August 5, 2004

The effect of religion on human evolution

Nigeria: The remains of 50 people have been found by police in 20 locations in the forests around Okija in the eastern state of Anambra. Press reports abound with tales of a secretive cult and traditional ritual killings, but the reality seems to be much more darwinian than that, with the 'victims' all willing participants in a strange form of conflict resolution:

The group is believed to practice a ritual in which parties involved in a personal dispute - often over business deals - are made to drink a potion they are told will kill only the guilty one...
[Police representative Kolapo] Shofoluwe said the basic ritual of swallowing poisons to test guilt is believed to have been practiced for more than a century.
Mr. A goes to the shrine to report to the chief priests that Mr. B has done wrong to him by way of cheating him in a joint business, said Shofoluwe, adding the priests then typically call both parties together to resolve the dispute.

Nigeria Discovers 50 Possible Cult Victims - The Guardian, 5th August 2004.

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This page contains a single entry by Feòrag published on August 5, 2004 6:08 PM.

Christian 'witch' killers' sentence upheld was the previous entry in this blog.

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