The Man Who Lost His Religion To The Amazonian Pirahã Tribe

Everett with a Paraha tribesman
Many people don't understand what life would be like without religion. Those who do not subscribe to religion are often perceived as 'missing out,' or living an 'empty life.'

Most people cannot imagine what life without religion would be like simply because they have always had religion, or have always had religion around them. Their parents had religion, their grandparents had religion, and so on.

Daniel Everett was a Christian missionary and evangelist whose expertise in language led him on a mission trip where he lived among the Pirahã, a tribe of Amazon natives.

Everett's experience with the Pirahã eventually led to his rejection of Christianity, and religion in general.

Here is a wonderful clip of Everett speaking about the Pirahã, who, due to their isolation, never developed religious beliefs. This story of the Pirahã dovetails nicely with a recent University of Texas study which concluded that our brains are not predisposed to supernatural concepts. Theses concepts are gained through exposure.

Read more about Everett in the New Yorker and at The Age.


  1. Simple - Very Simple - I want to live my life with simplicity. religion complicates it.