Human Social Evolution By Julie Zauzbe

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In the article A Scientist’s New Theory: Religion was Key to Humans’ Social Evolution, Julie Zauzmer showcases the ideology that religion is the main proponent of human social evolution by examining the findings of Oxford University evolutionary psychology professor, Robin Dunbar. Known for his research with primates, Dunbar concluded that certain factors attribute to the evolution of primate social interactions. In this study, which led to the development of the Dunbar’s number, he tested if the size of the primate’s brain was directly proportional with their ability to form social connections with other primates. In fact, through this experiment, Dunbar was able to conclude that brain size affects the ability to create social connections. …show more content…
By incorporating his previous research project, the development of the Dunbar’s number and then integrating it within human social interactions, one can see humans can maintain more significant connection with others through the means of religion. Similarly, by showing the Dunbar’s number of humans, Dunbar expanded on how each stimulus results in the drastic influx in comparison to their primate relatives. By showing how laughing, singing and listening to an emotional story instills a greater sense of community, it further supported his hypothesis that religion plays a critical role in the development of higher social interactions. With this evidence and research backing his claims, Dunbar convinced me that religion, connected by the influences mentioned above, is the key to social evolution. When reading this article, the idea that Dunbar has an agenda or biased is unlikely. Being an evolutionary psychology professor, Dunbar does not state if he believes in a particular religion. Regardless if he did, the fact that he incorporates a variety of beliefs and does not fixate on one religion shows a lack of bias or agenda. After reading this article, I was awestruck. While I know humans have the capability of maintaining hundreds of connections is commonplace, seeing the actual Dunbar’s number was quite shocking. Similarly, the idea that religion, because it incorporates laughing, singing, and listening to an emotional story, being the key to humans’ evolution was also intriguing because I see this theory at work almost every day. Explicitly seeing how people can connect through song, worship, and laughter further aligns Dunbar’s beliefs with my own. While Dunbar is still in the midst of his research, he concluded that there is a correlation between religion and social evolution.

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