Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New book - why we believe in gods

I was sent a review copy of this book. It’s next in line for read with a review to follow. At 144 pages, I don’t expect it will take too long to read. The forward is by Richard Dawkins.

Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faithwhy we believe in god(s). A concise guide to the science of faith. (Pitchstone Publishing, June 2011) By J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD with Clare Aukofer. 144 pages.

From the press kit – Thomson and Aukofer draws on the most up-to-date research, along with studies stretching back to Darwin, and revels how religion took shape in the mind, and has kept a hold on it.

“We now know how and why human minds generate religious belief,” Thomson explains. “We’ve put together the pieces of the puzzle and expose the mind’s mechanisms that produce supernatural beliefs, the idea of souls, the notion of gods, and all else that built religions large and small.”

From Sam Harris:

“Andy Thomson, with Clare Aukofer, has written a wonderfully concise introduction to our growing scientific understanding of religion. If you would like to learn, in the span of an hour, why we have every reason to believe that God is man-made – this is the book to read.”

About the authors:

J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D. (Andy) is a psychiatrist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia Student Health Services and the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. Dr. Thomson’s current research interest is in the area of evolutionary psychology and using its principles to understand depression, suicide terrorism, and religious belief.

Clare Aukofer first collaborated with Andy Thompson when both were at the University of Virginia’s Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction. For more than a dozen years she was editor of Helix, the quarterly magazine of the University of Virginia medical center, and director of communications for the medical center.  She has won numerous awards for writing and editing and her biography has been included in several variations of Marquis “Who’s Who.”  A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she is the youngest of seven children and the product of twelve years of Catholic education.  She lives in Charlottesville, VA.

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