Nature didn't make us human, culture did

How religion made us a successful species

In many ways, Homo Sapiens is a very successful species, a lot more so than our ancestors. The usual story about why we are more successful is that biological evolution resulted in us having more enhanced neural hardware. But that story doesn’t add up chronologically. If we look closer, what we see is that it was the cultural institution of religion, and its ability to create large tribes, that made us into modern humans, argue Victor Kumar and Richmond Campbell.


For the first 200,000 years of our existence, Sapiens remained few in number and relatively unaccomplished, confined to a portion of the African continent. Everything began to change roughly 100,000 years ago. Sapiens populations expanded into other parts of Africa and Eurasia. They made the first voyage to Australia an astonishing 50,000 years ago. Western European colonization took longer, beginning only 40,000 years ago. 15,000 years ago, Sapiens entered North America by walking across the temp

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Roger Cain 13 January 2023

Yes, and it is important to see that while the otherworldly metaphysical ideas of religions are fantasy and not true, the ethical teachings that we should ameliorate our natural tendencies to be self-centered and selfish while developing our natural tendencies to be kind, understanding, empathetic, compassionate, just, honest and cooperative, are true and very important.

Indeed these universal moral teachings (or whatever you like to call them) are overwhelmingly important and are essential if humanity is to overcome the climate crisis and survive.

Thus the importance of cultural evolution or development (or whatever you like to call it) cannot be overemphasized.