Belief In God Tied To Caveman Instincts


doctor steve kelley has a background in neuroscience and psychology and he
wrote a great article about how caveman instincts actually helps us
explain our belief in God that’s interesting and I can already hear people being
outraged the idea that you can compare somebody who believes in God 21 caveman and their primitive way of
thinking well again to be clear i’d say it it’s
doctor steve kelley says quote 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 I’ve those shorts other
events that might have happened in prehistoric times its easy to see why a bias towards
agency would be useful or rustling up a bush or
the snapping up a twig could be due to wind but far better to
assume its ally in and run away the survivors who had this tendency to
more readily ascribe agency to an event past their jeans down the generations
increasingly hardwiring this way of making snap
decisions into the brain so that’s really
interesting and i think thats totally true that its evolutionarily advantageous to assume that everything
has a cause everything has a purpose everything has a meaning especially if you’re walking through a
fuckin forrester right jungle and we’re things within 10 feet are you
there’s like 20 things within 10 feet are you the key kill you sneaks underground spiders they
can buy you a tiger in the bushes or whatever and so
you’re walking around and you need to assume there’s a reason for everything
happening because then you can make snap judgments and save yourself and save
your family and save your tribe an act as passed down through the
generations that way of thinking is passed down and that does translate over into today
you could see how people would say well look there’s
ok cause for everything a cause-and-effect purpose for everything so why are we
living want there’s a bigger reason that reason is God that’s certainly one way of explaining why we believe like we believe he also
proposes what’s called the theory of the mind explanation and
basically what that means is we all survived better in little tribes and for things to run smoothly you can’t question every little thing that
everyone does in your little tribal I don’t like a hundred people are fifty
people whatever it is so you assume again that everybody has a
reason for doing what they do and that translates over into a belief
in God because eat you say world the rain has a meaning God is mad at us so easy you know making
it rain too much or God has made us we made the volcano
explode or gotta is happy with us so we made a nice bright beautiful sunny day so you see these this human perception the human way of
thinking you put it onto everything that happens in life and you
assume that now nothing can be random because we’ve survived by thinking nothing is
random it’s a really really interesting way of looking at the situation and I
know religious people are gonna hate it but look men it it is really is a
psychological phenomena what religious people are especially
fundamentalists because at you know at its core in the
year 2014 if you’re still a fundamentalist religious person or even
somewhat of a moderate religious person there’s all auto Felipe of the faith
going into that where your disregarding evidence your
shopping your hand your face in the sand in saying I don’t wanna
know the truth om purposely gonna be ignorant okay I don’t
want to think about this stuff I wanna no reality in and don’t question me on
that well we are gonna question you on that
and we’re also gonna try to figure out exactly what the mental processes that leads for
you to think like that


74 Responses

  1. Royaleah

    May 22, 2014 3:05 am

    He isn't the first one to say such things, many of the books I have read about how the mind works, say the same thing.

  2. Philip Arroyo

    May 22, 2014 3:15 am

    Which proof do you have that God isn't real. I do have faith and this guys one option on how he think cavemen acted while learning how to survive doesn't change that.

  3. Rignasty15x

    May 22, 2014 3:21 am

    Personally I think Polytheism makes more sense than Monotheism, that there is a God that governs each aspect of the physical world individually instead of a single God that controls everything. In this sense, at least, you can ascribe negative actions to "evil gods" and positive actions to the "good gods". A single, all powerful God has to be ascribed all qualities, both good and bad, making it untenable to even attempt to appease him.

  4. pinkfloydfan8

    May 22, 2014 3:27 am

    people who believe in god are as primitive as cavemen. SEEMS LEGIT!!  silly creationists!!

  5. Atheists Gone Wild

    May 22, 2014 3:42 am

    That mindset has helped us a lot. We don't need it as much anymore, since humans rule the world and we keep everything else as a pet. We now apply those once useful skills to non-threatening things: strangers and imagination. Conspiracy theories and gods. Maybe one day, this once useful skill, will weaken as our societal evolution has us depend on others and slowly gets rid of the fear of in the bushes, eliminating religion.

  6. Ryan Swanson

    May 22, 2014 3:59 am

    Well, this ought to go over well within religious circles. I realize that it comes across as condescending to even attempt to explain why humanity is so prone to religious woo woo but what do they expect us to do? They are so certain of the existence of an entity that they have no evidence exists. It's kind of psychotic and its popularity makes it an interesting topic to explore.

  7. Bl Meinecke

    May 22, 2014 4:08 am

    Doesn't make me mad and I don't hate it, makes sense. But this belief in agency is simple obvious stuff that's very likely true.  The question, as a modern person is do you believe in a life after death or not.  Answer for yourself, but if you say yes you are a thiest. Kyle makes a few minor mistakes in his arguements about religion BUT he is largly correct especially about fundamentalism. Nothing worse than a fake Christian, Muslim, etc. They cause great harm and need to be vehemently renounced 

  8. TheCurmudgeon

    May 22, 2014 4:10 am

    Andy Thomson wrote a book about this, "Why we believe in gods."  A very good read.

  9. Inazuma65

    May 22, 2014 4:48 am

    I'd ague that cavemen are smarter than religious people of today. Sure, there are similarities in that both groups are idiots, but science didn't exist in caveman times. Technology didn't evolve beyond sticks and rocks yet. Cavemen didn't have much knowledge to use to improve themselves. Basic survival was a struggle, and they had no choice but to try their best to live day by day.

    Compare that to modern day religious people. Not only do they use, benefit from and take advantage of millions of things that were made possible by the advancement of science, but they claim to be against it. They refuse to even consider how hypocritical and silly that makes them look. They have instant access to an incredible source of information, yet go out of their way to ignore it and deny it every chance they get. They can't even have a proper conversation half the time because they confuse fairy tales with reality. I could go on and on with how insanely dumb and horrible religion is, but you get the idea.

  10. Eric Rayburn

    May 22, 2014 4:50 am

    Of course some theists look at this evidence and use it to argue that there is a god shaped hole in our heart. So it is natural for us to think there is a god, because he wants us to recognize him.

  11. Gaidex Viller

    May 22, 2014 4:52 am

    ballshite I like science like evolution, climate change, and more; and I believe in god. second to be more correct someone or something most of made the code of the universes or multiverse. how I am put my head in dirt  may be  you should not generalize any groups accept for any fundamentalist  group of any Ideology. they are the  only acceptation of my rule not to generalize any groups.

  12. Gaidex Viller

    May 22, 2014 5:18 am

    add that non believe of the sprites and other thing that are a like does not add to non bias or not believe in some other then. science should not be seen as religion because you atheist believe it as such. science is the how but not why most thing are the way they are.

  13. R Treybian Pete

    May 22, 2014 7:34 am

    Ok. So if I'm understanding this correctly, this theory is basically saying we who choose to use reason have evolved passed those that have this natural impulse to fear, through ignorance, incomprehensible. A mental evolutionary jump brought upon by our environment no longer being a proverbial minefield of the unknown. We no longer need to instinctively guard against everything, because our species has mentally evolved enough where our intellect now overshadows our instinctual fear. We now understand our environment is of our own making, and with that default mindset, there's no longer a natural need to fear what we don't understand because we know we can understand it eventually. Dude, that's evolution. Wow.

  14. peyotewalrus27

    May 22, 2014 9:17 am

    But is the balance of the four forces of nature random or created by a consciousness? I just don't feel lucky enough to live in a universe where it's random Sorry I'm too weak minded. 

  15. jason666king

    May 22, 2014 9:56 am

    Research like this is nothing new, remember the "god gene" hypothesis? I tend to think belief in the supernatural is caused by many interlocking factors, as a perusal of the "Five Ways" of Aquinas will make evident.

    At the end of the day, we do such beliefs a disservice if we count them as illogical prima facie. 

  16. musclegeek

    May 22, 2014 12:10 pm

    Religious people may hate it but religion has hijacked many of our evolutionary adaptions:hyperactive agency, mind-body separation,need for attachment,decoupled cognition and more. Seems to me ,more fascinating than the study of religion is the study of the psychology underpinning it.

  17. Rob

    May 22, 2014 1:32 pm

    things unexplained are god
    so by this logic…
    republicans blame Obama for things they don't understand and confuse them,
    Obama is god,
    god is real!
    holy shit. I just made a discovery.

  18. darttoyou1

    May 22, 2014 2:09 pm

    Probably where the priest formula originated, as an elder or a bullshit artist as when the people were in fear or questioning an event , this smuck always had the answers, not even close to accurate but answers, like must be god. God works in mysterious ways. Its a miracle, no not that one, this one here. That was the work of the devil.

  19. Eve McInerney

    May 22, 2014 3:37 pm

    I heard a good one once.. That we developed the instinct to believe that something is always watching us so we don't do bad things even if we don't think any people can see us. Which is evolutionary advantageous because then we don't get caught doing bad things and cast out from the tribe or whatever. Selfless people were "the fittest". 

  20. freedom1234573

    May 22, 2014 3:48 pm

    this is too funny – as i read reza aslan's zealot – of which i am more than halfway thru the thought the pops up over and over is the absolute brutish nature of society back then – a gov would be in place and then thousands of people would be massacred – women, children, babies – so another gov/sect could be the rulers – just over and over and over again- very harsh and these are the people that are in the bible – just awful times and yet somehow people think there is morality in that book of filth

  21. Humanity is a lost cause Self centered lunatics

    May 22, 2014 4:03 pm

    It's encouraging that religion is no longer getting a free pass, and is being studied into despite the protests. Maybe now something can be done to fix the problems we're causing ourselves.

  22. Rotten 5

    May 22, 2014 4:47 pm

    Everyone check out " Calpurnpiso " on Youchoob.
    He is funny and shows how Christianity was started on psychadelic " sacraments "
    He goes to Rome and shows you the bas reliefs. He knows his history.

  23. LookForThetruth11

    May 22, 2014 5:22 pm

    You don't have to prove something doesn't exist idiot.. prove the tooth ferries don't exist? Ill wait while you ask your sky God abut that

  24. Azazel Acheron

    May 22, 2014 5:40 pm

    I've been saying this for years.  I've been telling religionists for years, to "go back to the stone age".  Religions and legal systems can be tied to the stone age…

  25. Rick The Explorer™

    May 22, 2014 6:18 pm

    I made a comment, in ironic fashion on another video, about how praying to god doesn't work, and I got a death threat from a Christian. I more than hate theists. Just because an ape walks upright and chatters, does not qualify him or her to be human anymore. 9 billion people on the planet and 6 billion do not belong here.

  26. Headcynic

    May 22, 2014 7:16 pm

    I've encountered this theory before, along with the need to obey authority of parents and elders of the tribe. I.e., children who obeyed when told,"Don't play near that cliff!" survived, while those who disobeyed such commands died. So, religion is a sort of parasite that operates on those old survival instincts.

  27. Althea Flora

    May 22, 2014 8:48 pm

    I think this is the best' theory I've heard on the origin of theistic religion in human beings.

  28. Kerest Rahn

    May 22, 2014 9:13 pm

    I know this is cliched, but comparing the modern religious nutbags to cavemen is giving the religious too much credit.

  29. JCavSD

    May 22, 2014 11:57 pm

    Well…the existence of god is debatable for some, but for sure that shirt is terrible.  Present news nicely dressed. 

  30. txvoltaire

    May 23, 2014 1:50 am

    Before Newton, it was necessary to think that the planets moved by being pushed and pummeled by angels!

  31. Pythos Sapunov

    May 23, 2014 1:55 am

    To quote Agent Mulder from the X-files "God was invented to explain the unexplainable."

  32. Emperor Penguin

    May 23, 2014 2:47 am

    There is no God. Its pretty obvious to people who have broken free of their indoctrination. God makes no logical sense, and there is absolutely no evidence for God. Everything we know about the universe operates by natural laws without any intervention from any supreme being – None of the laws of nature have a factor for God.
    Theists, why are you so desperate to believe in God? Is it so difficult to accept the possibility of random chance – that there isn't purpose behind everything that happens? Are you afraid of the unknown, of randomness? … For me, it's liberating to know that there is no God – to know that there is no supreme being in the universe watching and judging you, and monitoring every action and thought of your life. And the evidence supports the assertion that there is no God… So, why theists why? Why are you so desperate to believe in God?

  33. TheQuietAtheist

    May 23, 2014 3:05 am

    Christians hate Reality. They fear it. That is why their Religion was developed long ago. They fear their own Mortality. It doesn't stop there. They also started this Rel-
    igion of theirs because it was a lot easier for them to deal with things that could not
    be explained at the time. So, naturally they lived under the assumption (Still do)
    that a God(s) did this or that. They would see lightning 2,000 years ago "God did it"

    Sad thing is, a certain percentage still believe in this nonsense. In certain areas,
    Man Kind has not evolved because of 2,000 year old superstitions that have a tight
    grip on society as we know it unfortunately.

  34. GinoAlexander5559

    May 23, 2014 6:02 am

      I figured this out for myself when I was 9! Belief in "gods" grew out of fear and ignorance! Storms, eclipses, illness, it has to be because the "gods" are angry!

  35. Darryl Grimes

    May 23, 2014 11:37 am

    The birth of all religion comes down to the quenching of three fears: fear of death, fear of nature, and fear of the unknown. Once man realized the power they have over people by creating gods to calm these fears, they won.

  36. deanna smith

    May 25, 2014 12:49 am

    i've been saying this for YEARS!

    and all i have is a ba in psychology. ce la vi.

    by the way for those of you that are skeptical, these type of errors are known as "type one errors", and are a well known phenomena in psychology.

  37. itsbitches

    May 28, 2014 4:02 pm

    This clip needs to be translated to various languages so people could show their friends and family who still believe in this nonsense.

  38. Hans-Georg Lundahl

    August 15, 2014 7:16 pm

    Since Christ, God made Man, was arguably a caveman the first momemnts after his birth in Bethlehem, that stable including a cave, I have nothing as a believer against being compared to a caveman.

    I am MUCH more offended that a man can think his background in neuroscience and psychology makes him fit to analyse cavemen.

  39. Hans-Georg Lundahl

    August 15, 2014 7:29 pm

    3:37 I am a Fundie. A Catholic and a Fundie.

    According to your statement I am disregarding a lot of evidence.

    Feel welcome to be precise about exactly which evidence … 😀

  40. Hans-Georg Lundahl

    August 15, 2014 7:32 pm

    Ah, wait … Secular Talk, I just saw a logo recalling The Young Turks. Is it an old programme in a new name?

  41. Hans-Georg Lundahl

    August 15, 2014 7:36 pm

    After reading article, I saw one good point:

    "Concepts which violate these intuitive understandings seem to be more memorable than others. A rose that whispers in Latin violates an intuitive understanding that plants do not have minds or mouths and therefore cannot whisper in an ancient language – or any language for that matter.
    "It may be that violating an intuitive concept draws special attention and interest and therefore helps embed the idea in memory. Many religious stories contain concepts that seem to violate this special kind of intuition, such as a man walking on water or a burning bush that talks. These tales take advantage of this feature of memory to successfully propagate themselves and resist being forgotten."

    Indeed. In other words God is an extremely good psychologist (understatement bording on blasphemy about Omniscience) when using miracles to identify His revelation.

  42. 747t

    November 22, 2014 8:50 am

    Your summary of religious people (even "moderate") assumes that we ignore science. Many of fully embrace it. There's a book called "Dust" which illustrates the story of an evolved Adam – the first Ape-Man to have contact with God. There are many other such books and in fact an entire movement which tries to understand the world primarily through the sciences, with religion being a mystery to unpack onto and analyze on and against that framework. The Genesis Gap Doctrine is a formal Christian doctrine taught in many churches that says that the world is in fact billions of years old, and that the Bible in fact gives room for those years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. These movements are nothing new, but have always existed side by side and frequently been attacked by fundies. Many if not most of the contributors to the scientific method and in fact most scientists before the last two centuries were religious people.

    Atheism is also nothing new. A purely natural view of the world has been around at least since Ancient Greece. And since the Greeks invented less than they are given credit for but documented much, we can assume for much longer than that. It is nothing new, or better. It is in fact the most simple deductive way of understanding our place in the universe. I think in fact it has more to do with wanting to avoid cognitive dissonance rather than try to reason or even put on hold for later the rather unreasonable experiences and understanding that many people have. Far easier to dismiss them altogether.

    Most people think that there is something deeper to humans than just matter. That doesn't make them necessarily more simple than you. It in fact allows for more complexity. Spiritual thinking is akin to philosophy. It's largely independent of the natural sciences, yet can borrow from and interact with them from time to time to produce a greater understanding through abstract thought.

    So please, stick to characterizing fundamentalists as the backward, willfully ignorant pricks they are. Anyone who seeks to box up and limit others is deserving of such – hateful atheists included.

  43. 747t

    November 22, 2014 9:02 am

    It's funny how the discovery of Gobekli Tepe is leading some scientists to think that religion may be what sparked civilization (and possibly weed too, but that's a different hypothesis). Without a higher level of trust – a common belief system – we'd all be roving about in small, competing bands still. That's the hypothesis, anyway. Hunter gatherer art always shows humans as equal to animals. The first to show humans having a higher place than animals coincides with the first proto-civilized societies. The belief in "one true God" is believed to have come much, much later. So in fact, religion has been evolving as well. Only an atheist – someone who completely dismisses religion instead of investigating it – would fail to see this correlation. It's science. Don't let the fundies make you stupid too.

  44. resident9011

    February 20, 2018 8:05 pm

    do not just take a Christians word for anything ask GOD yourself if He is real just say GOD FORGIVE ME send me face to face with JESUS. but know this, ask in seriousness or do not do it at all, I am telling you He is not going to be joking with you. when a Christian tells you to fear God they know what they are talking about. God is very serious so is satan, just keep saying Jesus and when you cant say it out loud scream it in your mind He will hear you……………COME AND SEE………….the power of His exorcism on us is gloriously terrifyingly mindbending and so worth everything. Glory to God

  45. Joe Castillo

    July 26, 2019 8:47 pm

    What religious person says “it’s raining so God is mad at us?” Or any of those other sayings lol. I’m a Christian and have never once said that. That’s not even biblical.


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