The Biology of Belief: How Our Biology Biases Our Beliefs and Perceptions
The Biology of Belief examines how our less than perfectly adapted brains cope with today's world. Among the things considered are how our brain biology biases our perceptions, organizes ignorance into belief systems, predisposes us to believe in supernatural spirits and permits others to manipulate our beliefs. The human brain evolved over millions of years to cope with survival and reproduction in the rudimentary world of our primitive ancestors. Inasmuch as our brain biology formed to cope with this ancient world, it should be no surprise that it has a few problems in dealing with the complexities of modern life. The process by which we come to believe something new involves a labyrinth of thought-influencing biological and other factors. In attempting to understand this labyrinth and its effect on how we acquire beliefs, this work addresses a number of considerations including memes. Other elements considered are brain module interactions, neurotransmitters, inborn biological predispositions and the interdependence of belief and perception. Together with other factors, they collectively comprise the biology of belief. The book is a synthesis that explains biological evolution, memes and genetic algorithms (creatures that evolve in computer environments) as specific cases of the more general concept of self-organizing knowledge.
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