Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Origins of Religion

In Athena Andreadis's essay, she talks about how the early biology of the human brain contributed to the creation of the idea of gods. She says that evidence shows that there used to be a part of our brain that made it seem as though some of our thoughts were voices being projected into minds from someone else, which became the basis for gods talking to people. This part of brain was slowly replaced by more acute self-awareness and the ability to reason, which led to more scientific inquiry.

I had never heard of this before, but it definitely coincides with rumors I have heard as to the origins of religious belief. I've heard that most religions were based on psychedelic hallucinations that were interpreted as divine contact. Someone would be walking around in the woods, get hungry and eat some mushrooms they found. An hour or so later they would start "tripping out". Back then of course, no one knew what psilocybin was and would never think to attribute these strange visions and voices to those mushrooms they ate awhile ago. So add to this the disconnect they already supposedly have with their own thoughts and it's clear that would think they were in contact with some otherworldly being. Suddenly a six-armed woman doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Q: Which half of the brain had the "voices"?
A: the right side

1 comment:

  1. Anyone studied the Jaynes/bicameral controversy? Do psychologists still debate it? Seems intuitive enough, but how to falsify?