We evolved in an environment where it was far safer to assume that the rustling noise in the bush is something that wants to eat us and to act accordingly, than to assume it’s just the wind. Those that were wired to assume an entity or agency behind the noise lived to pass on their genes; those that did not ended up as dinner.
This agency detection feature worked well for us. But in modern civilization, it has become more of a bug than a feature. It has led to conspiracy theories, fascination with the paranormal, and of course religion. The lightning and thunder and volcanoes can’t just happen. It must be the gods. Read the rest of this entry