As always, Mitchell, your writing is clear and persuasive. I'm beginning to wonder whether or not a mathematical approach to the problem would be fruitful. Religion (by which we can mean any belief in magical entities, anthropomorphic or otherwise, operating outside the realm of standard physics) would seem to be related to other key cognitive traits within the same phase-space. Ergo, attempting to determine interdependencies could be an illuminating exercise.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.