A panel of scientists discusses the evolutionary basis for fear, how these responses can be learned, and how they inform superstition, religious practice and cultural tradition.
Certainly fear would be a very valuable biological mechanism because our ancestors would have lived perilous lives. They would have been frightened of predators... disease would have swooped without warning, without explanation, so they would naturally try to think of ways to avoid these terrible dangers. In the case of disease - which before modern science was completely unpredictable and unknowable - one would naturally fall into superstitious habits."
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Mark Williams, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford University, talks about Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.MORE
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