From the earliest known evidence of human religion by Homo sapiens neanderthalensis around 100,000 years ago to the present day, religion continues to be a very influential aspect of human lives.
Today, there are numerous challenges and problems faced by humans from every possible background, location and social class. Every day people must face issues of health, safety and mortality. It is because of these daily challenges that religion continues to exist. Religion is the universal tool for explaining things which we do not understand through the context the known physical world.
Although there are countless religions, each different from the other, they all serve the same purpose. Each answers questions which all humans seem to be programmed to ask: Why are we here? What happens when I die? How shall I live my life?
Religion helps us to transmit our values from one generation to another, and influences the way we interact with the natural environment. It teaches us how to see ourselves in light of the universe and gives purpose and meaning to life.
Written by Sara Wenner, 2001
Pasted from <http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/religion/>