parents would attest to their children higher social skills on average - "the experiment" was reported to prove that these children "shared less"! Of course, the thing already looks somewhat different, if we look at the published paper by Jean Decety, Jason M.... Read more

Rap Guide to Religion by Baba Brinkman hit the (data) shelves!

Posted 7 November 2015 by Michael Blume

More than a year ago, I blogged the first time about a special project of Baba Brinkman: Transforming the findings of evolutionary religious studies into a rap album! After the big success of Baba's "Rap Guide to Religion" show, the album is now available for download - enjoy the songs! (Being a specialist in religious demography, my favorite songs are "Andrew Murray" and "Fertility Gods".) Of course, we can hope that more "lectures" and songs of Baba will be about... Read more

New Studies on the Reproductive Potentials of Religiosity – The Attraction of Religion by D.J. Slone and J.A. van Slyke

Posted 19 July 2015 by Michael Blume

For almost a year, I have not been able to blog at "The Nature of Faith" for two reasons: First of all, some German works, books and teaching tasks took all the time I had to spare. And secondly, I have been asked to lead an international and humanitarian project about whom I won't be allowed to talk until next year (for security reasons). With all that said, I am happy to admit that further progress in evolutionary studies of... Read more

Religion evolves! Baba Brinkman raps about Evolutionary Studies of Religion

Posted 2 August 2014 by Michael Blume

Since I decided to enter the realms of science as a youth, I entertained a certain dream: That the field of science I wanted to contribute to shouldn't be confined to secluded specialists, but that it should be discussed in public magazines and at kitchen tables, maybe even edutained and enjoyed in movies and arts. Back then, this has been a rather heretic concept at German universities and I was explicitly warned as a young scholar in Religionswissenschaft (the scientific... Read more

A Map of Hindu, Buddhist Temples, Sikh Gurdwaras in Germany

Posted 20 July 2014 by Michael Blume

As Germany is a rather wealthy country, offering comparable high levels of existential security to its inhabitants, secularization and the subsequent, inevitable decline of birth rates below replacement levels has been taking place for decades. But at the same time, the religiously devout tend to have more children and immigrants are bringing their religious traditions, leading to a process of religious pluralization. Thus, even after reunification, more than two-thirds of the German population are adhering to a Church or religious... Read more

God & Cosmology – George Coyne on Belief, Science & Evolution

Posted 22 June 2014 by Michael Blume

Some years ago, I blogged about the (German) movie "Das kreative Universum" by Rüdiger Sünner at my German scilog. Recently, Sünner started to put some bonus materials on YouTube, including an interview with the famous Jesuit cosmologist George Coyne, who directed the Vatican Observatory from 1978 to 2006. As this interview has been conducted entirely in English (with German subtitles), I am gladly sharing it here as an interesting theological and spiritual perspective on those various, empirical findings. Enjoy! ... Read more

Evolutionary Studies of Religion spreading via German Media

Posted 11 May 2014 by Michael Blume

Let me start by apologizing for not having texted that much in English these last months. Besides the fact that English is not my first language (as you have probably noticed already) I have been busy writing and answering to a lot of German media covering evolutionary studies of religion and my field of research, religious demography. The new peak of interest started with coverage in main print media such as the "liberal" SPIEGEL or the "conservative" WELT. ... Read more

Yes, I am an Evolutionist!

Posted 7 April 2014 by Michael Blume

When people press me into defining either as a conservative, a liberal/libertarian or a leftist, I like to answer that I am an "Evolutionär", an evolutionist: My scientific interests and researches have led me to appreciate that any biological or cultural tradition surviving to our day is the product of a long and deep history, which should not be dismissed easily. In this sense, I feel like a conservative. The very same perspective helped me to appreciate that variation is necessary for... Read more

Great Adaptations – A Bold Project Bringing Evolutionary Knowledge to Kids

Posted 28 February 2014 by Michael Blume

Exploring religion from an evolutionary perspective, I have been repeatedly flabbergasted by a specific gap: Evolutionary theorists tended to bring up far more scientific facts, but dynamic religious movements tended to bring up far more catching narratives! Although a lot of scientific authors and bloggers contributed to closing this gap concerning educated adults, this gap remained with regards to children! Obviously, the fact that the non-religious tend to have smaller families than the devout and evolutionary theism has only started to form as a cultural milieu... Read more

Hyper Agency Detection (HAD) as Building Block of Religious Cognition – A Humorous Introduction

Posted 13 November 2013 by Michael Blume

Among the many things Charles Darwin got right about evolution, his definitions and theses concerning the evolution of religious beliefs and behaviors deserve special attention. For example, the learned theologian observed his dog growling at moving objects, assuming possible "agency" as a possible building block of early religious cognition. Contemporary psychologists agree. There is a overdetection of agency, frequently called Hyper-Agency Detection (HAD) in animal and human cognition. And this is not very surprising from an evolutionary perspective: It is far... Read more