How Evolution Created God: The Search for the Origins of Religion

16 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2009 Last revised: 5 May 2009

Date Written: April 9, 2009


The easiest way of understanding religion is through the eyes of a believer. However, a non-believer often cannot accept this vision because it refers to beings and forces that he or she cannot independently verify. Religion is even more of a puzzle to the scientist, who is taught to believe only in a reality that can be observed and tested. Yet, religion exists in the minds and hearts of people. How did it get there if it was not implanted by a divine being? Natural selection is the only process that science knows of that can produce a brain that experiences religion. This process by which natural selection has produced the religious brain is still unclear. One way of discovering it is through mathematical and agent-based simulation. This paper will present an agent-based model for the natural selection of unreal beliefs and discuss further mathematical approaches to the problem.

Suggested Citation

Dow, James W., How Evolution Created God: The Search for the Origins of Religion (April 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

James W. Dow (Contact Author)

Oakland University ( email )

Rochester, MI 48309
United States

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