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Religion May Have Made Us Human

In the grim struggles of prehistory, early religion may have provided humans a way to relate to each other and the world around them, offering significant survival and reproductive advantages.

Psychologist Matt Rossano claims that, "The roots of religion stretch as far back as half a million years, when our ancestors developed the motor controls to engage in social rituals--that is, to sing and dance together." According to Rossano, evidence seems to confirm that at its core religion was not about doctrines, creeds, institutions or miracles, but about relationships. About 70,000 years ago, a global ecological crisis drove humanity to the edge of extinction and he believes that "[Religion] forced the survivors to create new strategies for survival, and religious rituals were foremost among them.

"Religion is a fundamental way for humans to relate to each other and the world around them, and in early prehistory that was a definite advantage," Rossano says. "Religion emerged as our ancestors' first health care system, and a critical part of that health care system was social support. Religious groups tended to be far more cohesive, which gave them a competitive advantage over non-religious groups and enabled them to conquer the globe."

Was Stonehenge a calendar, a religious site, a healing site--or all 3? The Striebers have just returned from a tour of the crop circles and will be talking about it (as well as other things) at the Wednesday subscriber chat!

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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