View Full Version : Essay on evolution & shamanism

B. de Corbin
17 Nov 2018, 07:47
In this essay, the author speculates on the possible evolutionary basis of "shamanism."

Masters of reality: The trances and healing powers of shamans are so widespread that they can be counted a human universal. Why did they evolve? (https://aeon.co/essays/why-did-shamanism-evolve-in-societies-all-around-the-globe)

From the article:

The sheer magnitude of our shamanic ancestry means one of two things: either shamanism originated once prior to the human diaspora some 70,000 years ago and has been preserved since, or it has arisen independently countless times in premodern human cultures. If we consider that preagricultural human societies are each experiments in how to run a village, with each competing in the evolutionary market of survival and reproduction, then we must ask: what good is shamanism?

19 Nov 2018, 08:24
Well, if you read the book Supernatural Selection, the hypothesis is that religion originated very early on in human evolution, well before "civilization" in any form, as a result of ritual and the shared belief in the spirit world being cooperative. Groups with such beliefs were posited to be more successful, those without, were either marginalized or absorbed.

Its an interesting article, to be sure!