It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods and ghosts

page: 3
<< 1  2    4 >>

log in


posted on May, 22 2014 @ 11:02 AM
In his 1967 book "The Naked Ape", Desmond Morris had a similar idea.

He observed that many existing primates (gorillas, baboons, chimpanzees) have an "alpha male" who generally dominates and leads the group.

From this he extrapolated that as we evolved, we kept the instinctive need to have an alpha male. You can see it today, we have Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Sport Team Captains, CEOs, tribal leaders etc. etc.

As our consciousness expanded beyond the material world, we developed the concept of the ultimate "alpha male", i.e. God.

Disclaimer: I am not saying God does or does not exist, He or She may very well exist, I don't know. I'm just speculating on how we could have come up with the idea of God in the first place.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 11:25 AM
a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Are instincts supposed to be an inferior way of reasoning? Instincts can be more accurate than logic in a vast number of situations. So, no, instinct is not below logic. Its like my co-worker says, "I'll take common sense over smarts any day". The fatal flaw of reasoning in most scientifically minded people is that they believe logic is superior to instinct. Wrong. They are simply different forms of reasoning.

There are logical chains of thinking that can lead people to hypothesize the existence of a God and the existence of ghosts. For example, "I see something that is a misty human-like figure who speaks in a funny voice. A ghost is a misty human-like figure who speaks in a funny voice. Therefore that misty human-like figure who speaks in a funny voice is a ghost. Therefore, ghosts do exist. LOL, not much instinct involved any way for that scenario. Another line of logical thinking would instead use the line... "therefore I'm going crazy since there is no such thing as ghosts"... well that is also a line of logic but it doesn't negate the fact the alternative line or reasoning about seeing a ghost is also logical as well.

Ultimately its about who you believe and who you you think is making things up. I know people who I trust who have seen ghosts. Therefore, ghosts exist. My instinct was to trust them. My logic is that the people who have reported them have never been known to tell lies. People who think they have it all figured out and ghosts definitely do not exist just make me laugh honestly. Its a basic inability to understand that there are multiple forms of valid reasoning. Emotion is an alternative form to logic and to say one is superior to another is, from a logical point of view, leaping to conclusions without evidence.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 01:00 PM
a reply to: wayforward

Logic can be no different then a written book, explaining all the pathway to Gods. The only difference with logic is that it could admit to being wrong though, and half the times, it should appreciate that defeat, as to improve, or to even just agree on something.

So that way, logic can at least have better odds, against...whatever the gods throw these days, like a shooting, fallen star from heaven. What are the odds someone going to survive a direct impact.

ZERO!!!An that's something everyone, including the religious disciples should agree on. Where as logical person would say it rock reaching high speeds, with great slamming force. Where a serious religious person would say God can see you in hell.
So they could agree on something.

Let take a look at the four horsemen for example. Conquest(or Pestilence) is an evil spirit sent by god to spread plagues and illness as punishment for whatever reason. Where as the long awaited logical view, would say it could be air-borne particles, where as to primitive or bronze age people, it was evil spirits.

But then Spirits can be symbols or personifications, much like Conquest, or the three horsemen were. Metaphors with meaning to decipher possibly.

Instinct and emotions over ride logic though in so many ways, where as it meant to be an instantaneous reaction or reflexes. Logic is more like hindsight if you had the instinct factor. Where as one can reflect and try to improve on the event that happened, where as instinct will not reflect, it just simply does.

Logic is nothing more then a long awaited picture to be painted. How the picture get painted, is up to the artist. And you could some really great ones, or some crappy ones.
edit on 22-5-2014 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 01:11 PM

originally posted by: Fylgje
But I've seen ghosts and know they are a reality, not some caveman superstition. God on the other hand......Never seen that cat.

I agree with you,
I have personally experience several full body apparitions, one was of a person ,whom unbeknownst to me, had been dead for a week. I only found out the were dead after talking to a mutual friend who informed me that this person had been dead for ten days at that point.
Along with several witnesses I have seen objects move with no near them.
I also feel that ghosts may not be temporally constrained, ie you might be able to see the ghost of someone not dead yet.
A case in point, I had my Mfg business in a space that had been empty for several years, when I moved in.
After a few weeks we started noticing shadows moving around on the floor . At first I thought it was bird shadows from the skylights, until i noticed it happening after dark. Then you'd hear noises when nodody was inthe shop, the doors started opening and closing by themselves.
Then one night while working late , I saw a man standing in my office , which threw me for a loop because the gate was and office doors were both locked. I went to confront him but when I entered the office no one was there.
All of my employees had experiences at one time or another in that building.
Now here is the part that freaks me out, a couple of years later I had to close the businesses for economic reasons and went to work for one of my customers. Shortly after that we took full control of a shop we had been partners in when the owner retired.
A few months after the previous owner passed away.
At his funeral they had a photo montage to commemorate his life, and one of the photos of him in the '70's, was the man I saw standing in my office 5 years earlier. It still freeks me out. It was absoluelty him, down to the hair and clothes and glasses.
I have nothing else to add.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 04:09 PM
No, when you've experienced.... "spirits" or whatever you want to call them... you know it's not just an inherited "feature" from our ancestors.

It's a nice enough theory and makes a lot of sense to many I'm sure. But not to me..

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:15 PM
What fascinates me more than anything, is within certain schools of science and growing conceptual thought attributing anything from cognition to interpretation of phenomena, to nothing other than 'evolutionary hard wired parts of the brain''. Not that this deserves complete scrutiny but the idea of lining up anything to this explanatory theory is at best loose, and seems often, the go to theory to explain things which fit with the currently accepted paradigm within 'normal science' which would nicely tie all of this together so no further explanation is warranted.

What disturbs me most is the assertion that this is indeed fact, with nothing to back this up other than conceptual theories that are built upon previous authors or researchers explanations. There is of course no fact that any 'hard-wired' traits exist, other than being convinced they do, once compared to an already existing evolutionary ideal.

This then becomes problematic because how can we possibly define such a distinct and innate part of our brains when we barely have barely discovered what is what, within neuroscience, within the last decade.

Certainly an easy explanation, but none based within fact other than if you buy into the theory that we were stupid creatures anyway. However, it is worth noting that size of the brain within humans often has no bearing on intelligence nor any aspects of cognition which we so dearly cling to today. Therefore if we are to believe this or common prehistoric gibberish, then it has to mean that we buy into an idea that brains were although more than likely equal to our processing capabilities now, were actually under-developed. This is frankly not true, and until other evidence is presented, this theories should be treated as nothing other than anecdotal and purely speculative.
edit on 22-5-2014 by The 5th because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 08:54 PM
a reply to: The 5th

nice one.

if we evolved from lower animals, when did we pick up the ability to think?

to over ride instincts?

it makes not a lot of sense to me that, after living in the wild for a couple million years, that all of a sudden people start thinking the natural course of weather, earthquakes, floods, storms, life and death etc. have been caused by something other than what has always been happening?

especially seasonal things.

or maybe they knew something about God and ghosts? way back then.
even if there was a cave einstein but they would still need language to spread the idea.
how does it pop up to every peoples all over the world at once, when they never met?
then there is the similarities.

people dismiss it all as superstition, myth, and control but i have my doubts of course, that it's the only motivation for these things.
sounds strange, i know.
take thor, god of thunder, i doubt the vikings suddenly started thinking that he was doing all this.

to keep this short, the idea of God(s) have evolved to what we have today but it doesn't mean He doesn't exist.

(too many interruptions)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 10:54 AM
I don't know. If believing in God/ghosts/spirits pertains to survival instinct, to me it sounds a little counterintuitive. People WOULDN'T be afraid of death if they knew they were going somewhere better. Being afraid of HOW you die is another thing altogether, like the difference between dying in your sleep versus getting mauled to death by a bear.
edit on 23-5-2014 by oldetimehockey4 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 06:31 PM
I have been focusing on Human Behavior for a few years now. Its interesting how few of us know why we 'actually' do what we do.

All humans study human behavior, we have to, the problem I have come to realize is the existing definitions that are presently ingrained (purposely misleading the majority) need a fair bit of tweaking, so what we think we do actually makes sense.

For example,

You cannot disprove the existence of nothing, for as nothing does not exist, how can it be proved to exist.

(("You cant prove nothing", yelled by many a perpetrator trying to escape the law, is therefore a legitimate scientific statement!!

Thus the con-cept of God provides a sense of certainty through being factually undeniable, that truth cannot provide. WHY?

In our past what was was considered true was continually proven false. God can never be proven to be untrue. This is where the power of belief is derived (realize that and you are on your path to valuing reason in balance to your need to value your beliefs and the justified but unreasoned reactions that result from them).

This though can be confusing when we cannot accept that our existence is based on contradictions. So, the contradiction to this is that nothing can make us do something. It is this something that we actually react to, due to the DISCOMFORT it can (possibly) cause, which can easily escalate into (possible)death.

Thus we evolved to justifiably react to the stimulus of the possibility of something caused by nothing. HOW INTERESTING.


What is wind? Is it nothing as it appears to be, or is it something.

It appears to be nothing, yet it moves things like there is something there, even when we can see that there isn't. If that is true, which we can see it is, then so could the justified possibility in the belief of the 'nothing' defined by believers as God.


The all so important realization which I taught myself as it just happened to be missing from my school education.

Proof is not a requirement of our instinctual minds processes to con-ceive truth, in its justified instinctual attempt to reject pain.

Hence the 'possibility equation'. It only has to be possible by 'one percent' for your primal mind to justify the instigation of a reactive behavior, when this occurs continually, it becomes (what all good capitalists look for) a cyclical habitual behavior . Through this 'possibility equation' many things are explained, being mindful of the contradictory reality in which we exist. For example it only has to be possible for one person not to die of cancer by smoking cigarettes for people to believe they wont die of cancer by smoking cigarettes. Not supplying nicotine to their body results in discomfort which then must be considered in relation to the possibility of getting cancer. Why would the subconscious mind value the possible discomfort of cancer more than the actual discomfort of nicotine withdrawal? WHALA a billion dollar business by making people addicted to nicotine even when they know the consequences.

While your evolved reasoned mind is trying to attain factual truth, your primary instinctual mind is already reacting to reject the possibility of your survival or more precisely your COMFORT being compromised by the possibility of nothing being something.

Ride a spooky horse that believes it sees a lion every time the wind moves the grass ahead of it. The reality is it exists for you to ride because its ancestors believed in the possibility of something being there when in reality ninety nine times out of one hundred it was just hot air.

Yet aren't most of the problems we experience, those discussed on ATS, caused by that one percent.

Is the rest just a whole lot of nothing to be concerned with?

What's more interesting facts or belief?

The truth is, for humans to sustain our existence we need a balance of both.

For what happens when we do not consider the belief of those who yell 'the conquistadors are coming'...

How interesting...
edit on 23-5-2014 by subtopia because: Grammer

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:11 PM

originally posted by: ArtemisE
I read another article that was very similar. It's opinion was. That as soon as we became self aware and able to realize how easy it was for us to die. We had a need for an afterlife. Life has always been dangerous. One false step and you could slip fall and break your kneck. But life requires you to endanger yourself daily. Even more so in prehistory.

Basically saying that as soon as we were self aware. We needed an after life to comfort us as we did life threatening actions in our everyday life.

This is what I've thought for a while, except I think the people who had genes which did not support belief in God or supernatural tended to commit suicide or die younger. However, that was just all speculation, none of it based on hard evidence. What the OP brings onto hte table is based on actual study and I think has some possibility of being true.

Unfortunately (nor not), we live in an age where every facet of the human mind and body is being examined. Who knows how this will change us and change society. Fewer and fewer things are unknown. We seek control to live better lives. And yet I know we'll continue to break down old borders and explore new domains, thus ensuring the continued existence of the unknown. The extent of this depends on the spatial and temporal dimensions of this universe and also on its predictability.

If everything were known and ignorance could not exist, what would things be like? And is it even possible to know everything?

And one more thing. If you live in a village and 80% of them die - including your family - in a natural disaster or in something even more mysterious like a viral pandemic which creates bouts of insanity in its sufferers, and a child asks you about the disaster, is it easier to say it was just a random uncontrollable event or that some sort of supernatural happening caused it? Keep in mind you don't have scientific knowledge, so all you can say is the event is not well understood and wasn't controllable. How're you to know hte event won't happen again, and soon? Should you worry?
edit on 23-5-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:15 PM
a reply to: Fylgje

yt:Unholy Communion: The Fourth Kind Unveiled - Joseph Jordan and Guy Malone

“Human beings are under the control of a strange force that bends them in absurd ways, forcing them to play a role in a bizarre game of deception.”
--Dr. Jacques Vallee

“The UFOnauts and the demons of past days are probably identical.”
--Dr. Pierre Guerin
“The UFO phenomenon simply does not behave like extraterrestrial visitors. It actually molds itself in order to fit a given culture.”
--John Ankenberg
“One theory that can no longer be taken seriously is that UFOs are interstellar spaceships.”
--Sir Arthur C. Clarke

yt: A Trip into the Supernatural - Roger Morneau

Mark Cleminson ex/former illuminati family member defector /freemasonry secret societies

Master of Witchcraft, Voodoo, Ocult, Spells, Curses, AstroProjection, Jesus
The Beautiful Side of Evil - Johanna Michaelsen

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:17 PM
YT: Nephilim: TRUE STORY of Satan, Fallen Angels, Giants, Aliens, Hybrids, Elongated Skulls & Nephilim

Jesus: Evidence, ancient historical sources Prof. Greenleaf, Harvard a reply to: MrConspiracy

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 09:02 PM

originally posted by: cutevixen

originally posted by: blkcwbyhat
a reply to: ColorsOfTheWind
can you prove him?

100% Correct ColorsOfTheWind, since when is the burden of proof on us to prove a god exists?

Cuz, people say god exists, and all we ask is proof of that.
We don't have to prove what may not exist and has no evidence.

I'd like to have some proof, that would blow my cake.
edit on 23-5-2014 by Toadmund because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-5-2014 by Toadmund because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-5-2014 by Toadmund because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 09:14 PM
a reply to: Baddogma
Yes, I am on the fence about spirits as well as I have seen what can be called a ghost, and It certainly did not seem to be a hallucination either.

I don't know what it was.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 11:14 PM

originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
Caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods and ghosts

There's an interesting article on how humans have come to readily believe in gods and spirits, with such beliefs tied to our survival instincts;

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times.

It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away.

The survivors who had this tendency to more readily ascribe agency to an event passed their genes down the generations, increasingly hard-wiring this way of making snap decisions into the brain. This is not something that people need to learn. It occurs quickly and automatically.

Along with the above described "agency," the author describes the "theory of mind" - a coping mechanism that allowed us to comprehend the behavior of others, giving us empathic abilities to understand them.

This idea says that we automatically assume that there are reasons behind others’ behaviour which we try to work out in order to better understand why they behave the way they do.

See the article for just how "agency" and "theory of mind" play such a large role in our beliefs in gods and ghosts.
what about ET's being Mistaken for .

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 11:54 PM

originally posted by: tsingtao
…if we evolved from lower animals, when did we pick up the ability to think?
…to over ride instincts?
…it makes not a lot of sense to me that, after living in the wild for a couple million years, that all of a sudden people start thinking the natural course of weather, earthquakes, floods, storms, life and death etc. have been caused by something other than what has always been happening?
…especially seasonal things. …

Entirely agree with this line of thought/reasoning.
How did they survive ‘til then?
The physical brain of King of Survivor Mountain evolves such that…one day…it grows frightened by the same old rustling leaves, lightning, hail, thunder, ‘shooting stars’, wind, jaguars, howls, rumblings, politicians (ooops!)...etc… …and…the evolving brain decides that it needs to come up with an abstract explanation for these natural phenomena (that had not demanded abstract explanation/s previously) – Agency – and one King of Survivor Mountain theorizes “spooks” or “gods/God”…and…spends the next couple of days trying to convince “Clan of the Cavebear” of said postulation…before…the clan burns him/her at the stake for witchcraft (a concept, likewise, hardwired in Caveman’s evolving brain)…AND…BUT…WELL…how many generations of Caveman Dreamers & Visionaries are sentenced to death…before…more than one at a time agree on this interpretation of reality…then convince two more…and they, each, two more…until, it becomes more commonly accepted than ‘Natural Cause’ that had preceded said notions (since the beginning of Time)…?
And then – how long (how many generations) must this ‘interpretation of reality’ have been common-across-the-globe…before DNA sequencing started to pass this ‘hard-wiring’ on to subsequent generations (unilaterally?)…?
Likewise - How many years/decades/generations/millennia was Caveman willing to accept these 'costly notions' with NO PROOF...?
Yeah… I don’t know…
Seems that the leaps in logic needed to arrive at such a conclusion are too great for my feeble mind.
edit on 5/23/2014 by WanDash because: additionally speaking

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:10 AM
a reply to: WanDash

Ever been to a museum and looked at all the different human skull variations there have been over the last couple of million years? Ever thought what happened to all the other ancient human skull variations that are now under the ocean after it rose to where it is now?
Why is it that a God, alien had to have influenced humanity.
Progression has times when it is frustratingly slow and like the the last one hundred years interestingly quick.

Then again who's to say we aren't a alien hybrid who's ship crashed and the inhabitants either, got frisky with the local apes or genetically manipulated them as a slave workforce until they were rescued.

I ask why are humans are so adaptable to technology?????

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 11:45 AM
a reply to: subtopia

Adaptable? You mean all the obese people? Obesity is increasing. All the incidences of diabetes and arthritis and heart disease and a myriad of other problems? People are going on medications at younger ages. You forget a sedentary lifestyle cuts a life short. Sitting at a computer is unhealthy. I can't even start to name all of the joint and other problems people can get from using technology consistently. And what about all of hte potential mental effects? Technology has changed how we live and I suspect it has also caused some mental disorders. Our genetics still have us walking out in the wild collecting things and clearing the land for farming. It EXPECTS woman to have children. They say our genes have a lag of about 10,000 years: right at the instersection between hunter/gatherer and the agricultural society. In any case, if you think people are using all this technology without any signs of health problems, I think you're far, far from the truth.

I think we're moving too fast for our genes to keep up without severe consequences. We will engineer ourselves to control it.

I think the incidences of disease and illness and whatnot supports the idea of evolution. These things show our environment is rapidly changing. Our genes are trying to keep up, but they've fallen behind.

All of this talk about a evolutionary explanation for belief in god or the supernatural reminds me of a article in discover magazine a few years back: - The Vexing Mental Tug-of-War Called Morality...

The article was/is about how the old brain (based on instinct) has fallen short when confronted by more complex moral dilemmas and the new brain (focused thought) shows promise in making sense of them. In the article, it's phrased this way:

“For centuries philosophers have taken intuitions at face value and tried to find theories that conformed to those intuitions,” Greene says. “But as philosophers have played with more and more scenarios, it’s been increasingly difficult to find a single theory that fits. My approach is to say, forget the overriding theory. Our moral judgments are sensitive to kooky things, like whether you’re pushing someone with your hands or dropping him with a switch. There is no single moral faculty; there’s just a dynamic interplay between top-down control processes and automatic emotional control in the brain.”

edit on 24-5-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 09:51 PM
My whole life, I've been torn between science and faith. I've studied world religions and world history in college. By no means am I an expert in either area, but I do have an understanding of how ancient religions have coincided with history. I've also studied psychology and sociology. Again, by no means am I an expert. I also try to study my surroundings, study my friends, my family, and those around me I don't know. "What makes them tick", "why do they do what they do", "what was the reasoning behind their behavior". I've tried to go to church and find God, but I've never really felt all felt so fake.

The concept of modern religion feels very conceptual to me. It feels like an idea. But, I always remind myself that religion is based on faith....and I've never devoted that faith towards religion that seems to be a fundamental requirement. So I don't dismiss God as a legitimate possibility because as much as I can't prove its existence, I can't disprove it either.

Through it all, the notions stated in the OP, is something that has been a thought of mine many times before. If I had no knowledge of the earth, of all the creatures, of tectonic plates, of volcanic activities, of weather and space that I do know thanks to thousands of years of gained information being passed down from generation to generation, then I have nothing to refer to other than the primitive instincts of my mind. We translate our response in ways that comfort us, ways that make us feel better about the situation.

Sometimes I wonder if the concept of God came from one ancient caveman's perception, who passed it on to his fellow tribesmen and women. Word of a higher being causing the unknown to happen spread from tribe to tribe and evolved into a multitude of religious beliefs. My struggle between faith and science will continue, but this article is spot on with some theories I've come up with my own over time.

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 12:47 AM
a reply to: subtopia
Thanks for the response!

…Why is it that a God, alien had to have influenced humanity.
Progression has times when it is frustratingly slow and like the last one hundred years interestingly quick…

I do not know, nor have I claimed to know that God/Alien/Predator or some other entity had to have been involved.
I CanNot KNOW that… Just as you Cannot.

…I ask why are humans are so adaptable to technology????? …

Don’t know how many people you’ve worked with…from ‘my’ generation…that were required to ‘use computers’ or…some relatively common software…only to find that they aren’t nearly as adaptable as you might...expect.
Those born 10 years later than myself…are a good step ahead of ‘my generation’…in acceptance and adaptability… Another 10 years…even more so…
My children (and their generation & the subsequent generation) were literally raised in the computer, computer-gaming, Internet, cell-phone, smart-phone, smart-phone-app Age…
It was their “ABC’s”.
Had it been my generation’s ABC’s…the world would already be Star Trekking across the universe (Maybe!).

I don’t think we know when to stop… But – that’s an aside.

new topics

top topics

<< 1  2    4 >>

log in