Jun 5, 2015
“I think that this dichotomy is something that is fairly recent. First of all, when the brain evolved to have the capacity to ask such questions, to understand abstractions, and to be curious, one of the first things we started doing was asking these spiritual questions. Humans used to live as nomads wandering around and leaving their sick behind to die and leaving the bodies behind, because they couldn’t carry them with,” Leonard Mlodinow, a theoretical physicist and author, tells Business Insider.
“And then the first human settlements in the Agricultural Revolution, where we domesticated plants and animals and started living in one place, was really driven by these spiritual questions and the desire to be near our departed loved ones. And that’s where we really started to ask questions about the world around us. In fact, chemistry came from embalming people trying to preserve the bodies, and so science grew out of those spiritual questions. The first scientists were doing science to try to get closer to God.”