I expected there to be a bit more humor in that article, or more science cited for that kind of research.
Meanwhile I speculate that religion and God get invented for a few cultural reasons, but also that someday we’ll understand more about the neural correlates (and consciousness, if you will) of related topics like pack animal behavior, wherein the species somehow innately understand and agree on who the pack leader is (even if temporarily at times), and how to behave, with like minds as a group, even some of which species seem to naturally interact with each member on a kind of scale of social status.
(Hey, can a single-long-sentenced paragraph be a sign of intelligence?)
The human brain evolved so quickly relative to other species, quickly gaining such competitive, selective advantages in the process, that there are bound to be a wide, random range of variation leftover brain pathologies that evolution never had the time to mitigate by the larger process of genetic evolution. Imo autism is probably a great example of such variation, and perhaps the less emotionally-socially-connected and an often-enough higher ability to excel at other useful kinds of intelligence helped the species?
Consider all the psychiatric disabilities we face in our populations, that are not found in other species.
I think, generally speaking, that “beliefs” in higher powers, and fitting into one’s community while adapting to peer pressures can explain a lot of questions like these, in more than one species, but especially in humans who survived partly by invented beliefs in the group and in higher powers.
Adam Rutherford is awesome, he’s a science-media figure in the UK.
religion and God get invented for a few cultural reasons
If you think about it, each of us is being monitored by everyone else in the group, and we monitor ourselves on behalf of the group, in order to see that we are behaving properly. It’s not a stretch to invent an over-arching eye-in-the-sky that monitors the entire human race.