Religion possible because we evolved imagination

High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Posts: 7587
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Religion possible because we evolved imagination




 I was just sent an interesting article that makes the case that religion is possible because of our imagination.  Here are two portions:


Humans alone practice religion because they're the only creatures to have evolved imagination.

Bloch believes our ancestors developed the necessary neural architecture to imagine before or around 40-50,000 years ago, at a time called the Upper Palaeological Revolution, the final sub-division of the Stone Age.

At around the same time, tools that had been monotonously primitive since the earliest examples appeared 100,000 years earlier suddenly exploded in sophistication, art began appearing on cave walls, and burials began to include artefacts, suggesting belief in an afterlife, and by implication the "transcendental social".

Once humans had crossed this divide, there was no going back.

"The transcendental network can, with no problem, include the dead, ancestors and gods, as well as living role holders and members of essentialised groups," writes Bloch. "Ancestors and gods are compatible with living elders or members of nations because all are equally mysterious invisible, in other words transcendental."

Read the entire article here. 


MrPal's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: 2009-11-30
User is offlineOffline
Good article, I am left

Good article, I am left craving more though...  Much more.




ronin-dog's picture
Posts: 419
Joined: 2007-10-18
User is offlineOffline
Very interesting article.

Very interesting article. Add that to the possible explanations Dawkins give in the God Delusion.

I would push the time factor back further though. All H.sapiens posses this trait so it probably happened before we spread very far (parallel evolution aside) and indigenous Australians are supposed to have reached Australia 40,000 years ago at the earliest.

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51