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Supernatural Selection – How Religion Evolved - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved

Matt Rossano


Drawing together evidence from a wide range of scientific disciplines, this book presents an evolutionary history of religion. That history begins with the social lives and rituals of our primate ancestors. As our ancestors’ social world grew increasingly complex, their mental powers grew in concert. Among these mental powers was an increasingly sophisticated imagination. A supernatural world filled with gods, spirits, and ancestors was an outgrowth of that imagination—especially children’s imagination. Belief in the supernatural provided important adaptive benefits. Religion’s initial adaptiv ... More

Keywords: adaptation, human evolution, imagination, social World, supernatural, relationships, religion, ritual

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780195385816
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385816.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matt Rossano, author
Psychology, Southeastern Louisiana University
Author Webpage