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Supernatural SelectionHow Religion Evolved$
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Matt Rossano

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385816

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385816.001.0001

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“Every Move You Make”

“Every Move You Make”

First Signs of the Supernatural Eye

(p.60) 3 “Every Move You Make”
Supernatural Selection

Matt J. Rossano (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 continues to trace religion’s evolutionary history by identifying three “primitive” traits of religion: ancestor worship, animism, and shamanism. It is argued that these are religion’s oldest known traits and that each represents a “supernaturalization” of human social life. In other words, each trait is fully integrated into the human social world, thus representing an extension of that world into a supernatural realm. Archaeological evidence is reviewed supporting the notion that these traits trace back to at least the Upper Paleolithic (35,000 years ago). Some evidence suggests that shamanism is likely even older.

Keywords:   ancestor worship, animism, burial sites, primitive traits, social complexity, shamanism, Upper Paleolithic

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