Okay, so that’s kind of weird. I write the post below asking what the biological advantage of religion is, and completely by chance, within 48 hours, I happen to listen to an interview with Dr David Sloan Wilson, author of the book, “Evolution for Everyone” on Quirks & Quarks. He talks about that exact thing, among other things like the evolution of art and music. Basically, his theory is that religion is one of many systems to create cooperative, functional social groups, AKA communities (which as you may guess, are a good survival mechanism)
Go here to listen to it: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/media/2006-2007/mp3/qq-2007-06-23c.mp3
It’s really worth a listen. He even talks about the “sideshows” — the “sterile, Machiavellian intelligent design” sideshow and the Dawkinsesque “strident, angry attacks on religion” sideshow that throws the baby (such as it is) of religion out with the bathwater. These sideshows both draw attention away from what he calls the “main event” – serious study of religion from an evolutionary perspective.
Although the interview doesn’t really address the question as to why SOOOOOO MANY humans lean towards forming groups believing in superstition/God, rather than groups coming together in the Cult of Measuring Things Empirically (haha).