An old theory says that fear of things like snakes and fire is built into our brain, because animals that are afraid of dangerous things live longer and have more babies.
closed as off-topic by chasly from UK, Robusto, tchrist♦, Drew, Sven Yargs Jul 27 '15 at 7:54
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There're two factors that're being discussed here: Fear and survival and their relationship to each other.
The fact remains that we're no different than animals in all ways, except for the endowment of a highly developed and complex brain.
Fear warns and thereby saves us from a risk to our very existence, by forcing us to act. It is an instinct, built in and evident right from birth. For instance, a baby cries to draw attention at the sight of a stranger. Such instincts are aimed at survival and sustenance. Nature wants every species to multiply so that the 'cycle of life' can continue.
It is hypothesized that we inherited from our anthropoid ancestors an innate fear of things like snakes and fire. The evolutionary model says that any animal so equipped to avoid dangerous things will live longer to reproduce.