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  1. Subsistence and the evolution of religionPeoples, Hervey C. - Human Nature, 2012 - 3 Hypotheses

    This study exmaines the presence of High Gods in societies as a function of subsistence type, population size, and stratification. High Gods are thought to be a mechanism to encourage collective action in the face of environmental challenges. Animal husbandry was found to be a strong predictor of High Gods, especially gods that are active in human affairs or morally supportive.

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  2. Hunter-gatherers and the origins of religionPeoples, Hervey C. - Human Nature, 2016 - 6 Hypotheses

    What is the evolutionary sequence of beliefs in hunter-gatherers? The authors attempt to answer this question by reconstructing the development of various traits in traditional societies using phylogenetic and linguistic source trees. Testing for correlated evolution between this reconstruction and population history as proxied by linguistic classification suggests the presence of animism at profound time depth, aligning with classical anthropological religious theory put forth by E.B. Tylor. Coevolutions between other religious concepts including shamanism, ancestor worship, active ancestor worship, high gods, active high gods, and belief in an afterlife are also examined.

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