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The Evolution of Gods
The Scientific Origin of Divinity and Religions
Author: Ajay Kansal
|The Evolution of Gods|
|The Evolution of Gods is a non-fiction that utilizes modern science to explain why,
when and how religions and gods became the desirable explanations of the inexplicable events. What kind of human sufferings necessitated people to bow down before unseen powers called gods? How did mysteries of nature give birth to divine powers? Who invented morals, methods of worship and the ancient scriptures? In order to answer these and other related questions, the author has compiled a brief history of human religious activities. He has concluded that ancient people invented the concept of gods with the help of their imagination to wrestle with their mysteries and miseries. However, during the past three thousand years, the idea instigated several personal, social and medical evils. He has suggested that the knowledge about the evolution of gods may vaccinate youths against the disease of religious extremism.
|Subject: Evolution, Spirituality, Anthropology of religion, Ancient History,
History of Religions, Prehistoric Religion, Philosophy, [[Creation vs. evolution debate]], Atheism, Shamanism, Conceptions of God|| Publisher: HarperCollins Ltd. July 2012; Pages 230; ISBN: 978-93-5029-438-3
Media Reviews of this book
Amazon Book reviewer Mr. J. Gomez, (186th Ranked on Amazon) [self-published source] wrote: The Evolution of Gods is a very ambitious and interesting book that explains the evolution of gods. It explains the when, why and how humankind invented divine powers. The book focuses on archaeological and literary evidence. It also provides a brief history on Hinduism, Judaism and Christianity. Dr Kansal does a commendable job of supporting his main argument that the gods have been invented by humankind. This insightful 212-page book is composed of the following eleven chapters: 1. Life after Death, 2. Birth of Gods, 3. Learning to Survive, 4. Learning to Write, 5. Sacrifice---to Bribe Gods, 6. Gods and Demons of Diseases, 7. Hinduism, 8. Judaism, 9. Christianity, 10. Origin of Life, and 11. Why Gods Are Still Alive.
Speaking Tree, the most popular spiritual magazine, A Times of India publication, wrote about this book: Almost all religious scriptures the world over claim that one or other god created human and other living beings; however, science has not yet identified any supernatural power that created, nourished and governed human beings. Did primeval humans come up with the idea of gods to help them cope with their fears? Could it be that they attributed natural phenomena to some unseen divine powers or gods? In his book, The Evolution of Gods, Ajay Kansal utilizes modern science to explain why, when and how ancient people invented religions and gods. It is a compilation of anthropological and historical facts about the evolution of gods, and describes how human imagination created gods, not the other way around. Read more at the official website of Speaking tree.
Book reviewer Tanya Ghosh at IBNLive.com Wrote: Evolution of Gods' raises a valid question on the existence of Gods 'Man could perceive some unseen, unheard, untouchable, non-aromatic divine power only after the evolution of his imagination.' Ajay Kansal in his latest book 'The Evolution of Gods' attempts to explain religious scriptures from the world over. He talks about how most religions claim that God has made man, although no supernatural power has been identified by science that created and governed humans. According to the author, men could perceive gods and demons only after they invented language. There are several similarities in the ancient scriptures which later fashioned the organized religions of the world. Read more at the website of IBNLive.
Book reviewer and author Reshmy Pillai Wrote about The Evolution of Gods: Did gods create mankind, or did mankind create gods? The back cover screams this question at the reader with the preamble concluding that this book by Ajay Kansal deals with establishing the fact that anthropologists and histories lead to one conclusion – mankind created gods! The writer starts off with a very arresting question in the preface – Why are there many religions but only one science on the earth and you would expect an atheist’s rant coming along in the next 200 odd pages. But he surprises with the balance and poise of his argument with never the book turning onto an anti-theist track. Ajay Kansal takes us along on the journey of the evolution of mankind from the nomadic human to the agriculturist to the social animal by tracing his religious evolution.
Today, the development of science and technology has reached new heights, and most of the human population is thriving with their aid. These have provided food, water, healthcare, security, comfort, recreation and much more to the masses. Humanity has achieved this through a gradual learning process that began during the prehistoric period and continues to date. Apart from needs and luxuries, scientists have also solved many age-old mysteries. For instance, human interest in the origin of life has been documented throughout the recorded history. Did some divine power create the first couple? Several ancient philosophers propagated their own theories of the origin of life; the Adam and Eve
theory being just one of them.
In order to find a scientific answer to this question, palaeontologists have studied many
human fossils of the prehistoric age. After the exhaustive study, they concluded, without a
trace of reasonable doubt, that the human race gradually evolved from the great apes over a
long period; some divine power did not create it.
The book is an effort to bring together anthropological and historical facts about the
evolution of gods and religions. This begins with the epoch when the human race came into
being; most anthropologists assert that the species evolved in the period between 400,000
and 200,000 years ago. During that period, people lived in small nomadic groups or bands,
more or less similar to the groups formed by great apes today. They had not yet learnt the
use of language, dress or morals, and were probably ignorant about gods and demons.
Around one hundred thousand years ago, the incredible invention of language changed the
destiny of the race. Most anthropologists believe that people must have begun religious
activities only after they learnt the art of communication. Shortly after this, humans
began to discuss and analyze each happening around them, and whatever they could not
comprehend the chief or priest of their group attributed it to some unseen power.
For example, following someone’s death, the bereaved might have discussed with their
priest that they often dreamt about the dead. The priest might have interpreted their dreams
and explained that some portion of each living being existed even after its death. Many
anthropologists believe that at one point in time, people of countless unconnected places
invented the concept of the soul—the unseen divine spark that provided life to a physical
body and survived its death. The soul was the earliest conceived superhuman power, and
because of its knowledge, humans began to bury their dead. Burial was the first religious
activity of humanity: such kind of social rituals built the primordial religions. People
performed these to wrestle with the incomprehensible phenomena they encountered such as
diseases, disasters and deaths.
At some point in time—we do not know exactly when this happened—people in various far-
flung parts of the world developed an instinct: whenever humans encountered some power
beyond their control that could harm or help them, they began to worship that power. They
believed that worship protected them and sought the blessing of that power. Priests all over
the world invented more or less similar methods of worship, such as folding their hands,
bowing, kneeling, floral offering, prayers and sacrifices. Priests taught these to the masses
and gradually designated the powers as gods.
For instance, climatologists have identified an Ice Age, one that stretched approximately from 30,000 BCE to 10,000 BCE. Several anthropologists have inferred that the humans, living during the Ice Age, had largely inadequate protection against the extreme cold: they were therefore at the mercy of available sunlight—something that was inconsistent and beyond their control. In this scenario, solar worship was a logical outcome. In a similar manner, people considered thunder and lightning to be mysterious, frightening and devastating. Consequently, their leaders or priests imagined a divine sky god that was behind the changes occurring in the sky; gradually, they began worshiping the sky as a
god. There is enough historical evidence to assert that the ancestors of Hindus, Buddhists,
Jews, Christians and Muslims worshiped the sun and the sky, before their religions came
The ability to speak and share ideas helped humans invent many useful devices such
as hearths, stitching needles, leathers, footwear and stone tools. With the aid of these
implements, they began to lead an easier, healthier and safer life. Consequently, their
population began to increase: approximately ten thousand years ago, it exploded to such
an extent that they faced a food crisis. Since necessity is the mother of invention, several
human bands invented the technique of cultivation and began farming. This necessitated
them to settle down near farming fields, and ultimately gave rise to homes, villages, cities
and civilizations. Gradually, farmers began to face famine caused by droughts and floods. In
order to procure good crops, priests of several places in the world suggested worship of one
or other fertility goddess. Thus, history demonstrates that whenever humankind faced a new
challenge, priests invented a more useful deity and consigned the older one to oblivion.
Around three thousand years ago, cultivation provided ample food throughout the year to
farmers, and permanent houses with fireplaces protected them from adverse weather and
wild animals. These facilities paved the way for another population explosion. At the same
time, farming exposed people to pets, rodents, mosquitoes, houseflies and parasites. All
these factors together initiated the outbreak of new diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis,
typhoid and plague. Soon, priests began to cure the sick with the help of worship, rituals,
magic and herbal drugs.
Apart from bodily diseases, population explosion also instigated social evils such as poverty,
inequality, injustice, crime and exploitation; consequently, the majority of people began to
lead a miserable life no better than hell. For instance, two thousand five hundred years ago,
more than half of the urban population of the world was enslaved by the rest people. Around
this time, several great prophets such as the Buddha, Moses and Jesus invented the causes
and remedies of human sufferings.
For example, Moses suggested morals, sacrifices and prayers to protect people from their
miseries. The Buddha was the first to propose that human miseries were the punishments
of karma, the sins committed in the previous births. He also suggested certain morals to
protect people from their miseries. Jesus proclaimed that possession of demons caused the
diseases. These masters were designated as prophets after their demise.
Many contemporary priests transcribed the prayers, rituals, myths, allegories and morals
preached by these prophets. The ancient scriptures, such as the Vedas and the Bible, were
the compilations of such writings. These books advised worship, sacrifices, magic or morals
to eradicate human miseries, and the suffering masses had no option but to follow these
prescriptions. These holy scriptures fashioned the organized religions of today.
The discovery of writing was a great leap in the progress of humanity. At the same time, it instigated an unexpected fallout: people began to consider each written text as a record of actual happening or history. For example, people considered the myths and allegories mentioned in holy scriptures as history, and this tendency laid the foundation of organized
religions. During the last two thousand years, the knowledge, documented in the holy
books, misguided humanity and continues to do so even today.
Ancient priests compiled the scriptures to alleviate human sufferings and teach morals;
however, these ultimately produced the contrary results. Most religious dogmas halted the
progress of science, facilitated human exploitation, instigated many massacres and wars
throughout history and ultimately gave rise to modern terrorism. For instance, humanity
suffered many illnesses for more than two thousand years, and people did not make
concerted scientific efforts to find out the causes and remedies of diseases. What could have
been the possible reason? In fact, priests advised people to read only the holy books and
discouraged writing and reading of scientific texts. Thus, they were not allowed to raise
questions against dogmas and think rational. Furthermore, priests convicted and punished
several secular philosophers and scientists during the last two thousand years.
Thus, priests and their holy scriptures deferred the scientific progress of the earth for a
considerable period; however, they could not impede it forever: science ultimately had its
way. Science and technology began to develop only after discarding the knowledge of the
holy books. Gradually, over the last century, scientists transformed a major part of the earth
into heaven; results of this revolution are not hidden from anyone. Today, the vast majority
of population affords adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, communication, justice and
healthcare. Only one hundred years ago, less than one per cent people in the world had
similar status. Modern technology has alleviated major human sufferings such as slavery,
women-exploitation, famine and poverty. Furthermore, medical science has discovered the
cause and remedy for most diseases. Today, science guides almost every aspect of human
life; and yet surprisingly, a large proportion of humanity is thanking someone in the sky for
its scientific advancements!
During the last century, the development of medicine and other sciences have gradually
limited the role of religions. In short, science has inspired people to come out of the
darkness of religious superstition into the bright light of evidence-based knowledge.
However, despite this progress, during the last two decades, the activities of religious
terrorists have increased, and they killed many innocents. After these, it seems that
extremists are going to rule the planet earth again! Contrary to the past, modern terrorists
are equipped with the latest weapons and have the potential to destroy the planet. In order
to survive, humankind has to eradicate religious fanaticism, which is a mental disease
caused by religious brainwashing since childhood.
Furthermore, misinterpretation of the holy books is also responsible for extremism. Each
new generation learns the knowledge of its religion through teachings of parents, priests
and peers. Today, many modern priests are misguiding people: they themselves enjoy the
fruits of science, and yet preach their devotees to follow the age-old superstitions.
In order to create a hatred-free society, the upcoming generations must receive authentic knowledge about the evolution of gods. Ideally, all schoolbooks across the world should teach the origin of life, anthropology and a brief history of each major religion. Students must learn when, why and how humans invented gods and religions. After the study, it would be difficult to motivate anyone to act as religious terrorists. In fact, the knowledge about the evolution of gods may vaccinate youths against the disease of religious
Let us think for a moment why humanity developed several religious concepts but only one
science. For example, one dogma avers idol worship, and the other asserts the contrary:
scientific principles have no such contradictions. In fact, about one thing or concept, there
is only one truth, but there can be many lies.
The human race conceived and worshipped gods as its creator and nurturer. Science has not yet identified any divine power that created, nourished or governed human beings. Today, scientists have precisely established the creator and nurturer of life on the earth. This book is an effort to light a candle in the darkest corner of human consciousness.
External Links to Read this book
Official Website of this book [http://www.amazon.com/The-Evolution-of-Gods-ebook/dp/B008XK505O Read its Reviews at Amazon] [http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13644017-the-evolution-of-gods Read its Reviews at Goodread]