Where did we come from? What should we do here? Where are we going? As long as human beings ask these questions, we will need metanarratives — accounts of cosmological and biological evolution that place the human species in the context of what we know about the universe as a whole.

In my book Religion in Human Evolution and its sequel, a work-in-progress titled The Modern Project in the Light of Human Evolution, I have been exploring a new metanarrative by means of an extended hypothesis about religion and equality in human evolution — a hypothesis that is open to correction at every point and raises far more questions than it can answer.

I have come to view the Marxism of Marx and Engels (not of Lenin, nor certainly of Stalin, nor Mao) as a version of the biblical metanarrative about the history...

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