Evolution and snake/spider phobias
This study suggests that fear of spiders and snakes may be hardwired into people's brains.
My gut reaction was "Baloney" (well, cleaned up for public posting) but it is an interesting topic. The researcher has an admitted early childhood fear of spiders and snakes and therefore the findings may reflect a personal bias.
Ever since I can remember, snakes have fascinated me. I was often found lying on my belly in the shallow creek behind my gandfather's yard, turning over rocks and driftwood hoping to find snakes, frogs and salamanders. Of course, I also had an irrational fear of spiders for as long as I can remember.
When I was 7, my sister pranked me by dropping a spider on my face when I was sleeping, and it bit me on the palm when I tried to brush it off. My arm swelled up like crazy from a reaction to the bite, so maybe I was just psychic.
Or then again, maybe I evolved to hate spiders. As I'm of Irish descent and St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, my ancestors had no reason to be hardwired against snakes.