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Thread: Essay on evolution & shamanism

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Essay on evolution & shamanism

    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?

    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?
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 17 Nov 2018 at 07:48.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Essay on evolution & shamanism

    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!
    Last edited by thalassa; 19 Nov 2018 at 09:09.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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