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Fri Nov 1, 2019, 03:29 AM

Our Belief in The 'Devil' Evolved as a Way to Avoid Sickness, Says Study


MIKE MCRAE 31 OCT 2019

When Black Death ripped the heart out of Europe in the 14th century, it was the devil who often copped the blame. It would be centuries before the true culprit would be identified at the end of a microscope.

For much of history disease has attracted supernatural explanations. In spite of this, anthropologists have had a hard time supporting hypotheses that link the evolution of spiritual beliefs with public health practices. This new research might change that.

A large international team of researchers uncovered strong statistical evidence matching the prevalence of various pathogens with high levels of moral vitalism better known as a belief in spiritual forces of good and evil.

The results suggest that in a world where invisible agents of infection spread unchecked, moral vitalism might reinforce actions that keep contamination to a minimum in what's referred to as a function of our 'behavioural immune system', in turn reinforcing those beliefs.

More:
https://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-argue-that-belief-in-the-devil-evolved-as-way-to-avoid-getting-sick

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Reply Our Belief in The 'Devil' Evolved as a Way to Avoid Sickness, Says Study (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 1 OP
Sherman A1 Nov 1 #1
FM123 Nov 1 #2
Pluvious Nov 1 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 04:51 AM

1. Interesting and really not all that surprising

Thanks for posting.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 06:27 AM

2. Very interesting article

"studies like these do help us to better understand the kinds of historical pressures that put the details into the devil."
(and nice play on words there...)

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 03:28 PM

3. Long ago I was told saying "bless you" after a sneeze was due

... to the belief you'd just expelled a demon.

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