To stay on topic I will post over the title: Pareidolia.
Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon in which people see shapes or hear sounds which they consider to be significant when they are not and in some cases, don’t exist at all.
I was just thinking about how this is almost all religion, and I use the word almost loosely. Let's start with something I know all too well: Baptist. My grandmother was helplessly praying all night and day long when gramps died. Now, gramps had an old song that he created for me over Sam (their dog) and the possam (possum) and he would sing it every time I asked. A few weeks after he passed Sam was sitting next to a possum under a tree (as the song says) and my grandmother crumpled under the weight of what she called the Lord. She and my mother proclaimed God had allowed gramps to say hello to my grandmother.
Even atheists have these stuck to their mind. Say that old rhyme; Step on a crack, break your mother's back. There's one we joke a bout sometimes right? We all have used some kind of signs to help us or amuse us throughout life at least once. Never-the-less we do believe these and follow them sometimes.
I guess I am just trying to relate religion to normal human behavior. I think religion should be studied in schools like diversity and in the terms of sociology.
Direct copy from my (new) blog, reposted here.