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Emotions

Emotions have helped humans evolve and survive by changing the way we
react to and think about our environment. Positive and negative emotions
create patterned responses in both individuals and in whole societies.
Emotions can help people understand the world, including other human
beings, better; they can also distort perceptions.
Fear probably influences human evolution more than any other emotion.
For example, early humans quickly learned that some large mammals posed
direct threats to themselves and their families. By creating a “fight or
flight” response, fear helped prehistoric peoples survive and thrive in the
midst of natural threats and disasters. Fear also contributed in large part
to the development of religion, as the contemplation of the universe
induced a sense of awe and wonder at the universe. Unfortunately, the
emotion of fear also created divisions between different tribes and ethnic
groups. This expression of fear greatly influenced the way in which
different peoples evolved and different cultures either flourished or died
out. Most wars have been fought based on emotional responses, especially
fear and anger. Anger, a natural response to situations that are
unexpected, irritating, or potentially harmful, also helps human survive
and evolve. Anger affects all interpersonal relationships and can cause
rifts and strife among communities and cultures.
However, love and attraction has had a similar effect on human
evolution. Interracial marriages affect the evolution of humanity on
biological and cultural levels. Mutual respect and admiration for foreign
cultures and people has contributed to human evolution in the same way that
fear and anger has. Love most obviously contributes to human survival by
ensuring the continuation of the species, as males and females feel
emotional and sexual attractions for one another. A wide range of human
emotions, ma…

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