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In this contribution we respond to three critiques of our 2019 article 'Complex Societies Precede Moralizing Gods throughout World History.' We clarify that our research does not, as our critics suppose, support the claim that moralizing gods played a decisive role in the development of complex societies. Indeed our goal was to test this claim and we found it wanting. Our methods 'reduce' neither religion or social complexity in the ways claimed, while our tentative conclusions about thedoi:10.31235/osf.io/hs5mk fatcat:l3kcnobgo5gvhjzyaafimqgoxu