Carl Sagan – on the fear of darkness

As read in The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark:

“Part of the reason that children are afraid of the dark may be that, in our entire evolutionary history up until just a moment ago, they never slept alone. Instead, they nestled safely, protected by an adult, usually Mum. In the enlightened west we stick them alone in a dark room, say goodnight, and have difficulty understanding why they’re sometimes upset. It makes good evolutionary sense for children to have fantasies of scary monsters. In a world stalked by lions and hyenas, such fantasies help prevent defenceless toddlers from wandering too far from their guardians.”

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