At the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, God: A Human History author Reza Alsan declared, “The religious impulse dates back to before our species exists.” Evidence of organized religion goes back 14,000 years, but evidence of religious impulses, such as cave paintings that depict fantasy beings rather than actual prey, burials and idols can be found as far as 350,000 years back, some 200,000 years before the rise of homo sapiens.
Aslan believes that evidence points to an innate belief in a higher power. “What is without doubt is that this is a universal impulse,” the Iranian-American religious scholar asserts, one that’s hardwired into all of us.
Of course, there’s an alternate explanation: beings that don’t hold this belief in a higher power get struck down before birth by the terrible swift sword of the Almighty.
Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is editor at large for Inside Asian Gaming and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.