Scientific America explores why so many of us readily subscribe to conspiracy theories and draw conclusions from questionable patterns. It turns out we prefer type I over type II errors.
When our ancestors still hunted in the woods, it’s better to assume that rattle came from a poisonous snake and run, than to take your chances and get bitten. As a result, natural selection favoured those that assumed all patterns were real.
In other words, evolution hearted paranoia.