In the history of the world, every culture in every location at every point in time has developed some supernatural belief system. And when a human behavior is so universal, scientists often argue that it must be an evolutionary adaptation along the lines of standing upright. That is, something so helpful that the people who had it thrived, and the people who didn’t slowly died out until we were all left with the trait. But what could be the evolutionary advantage of believing in God?

This is an interesting article. The scientist, Bering, does not ‘believe in God’ but neither does he ‘believe in atheists’ though he used to call himself one.

There is a problem, however, with his hypothesis that humans have developed belief systems in the supernatural as an evolutionary adaptation. No, it’s not that it includes evolution. In my studies, evolution may be entirely compatible with the God of the Bible and the meta-narrative of scripture.

The problem is that Bering holds to the a priori assumption that God, in fact, does not exist. In his opening story, he experiences something his mind interprets as “supernatural” soon after his mother’s death. Interestingly, he jumps right to the conclusion that this must mean evolution has programmed him to interpret such phenomenon in such a way.

Clearly he is a good scientist, but in my opinion, if he were really good, he would include in his study the possibility that God and/or the supernatural are real things that truly exist. He would allow the possibility that we have indeed developed – through evolution – an important sense of these things, but not strictly for the moral guidance of society, but also – and maybe more importantly – for the plain recognition of their reality in our cosmos.