When group organizations are viewed from an evolutionary lens Wilson indicates “human nature will be seen as something that evolves rather than as something we are stuck with,” (2002, pp. 219). While I agree with this statement, I don’t think it means reason will automatically overpower other selective pressures for cultural (group level) adaptation. Just because we understand something doesn’t mean we can always control it. Addiction is a good example. I also think academically minded folk tend to resist using building blocks tainted with perceived irrationality, let a lone ambiguous supernaturalism. However, this resistance seems to deny the very world we live in.
If religious tendencies are an inherit part of a normally distributed biology, and supernaturalism, anthropomorphic big brothers, etc are adaptive expressions of this tendency, then shouldn’t the most powerful group dynamic theories be leveraging not denying these propensities.
The expression of and benefits gained from religion certainly aren’t uniform or static. I can understand why some academics would prefer a world of brights. However, is this any different than preferring everyone to be heterosexual, non-violent or altruistic to non-kin? Appeals to ethics seem more than offset by practicality. If you entertain biological reprogramming, practically seems to more than offset functionality or dogmatic preference. If we truly are dealing with evolutionary tendencies, then any changes not accompanied by extreme selective pressure and numerous generations will have no practical utility. Since this is undoubtedly the case, the wisest solutions to our religious tendencies may be pragmatic both in nature and theory.
While this approach may allow religion and science to remain as non-overlapping magisteria, I really don't see how the two domains shouldn't blend together for those who wish greater understanding.