Fear is sometimes good for you. It can help you anticipate and avoid danger, and remain safe. It functions the same way pain does—its purpose is your survival.
E.O. Wilson says that one of the clues as to our common African origin is our instinctive fear of snakes. One’s first impulse when encountering one, no matter how harmless it might actually be, is alarm.
But when you start thinking that every strange sound or movement may be a poisonous snake, you have a different problem altogether.
It’s no surprise then that man, Aristotle’s political animal, should bring his survival instincts...