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

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Macmillan, Oct 1, 2003 - Psychology - 330 pages
4 Reviews

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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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

Contents

Do You Believe in God? The Difference in Our Answers and the Difference It Makes
2
Is God Dead? Why Nietzsche and Time Magazine Were Wrong
16
The Belief Engine How We Believe
32
Why People Believe in God An Empirical Study on a Deep Question
59
O Ye of Little Faith Proofs of God and What They Tell Us about Faith
89
RELIGION AND SCIENCE
125
In a Mirror Dimly Then Face to Face Faith Reason and the Relationship of Religion and Science
126
The Storytelling Animal Myth Morality and the Evolution of Religion
142
Glorious Contingency Goulds Dangerous Idea and the Search for Meaning in the Age of Science
214
God on the Brain
239
What Does It Mean to Study Religion Scientifically? Or How Social Scientists Do Science
263
Why People Believe in GodThe Data and Statistics
267
A Bibliographic Essay on Theism Atheism and Why People Believe in God
280
Notes
285
Credits
312
Index
315

God and the Ghost Dance The Eternal Return of the Messiah Myth
171
The Fire That Will Cleanse Millennial Meanings and the End of the World
191

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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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