Evolutionary origin of religions

origin of religionreligionevolution of religionoriginOrigins of religionproto-religiousearliest evidence of religionevolutionevolutionary by-productevolutionary origin of religion
The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion.wikipedia
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Anthropology of religion

anthropologist of religionanthropologyreligion
The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion.

Religion

religiousreligionsreligious beliefs
The exact time when humans first became religious remains unknown, however research in evolutionary archaeology shows credible evidence of religious-cum-ritualistic behaviour from around the Middle Paleolithic era (45-200 thousand years ago).
A number of disciplines study the phenomenon of religion: theology, comparative religion, history of religion, evolutionary origin of religions, anthropology of religion, psychology of religion (including neuroscience of religion and evolutionary psychology of religion), law and religion, and sociology of religion.

Human evolution

evolutionearly manevolution of humans
During human evolution, the hominid brain tripled in size, peaking 500,000 years ago.

Religious behavior in animals

Animal faith
Animal faith is the study of animal behaviours that suggest proto-religious faith.

Theories about religions

theory of religionTheories of religionClifford Geertz's theory of religion
Sociological and anthropological theories about religion (or theories of religion) generally attempt to explain the origin and function of religion.

God gene

One controversial proposal, the God gene hypothesis, states that some variants of a specific gene, the VMAT2 gene, predispose to spirituality.

Neuroscience of religion

Neurotheologybio-theologyneurological
Various theories regarding the evolutionary origin of religion and the evolutionary psychology of religion have been proposed.

Steven Mithen

Cognitive fluiditySteve MithenMithen
Archeologist Steven Mithen contends that it is common for religious practices to involve the creation of images and symbols to represent supernatural beings and ideas.

Evolutionary psychology of religion

evolutionevolution of religious behaviorevolutionary theories of religion
The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion.

Origin of language

evolution of languageOrigins of languagelanguage
The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion.

Myth

mythologymythologicalmyths
The evolutionary origin of religions and religious behavior is a field of study related to evolutionary psychology, the origin of language and mythology, and cross-cultural comparison of the anthropology of religion.

Prehistoric religion

Neolithic religionancient religionsBronze Age religion
Some subjects of interest include Neolithic religion, evidence for spirituality or cultic behavior in the Upper Paleolithic, and similarities in great ape behavior.

Paleolithic religion

Burialbury their deadreligion
Some subjects of interest include Neolithic religion, evidence for spirituality or cultic behavior in the Upper Paleolithic, and similarities in great ape behavior.

Chimpanzee

chimpanzeescommon chimpanzeePan troglodytes
Humanity's closest living relatives are common chimpanzees and bonobos.

Bonobo

bonobosPan paniscuspygmy chimpanzee
Humanity's closest living relatives are common chimpanzees and bonobos.

Primate

primatesnon-human primatesnon-human primate
These primates share a common ancestor with humans who lived between six and eight million years ago.

Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor

chimpanzee-human last common ancestorcommon ancestorchimpanzee–human divergence
These primates share a common ancestor with humans who lived between six and eight million years ago.

Symbolic communication

symbolicSymbolic communication systems
These traits include high intelligence, a capacity for symbolic communication, a sense of social norms, realization of "self" of continuity.

Self

self-interestselvesselfhood
These traits include high intelligence, a capacity for symbolic communication, a sense of social norms, realization of "self" of continuity.

Burial

interredexhumedinhumation
There is inconclusive evidence that Homo neanderthalensis may have buried their dead which is evidence of the use of ritual.

Behavioral modernity

modern human behaviorUpper Paleolithic Revolutionbehavioural modernity
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.

Neocortex

neocorticalisocortexneopallium
Much of the brain's expansion took place in the neocortex. According to Dunbar's theory, the relative neocortex size of any species correlates with the level of social complexity of the particular species.

Dunbar's number

Dunbar’s numbersolving social problems100 to 150 people
According to Dunbar's theory, the relative neocortex size of any species correlates with the level of social complexity of the particular species.