The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

 

This project, which is funded by a generous grant from the University of Cambridge's Faraday Institute, aims to reveal the nuanced ways in which the concept of biological evolution is being deployed throughout new atheist propaganda.  Importantly, it moves beyond an evaluation of the intrinsic merits of new atheist arguments, concentrating instead on how biological evolution is employed for the purposes of mass persuasion.  The study thus focuses on identifying sets of persuasive cues, or cognitive mental shortcuts, which function in communications as subtle but effective methods of influencing public opinion and behaviour.  This analysis demonstrates how references to natural selection are integrated into effective persuasive strategies, serve to cultivate ‘Evolution Wars’ brands, and fortify popular new atheist constructions of reality.

Principal Investigators

  • Professor Peter Harrison, Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland
  • Dr Tom Aechtner, Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland

On this site