Worshipping Waterfalls

Jane Goodall has seen wild chimpanzees dance and bristle with excitement around roaring waterfalls—and she thinks it’s an experience of awe and wonder—and possibly a precursor to animistic religion.

But can we ever know why our ancient human ancestors developed spiritual beliefs? Can evolutionary science uncover the roots of religion?

At some point our ancestors went from admiring waterfalls to worshipping them – and all kinds of spirits and gods. They developed sacred rituals and turned stones into totems. And then came the Battle of the Gods.

(listen to the podcasts)

The editorial staff of ORBITER magazine humbly pursues life's Big Questions, illuminating the human condition and our place in the universe.