How We Believe, 2nd Edition: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God

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Henry Holt and Company, Oct 1, 2003 - Psychology - 330 pages
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A new edition covering the latest scientific research on how the brain makes us believers or skeptics


Recent polls report that 96 percent of Americans believe in God, and 73 percent believe that angels regularly visit Earth. Why is this? Why, despite the rise of science, technology, and secular education, are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?


These provocative questions lie at the heart of How We Believe , an illuminating study of God, faith, and religion. Bestselling author Michael Shermer offers fresh and often startling insights into age-old questions, including how and why humans put their faith in a higher power, even in the face of scientific skepticism. Shermer has updated the book to explore the latest research and theories of psychiatrists, neuroscientists, epidemiologists, and philosophers, as well as the role of faith in our increasingly diverse modern world.


Whether believers or nonbelievers, we are all driven by the need to understand the universe and our place in it. How We Believe is a brilliant scientific tour of this ancient and mysterious desire.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel.Estes - LibraryThing

In How We Believe, author and leading skeptic Michael Shermer comes at the question of why people of all cultures in all times tend to believe in a god by addressing the anthropology of how they got ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amaraduende - LibraryThing

This was very interesting. I read Gould's book about the "nonoverlapping magisteria" so that part of Shermer's thesis was familiar. (The idea is faith and science have nothing to do with one another ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the editor of Skeptic.com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Southern California.

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