Beliefs In Ghosts And Gods Might Be Based In Early Evolution Of Brain



The Nature Spirits told me to share this with you.

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times. It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away. The survivors who had this tendency to more readily ascribe agency to an event passed their genes down the generations, increasingly hard-wiring this way of making snap decisions into the brain. This is not something that people need to learn. It occurs quickly and automatically.

via Our ancient caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods and ghosts.

  • erte4wt4etrg

    How hopelessly reductionistic

    • VaudeVillain

      Or are you hopelessly inductionistic? It’s really hard to tell from over here.

      • erte4wt4etrg


  • BuzzCoastin

    I’d like to know what makes modern humans believe in A god
    despite the vast collection of defrocked gods from past eons
    and the lack of unambiguous modern communication to the sheeple

    • VaudeVillain

      Virtually all of them believe in a different version of A god… pretty much the same as where we started, we’re just more aware of which A god other people believe in.

      • BuzzCoastin

        the Hawaiian People gave up their gods
        torn down their idols & desecrsted their temples
        after years of being subjected to western usurpers
        causing them to collectively realize their gods were impotent

    • Juan

      Really man? You’ve never explored the “The antipodes of the mind” via various entheogens? Or else you have and still believe there is no god?
      I hate the word “god,” btw.

      • BuzzCoastin

        There was something formless and perfect
        before the universe was born.
        It is serene. Empty.
        Solitary. Unchanging.
        Infinite. Eternally present.
        It is the mother of the universe.
        For lack of a better name,
        I call it the Tao.

        • Juan

          I like Tao infinitely better.

  • Juan

    I’ve encountered a goddess in my travels.

  • Rhoid Rager

    And that’s how the tiger got its stripes, Mowgli!

    • Juan

      Always liked Kipling’s work, even if he was a colonial rat bastard.
      But yeah, the above is simply a postmodern Just So Story designed to sooth the minds of the masses.
      SCIENCE! Striking a blow for reason and sanity.

  • Echar Lailoken

    The new fairy ring is the internet, the new ghosts are conspiracies. If you fall asleep it can take you for a walk through the woods, and disperse like smoke when poked only to spread out in another direction.

  • HCE

    Grew up in a house that was occupied by some sort of independent intelligence. It’s antics were witnessed by too many people over the years to say it was simply a product of early evolution.

    Science is the new Church, and scientists are the new high priests. Just say no to naive realism.

    Looks like we’re in Vico Gambattista’s Final Age.

    • Gordon Klock

      Some Hindus say that this is the last throes of the ‘Kali-Yuga’,(dangerously ignored, delinquent & decaying technologies being a sure sign,) & I also was raised in a “haunted” house…..

  • heinrich6666

    In other news: Belief that “Beliefs In Ghosts And Gods Might Be Based In Early Evolution Of Brain” might be caused by recent evolution of the brain.