BIO-240 FA5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Group Cohesiveness

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Ocean Mythology
Natural vs. Supernatural
Natural mechanisms/nature - science is concerned with explaining observed phenomena
Nature is focused in science class - things we can observe and
measure/otherwise describe objectively
Supernatural - faith/religion are concerned with explanation of any phenomena
Supernatural things are not focused in science class - things we feel or describe
subjectively - things we believe based on faith
Why is the ocean so mysterious?
It’s hard to live there and hard to explore/know what’s happening there
There are structure and phenomena that look similar but don’t follow the rules of dry land
To early peoples the oceans seemed endless and mysterious
Many myths deal with the ocean as a whole
There’s a lot of weird stuff to see and observe
Worms that are too small to see
Grunion that lay their fish on land
Huge glams
Males get pregnant
Seahorses are monogamous
Truth in general is stranger than fiction
Common Legends: Giant Beasts
Giant organisms - whales, squid, Loch Ness monster - some are based on reality
considering big animals can live in the ocean
Mermaids - half human, half fish. Deceptive creatures
Common Legends: Cursed/mysterious/lost lands
Bermuda Triangle: a region thought to be a place where boats/planes disappear more
than usual, but it’s not all the unusual
Atlantis: a “Lost City” - city may have sunk into the ocean
What Biology Says About Belief
Why should humans believe in things they can’t see whether they are real or not?
Danger avoidance: if you believe in threats you can’t see, you can anticipate that and
protect yourself
Future planning: May be linked to danger avoidance: as we became farmer,s we needed
to think about weather and climate, setting side seeds do hd next crop, how to store
crops and keep them from being eaten
Social cohesion: as societies became more advanced, there became a need for abstract
thinking --- now there were managers and governing bodies
Hypothesis: The God of the Gaps
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