A history of the beginigs of religion as part of society

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A history of the beginigs of religion as part of society

It is for this reason that chimpanzees and bonobos are viewed as the best available surrogate for this common ancestor. Barbara King argues that while non-human primates are not religious, they do exhibit some traits that would have been necessary for the evolution of religion.

These traits include high intelligence, a capacity for symbolic communicationa sense of social norms, realization of " self " and a concept of continuity. The use of burial rituals is thought to be evidence of religious activity, and there is no other evidence that religion existed in human culture before humans reached behavioral modernity.

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Elephants demonstrate rituals around their deceased, which includes long periods of silence and mourning at the point of death and a process of returning to grave sites and caressing the remains. Much of the brain's expansion took place in the neocortex. The cerebral neocortex is presumed to be responsible for the neuronal computations underlying complex phenomena such as perception, thought, language, attention, episodic memory and voluntary movement.

His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion.

The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.

The manufacture of complex tools requires creating a mental image of an object which does not exist naturally before actually making the artifact. Furthermore, one must understand how the tool would be used, that requires an understanding of causality. However, recent studies of other primates indicate that causality may not be a uniquely human trait.

For example, chimpanzees have been known to escape from pens closed with multiple latches, which was previously thought could only have been figured out by humans who understood causality. Chimpanzees are also known to mourn the dead, and notice things that have only aesthetic value, like sunsets, both of which may be considered to be components of religion or spirituality.

The degree of comprehension in an animal depends upon the size of the prefrontal cortex: Origin of language and Myth and religion Religion requires a system of symbolic communication, such as language, to be transmitted from one individual to another.

Philip Lieberman states "human religious thought and moral sense clearly rest on a cognitive-linguistic base". Although religious rituals usually involve dance and music, they are also very verbal, since the sacred truths have to be stated. If so, religion, at least in its modern form, cannot pre-date the emergence of language.

It has been argued earlier that language attained its modern state shortly before the exodus from Africa.

A history of the beginigs of religion as part of society

If religion had to await the evolution of modern, articulate language, then it too would have emerged shortly before 50, years ago. While the former does not require prior development of language, the latter does. The individual human brain has to explain a phenomenon in order to comprehend and relate to it.

This activity predates by far the emergence of language and may have caused it. The theory is, belief in the supernatural emerges from hypotheses arbitrarily assumed by individuals to explain natural phenomena that cannot be explained otherwise.

The resulting need to share individual hypotheses with others leads eventually to collective religious belief.

A socially accepted hypothesis becomes dogmatic backed by social sanction. Morality and group living[ edit ] Main articles: Although morality awareness may be a unique human trait, many social animalssuch as primates, dolphins and whales, have been known to exhibit pre-moral sentiments.

According to Michael Shermerthe following characteristics are shared by humans and other social animals, particularly the great apes: Pre-moral sentiments evolved in primate societies as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups.

For any social species, the benefits of being part of an altruistic group should outweigh the benefits of individualism. For example, a lack of group cohesion could make individuals more vulnerable to attack from outsiders. Being part of a group may also improve the chances of finding food.

This is evident among animals that hunt in packs to take down large or dangerous prey. All social animals have hierarchical societies in which each member knows its own place.

Social order is maintained by certain rules of expected behavior and dominant group members enforce order through punishment. However, higher order primates also have a sense of fairness. In a study, de Waal and colleagues put two capuchin monkeys side by side and gave them a simple task to complete:The application is that if you need a new beginning with God, don’t try to go it alone.

There is a sense, of course, in which any new beginning must be intensely private. You must go to the Lord in private and confess your sins and personally appropriate the shed blood of Christ.

America is pleased to announce our formal partnership with Mirada Global, a multilingual Web site that brings together articles from Jesuit publications in North and South America.

With the. History The Formation of the IFRC The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was founded in in Paris in the aftermath of World War I.

The two main schools of thought hold that either religion evolved due to natural selection and has selective advantage, or that religion is an evolutionary byproduct of other mental adaptations. Stephen Jay Gould, for example, believed that religion was an exaptation or a spandrel, in other words that religion evolved as byproduct of.

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In the northwest part of the Soconusco, discoveries around Mazatán provide one of the earliest examples of rank society in Mesoamerica amongst a network of interacting elites (Blake et al.

Christianity had its beginnings in which Roman province