Linguist Noam Chomsky has spent much of his life studying the underlying structure of language–not the meaning of words used but their underlying form and pattern. Evolution is the hypothesized generator underlying language, which subsequently developed world wide into the various languages, all based on the underlying pre-existing patterning. (See Grammatical Man by Jeremy Campbell, Simon and Schuster). A similar underlying evolutional provision is hypothesized to exist in other areas (with some suggestive evidence) in the area of mathematics and musical talent. Incidentally, the most spoken languages as of 2020 are English: 1,132 million; Mandarin Chinese: 1,117 million speakers; Hindi 615 million; and Spanish 534 million (blog.Lingoda.com).
Perhaps a more clearcut evolutionary prescription is suggested by what has been called the spiritual gene hypothesis, fine-tuned by Dean Hamer, a molecular biologist at the National Institutes of Health. The God gene hypothesis proposes that human spirituality is influenced by heredity and that a specific gene called vesicular monoamine Transporter 2 (VMAT2) acts by altering monoamine elements and provides an evolutionary advantage by providing individuals with an innate sense of optimism (Wikipedia).
Hamer draws a sharp distinction between spirituality and religion or belief in a particular god, the latter of which is transmitted culturally. Wikipedia reports that there are approximately 4,200 active religions in the world [!] As of 2020 the breakdown is:
|Secular –Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist||1.193 billion||15.58%|
|Chinese traditional religion||394 million||5%|
|Ethnic religions excluding some in separate categories||300 million||3%|
|African traditional religions||100 million||1.2%|
|Cao Dai||4.0 million||0.05%|
|Unitarian Universalism||0.8 million||0.01%|