[49], Some of the earliest evidence of symbolic behavior is associated with Middle Stone Age sites in Africa. However, higher order primates also have a sense of fairness. Due to the association of art and religion, evidence of symbolism in the fossil record is indicative of a mind capable of religious thoughts. Philip Lieberman states “human religious thought and moral sense clearly rest on a cognitive-linguistic base”. [1][2] These primates share a common ancestor with humans who lived between six and eight million years ago. All social animals have hierarchical societies in which each member knows its own place. The neocortex size correlates with a number of social variables that include social group size and complexity of mating behaviors. There are suggested cases for the first appearance of religious or spiritual experience in the Lower Paleolithic (significantly earlier than 300,000 years ago, pre-Homo sapiens), but these remain controversial and have limited support. Writing also brought a measure of objectivity to human knowledge. Social order is maintained by certain rules of expected behavior and dominant group members enforce order through punishment. Human skeletons were found stained with red ochre. One controversial proposal, the God gene hypothesis, states that some variants of a specific gene, the VMAT2 gene, predispose to spirituality.[34]. All social animals have hierarchical societies in which each member knows its own place. Most animals display only a casual interest in the dead of their own species. The invention of agriculture transformed many human societies from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a sedentary lifestyle. For any social species, the benefits of being part of an altruistic group should outweigh the benefits of individualism. Cave paintings at Chauvet depict creatures that are half human and half animal. However, states and nations are composed of many thousands of unrelated individuals. Organised religion traces its roots to the neolithic revolution that began 11,000 years ago in the Near East but may have occurred independently in several other locations around the world. Soon after, writing was used to record myth. Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Attributes of God / Humanity, Love, Kindness. [57], on Evolutionary psychology and origin of religion, theological, astrophysical, and biogeochemical models of cosmic evolution, Evolutionary psychology and origin of religion. Religions that revolved around moralizing gods may have facilitated the rise of large, cooperative groups of unrelated individuals. Human remains have been dated to 100,000 years ago. Simon E. Davies at the Human Odyssey Facebook group, which posts content on mythology, created this incredible image of the Evolutionary Tree of Myth and Religion, which depicts the development of world religions throughout history, from 100,000 BCE … (See denialism. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. As with all other organs and organ functions, the brain‘s functional structure is argued to have a genetic basis, and is therefore subject to the effects of natural selection and evolution. [23] Anthropologists have found that virtually all state societies and chiefdoms from around the world have been found to justify political power through divine authority. [16], Richard Dawkins suggests in The Selfish Gene that cultural memes function like genes in that they are subject to natural selection. Death awareness became a highly disruptive byproduct of prior adaptive functions. Still another view, proposed by F.H. Archeologist Steven Mithen contends that it is common for religious practices to involve the creation of images and symbols to represent supernatural beings and ideas. According to Michael Shermer, the following characteristics are shared by humans and other social animals, particularly the great apes: attachment and bonding, cooperation and mutual aid, sympathy and empathy, direct and indirect reciprocity, altruism and reciprocal altruism, conflict resolution and peacemaking, deception and deception detection, community concern and caring about what others think about you, and awareness of and response to the social rules of the group.

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