The human language came into existence with the help of the more primitive intuitive information processing system in our brains, the one that is specialized in, and focused on, magical and religious (bullshit) thinking. For details, see this blog post, https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/the-two-information-processing-systems-ipss-in-your-brain-one-is-woo-ish-the-other-is-rational/ ; and read this Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking .
Magical thinking springs up everywhere. The phenomenon is in a way related to pareidoiia, our tendency to see human faces in patterns created by mould fungi or tree stumps, (see: http://www.livescience.com/25448-pareidolia.html ).
Emotional stress and events of personal significance push us strongly toward magical meaning-making.
Another important factor is time – or rather lack of time.
The IPS #1 is much faster than the rational and logical IPS #2 system. So if you are in a lack of time – i.e. when you have to make a quick decision – you tend to prefer teleological conclusions instead of more critical and questioning ones. If you can’t detect any visible cause, your IPS #1 has no problem inventing HCAs, Hidden Causal Agents. Cf. the invention of imaginary playmates in childhood or the creation of more or less omnipotent and omniscient divine beings in adulthood.
Our language is strongly influenced by the supposed – or at least presupposed – existence of HCAs. We use verbs that dupe us to think teleologically.
Let’s think of, for example, the verb “create”. Here are some synonyms: breed, bring about, build, cause, construct, contribute to, design, develop, engender, establish, fabricate, form, foster, generate, give rise to, initiate, launch, lead to, make, produce, promote, result in, set up, shape, sow the seeds of – need I mention any more?
Questions starting with a HOW, a WHAT or, above all, a WHY likewise prime your brain to think teleologically.
And, my third and last example, think of word constructions like “(in order) to”, meaning “used as a means of achieving a specified end/goal”.
If you don’t see my point by now, you must be blind on both eyes. 🙂 .
So no wonder we are ALL primed to think teleologically.
You can test yourself by pondering this simple sentence: “The sun is shining today and I feel warm.”
This sentence implies that the sun has – or at least may have – the intention, the purpose, to make me feel warm.
From there the next step can easily be to begin thinking of somewhat – or someone – that can explain WHY I feel a warming effect of the sunshine. For example a divine being caring for me.
That’s the story behind Hidden Causal Agents that are created by your mind, with the help of magical and religious IPS #1 in your brain.
After this rather long introduction it’s time to recommend my readers to have a look at this interesting analysis, a blog post written by one of the bloggers I follow regularly, Tom Rees: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/epiphenom/2015/10/a-world-by-design-even-atheists-intuitively-think-the-natural-world-has-a-designer.html .
Here is a quote from his article:
Research over the past few years has shown that many people intuitively think that things in the natural world exist for some ulterior purpose – almost as if they had been designed that way. We have a tendency to agree with statements such as ‘water condenses to moisten the air’, or ‘the sun shines in order to keep us warm’.
And finally, here are the conclusions of the study that Tom Rees is referring to:
 These data strongly support the idea that humans have a natural tendency to see the natural world as having a designer.
 Even more strikingly, they suggest that atheists are not naturally immune to these intuitions. Rather, they teach themselves to actively overcome them!
I myself would like to add: And true believers teach themselves – on their own or by the help of a pastor – to actively prime their minds that there must be a Creator and a first cause of everything that happens.