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Why God Won't Go Away

Brain Science and the Biology of Belief

by Andrew Newberg, M.D., Eugene d'Aquili

Why God Won't Go Away
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2002, 240 pages

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Ken Adamson (12/30/02)

Well thought-out and documented. The facts presented may support conclusions other than those the authors support. This being the case, the reader may want to brainstorm objectively their own conclusion rather than accept or rule out anything.
In essence, are the neurological and physical changes documented from religious subjects a sign that the brain is creating an impression of God or that the subject is experiencing a manifestation of God.
While an interesting exploration, we're still left where we started. The substance of the believer is faith, the substance of the agnotisc is doubt. The aesthists remain faithfully sure in proof of God's non-existance. The facts presented remain supportable to their collective disciplines.
ceoawa@maine.rr.com (05/18/02)

This is an outstanding book. Having been brought up in a scientific household, I have long suspected that the prevalence of religion in human history can only be explained by evolutionary theory, i.e., there must be an evolutionary advantage to the brain structures that cause humans to believe in god, in the face of so much contrary evidence. This book does an elegant job of positing just such an advantage, but it also does more. It offers evidence of the precise brain structures that give rise to religious feeling, and makes a good case for how they came into being in the first place. Clearly the book will have its detractors, principally other scientists envying the authors' job of putting their hypothesis together. And it is certainly plausible that some aspects of their supporting evidence may be in need of refinement. In the main, however, they have made a major contribution to resolving one of the central issues of our time, the seeming conflict between science and religion. Moreover, they suggest a moral implication, which is that when people understand the common biological basis of religion, perhaps they will begin to realize the stupidity of religious intolerance. Can anything be more important to the survival of our species?
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