Dr. Moore writes:
The Atlantic Monthly notes a recent study in the journal Psychological Science that suggests that “humans may have a built-in aversion to snakes and their hissing, slithering, menacing ways.” Researchers at the University of Virginia studied 120 preschool-age children and their parents to pick up reactions to images of various things, including snakes. The researchers were surprised to find that the children, even those who had had no exposure to snakes, immediately picked out the snakes as threatening.
The preschoolers had no such “threat-relevant” reaction to pictures of frogs or caterpillars. This suggests, says the Atlantic, “an innate predisposition to see a snake as a threat.” The authors of the article contend that humans and “other primates” could “have an evolved tendency to rapidly detect” a snake.
What, though, if this loathing isn’t at all evolutionary? What if it is the result of a cataclysmic events somewhere in the primeval past, something still embedded in the human heart?
Read the whole thing.