Did God evolve?

Religious belief is very common in Homo sapiens, with almost all cultures having some kind of supernatural belief that is important to their sense of identity, although that’s about the only unifying characteristic of these ideas. Within the spectrum of human society is a similarly broad spectrum of religious beliefs. These range from the simple “animal spirits” who are responsible for the unexplained (but not much else) to a “High” or “King” God who takes an active role in the world, dictating morals of a people he created.

via How “god” evolved « EvoAnth.

The study is interesting. I’m saving this for later, for if you get a chance, let me know what you think.

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2 Replies to “Did God evolve?”

  1. Understanding the implications of death, I can buy into. Also “animal sacrifice and altars in the Near East are consistently preceded by groups acquiring surplus food”. From there on, I lost it. No mention of the implications of human sacrifice. Was it lack of food, so by sacrificing, they want to please God to get more food, and at the same time reduce the number of mouths to feed? Or conflict related, sacrificing people of other tribes? Of course, there’s good old cannibalism, friend or foe. Seemed like not much relating to actually developing a God concept.

  2. The article is about religious beliefs about God evolving, not God evolving (let’s not confuse the Man with the meme). It was an interesting read.

    I don’t know what it is that makes animal raising societies come up with a king-god more than plant farming societies. I do not see how the data fit well with the rationales for why developed societies come up with king-gods because I do not see how horticulture has less of a free-rider problem than pastoralism, nor how one needs stricter human ruler than the other.

    Another article I liked on this sight is The Origin of Religion which the evolution of God article links to.

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