Societies with a high degree of political complexity located in harsh environments tend to believe in a high god – a supernatural creator, governor, meddler and enforcer of morality.
Researchers created their model based on the environmental forces, culture, ancestry and religious beliefs found in 583 societies around the world.
They say they can predict with 91% accuracy a high level of accuracy using historical, social, and ecological data whether a community will have a belief in A moralising high god.
The findings, The ecology of religious beliefs, by Carlos A. Botero of Washington University in Saint Louis, and colleagues, are published in the journal PNAS.
The blue dots in the map below show the location of societies which exhibit beliefs in moralising high gods:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.