Merlin Stone, from The Politics of Women's Spirituality,
ed. by Charlene Spretnak (Anchor/Doubleday) 1982, pgs 8-9
"The first [theory on the origin of Goddess beliefs dating back several
thousand years] relies on anthropological analogy to explain the initial
development of matrilineal (mother-kinship) societies. Studies of 'primitive'
tribes over the last few centuries have led to the realization that some
isolated 'primitive' peoples, even in our own century, did not yet possess
the conscious understanding of the relationship of sex to conception.
The analogy is then drawn that Paleolithic people may have been at a similar
level of biological awareness...
If this was the case, then the mother would have been seen as the singular
parent of her family, the lone producer of the next generation...
The second line of evidence concerns the beginnings of religious beliefs
and rituals and their connection with matrilineal descent..."