Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

Firmaments of Imagination

The New Scientist reports that one anthropologist, Maurice Bloch, is making the argument that religion is a natural development that has come about due to the evolution of imagination in our species.  I’d likely agree with this since I also agree with Jeff Hawkin’s ideas about intelligence being largely made up of the ability to predict.  And prediction can require imagination.  Such a development though would inevitably lead to predictions that were, sadly, incorrect but unverifiable, like heaven or prayer.  Our species’ early attempts to predict things often amounted to speculations about unseen powers controlling the seen elements of nature, and given the evidence our ancestors had at the time, unseen powers was a logical, if anthropomorphic, conclusion.

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