A more reasonable approach is to focus on one specific aspect of the relationship, such as political influence. Dissecting the connection between politics and religion will provide an ample amount of information that can be used as a frame to better understand the overall impact of religion on human development, including the proposed analogy to opium.
As is the case with many sociocultural developments in the history of human development, it is difficult to place an exact beginning to the concept of religion. Indications of funerary ceremonies or traditions among proto-human great apes have been traced back past 200,000 years BC, but such practices do not sufficiently establish the characteristics of an organized religion. Evidence for the evolution of burial traditions continued for thousands of centuries. These ceremonies came to be more specific in procedure and increasingly associated with spiritual symbology, but the first organized religions would not appear until the Agricultural Revolution began to take hold in the 90th century BC.
As humans congregated in centers of agricultural production, the first economic communities (cities, states, etc.) were established. Although agriculture drew people to certain areas, the groups were commonly led by a theocracy. As the beginning of politics came as a direct result of these early communities and their unavoidable interactions, it can be clearly observed that religion had an immediate supporting role in the formation of the first political systems. Conversely, it is also true that the creation of these communities established the population bases that would be needed for theologically sympathetic humans to become organized and form the first religions. From the infancy of civilization, politics and religion have shared a fundamental bond.
Religion and politics continued to develop in