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How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science

How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the beginning of the twentieth century, social scientists predicted that belief in God would decrease by the end of the century because of the secularization of society, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Despite Nietzche's claim that God is dead, He has never been more alive for millions of believers who stand steadfast in their convictions. Why is this? Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?

In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. How We Believe offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions and examines:

• What it means to believe in God

• "Proofs" of God and what they tell us about religious faith

• The relationship between science and religion

• How humans, as the storytelling animal, came to become Homo religious

• How to find the sacred in the age of science

This edition includes a new introduction by the author that brings readers up to date on recent studies on prayer and healing, on the changing religious attitudes and beliefs of Americans, and on the controversial debate about the relationship of science and religion that continues to grab headlines. Shermer also addresses his critics, both believers and atheists, on why belief or disbelief in God is not a question of evidence but of faith. Yet having been a believer and studied the history of science, Shermer is open-minded and inclusive throughout the book. He is most interested in knowing how and why, not in showing right or wrong.

Thought provoking, comprehensive, and well researched, How We Believe is certain to spark lively debate among believers and nonbelievers alike.

Michael Shermer is publisher of Skeptic magazine, director of the Skeptics Society, and host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology. He teaches the history of science, technology, and evolutionary thought at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He also hosts Science Talk, a radio program on the NPR-affiliate KPCC, and is a co-host of Fox Family TV's "Exploring the Unknown."

At the beginning of the twentieth century, social scientists predicted that belief in God would decrease by the end of the century due to the secularization of society. Today, nothing could be further from the truth. Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Despite Nietzsche's claim that God is dead, He has never been more alive for millions of believersmost of whom stand steadfast in their convictions. Why is this? Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?

In How We Believe, Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. His book thus offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions about God, faith, religion, and the very notion of a higher power.

This paperback edition includes a new introduction by the author that brings us up to date concerning recent studies on prayer and healing, on the changing religious attitudes and beliefs of Americans, and on the controversial debate about the relationship of science and religion. Shermer also addresses his critics, both believers and atheists, on why belief or disbelief in God is not a question of evidence but of faith. However, having been a believer and studied the history of science, Shermer is open-minded and inclusive throughout the book. He is most interested in knowing how and why, not in showing right or wrong.

"Well-researched, comprehensive, and persuasive. How We Believe is especially notable in stressing the great power of narration as the vehicle of complex thought . . . The humanistic, evolutionary explanation may in fact be ready to break out of the intellectually remote domain in which it has been developed and too long hemmed-in."Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, author of Consilience

"This is an important book, which is at the same time a great read. Michael Shermer digs into the American religious psyche with devastating logic and intensity . . . Too often politeness (or cowardice) prevents people from asking questions or from expressing dissent. No such barriers stand in the way of Shermer's acute intellect, the more powerful since he so obviously cares about the issues on which he writes. I love his discussions of God and morality and when I disagree, I simply want to argue the more."Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, author of Taking Darwin Seriously

"Shermer's latest contribution is an insightful tour de force that will no doubt provoke virtually everyone who reads it. Those who approach this intriguing and informative book with a receptive mind will come away with a much deeper appreciation for the wonderful interplay of biology and culture that makes us who we areperhaps unique creatures in the universe."Donald Johanson, Director of the Institute of Human Origins, author of From Lucy to Language

"Those who enjoyed Michael Shermer's acclaimed Why People Believe Weird Things will welcome the extension of his critical but balanced study of the belief in God . . . Insightful, intriguing, and enlightening."American Scientist

"This book will convince and delight all who are not chronically averse to opening their minds and thinking for themselves."Richard Dawkins, author of Unweaving the Rainbow

"[How We Believe] is unusually useful . . . It sheds unique light on the interior life of a well-informed atheist today, and may foreshadow a new spirit of amity and mutual inquiry."The Washington Post Book World

"[Shermer] brilliantly explores our propensity to be story-telling animals."Natural History

"[Shermer's] discussion ranges eloquently and learnedly over broad areas of philosophy, theology, and science."Scientific American

"[Shermer's] human understanding of the roots of faith is no insult to those of another persuasion. My hope is that plenty of people, reading the title of this book and its subtitle, will pick it up rather than the latest Hal Lindsey on the shelf below. Herein lies enlightenment."The Times of Acadiana

"Anyone interested in contemporary discussions on science and religion will find this book immensely helpful."Science Book & Film

"Although Shermer's arguments will probably not be decisive for debates between nonbelievers and believers, both will be able to appreciate this readable and generally fair-minded treatment of a subject that often provokes contentious dispute."Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. The result offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions.

Synopsis:

At the beginning of the twentieth century, social scientists predicted that belief in God would decrease by the end of the century because of the secularization of society, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Despite Nietzche's claim that God is dead, He has never been more alive for millions of believers who stand steadfast in their convictions. Why is this? Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?

In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. How We Believe offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions and examines:

• What it means to believe in God

• "Proofs" of God and what they tell us about religious faith

• The relationship between science and religion

• How humans, as the storytelling animal, came to become Homo religious

• How to find the sacred in the age of science

This edition includes a new introduction by the author that brings readers up to date on recent studies on prayer and healing, on the changing religious attitudes and beliefs of Americans, and on the controversial debate about the relationship of science and religion that continues to grab headlines. Shermer also addresses his critics, both believers and atheists, on why belief or disbelief in God is not a question of evidence but of faith. Yet having been a believer and studied the history of science, Shermer is open-minded and inclusive throughout the book. He is most interested in knowing how and why, not in showing right or wrong.

Thought provoking, comprehensive, and well researched, How We Believe is certain to spark lively debate among believers and nonbelievers alike.

About the Author

Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and the director of the Skeptics Society, has appeared on numerous nationally syndicated talk shows including Oprah, 20/20, Dateline, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, Politically Incorrect, and Leeza. One of the leading experts on weird and extraordinary claims, religion, spiritualism, and the millennium, Shermer has been interviewed for documentaries for A & E, Discovery, and the Learning Channel.. An adjunct professor at Occidental College, Shermer also hosts Science Talk, a radio program on NPR affiliate KPCC and is co-host of Fox Family TV's "Exploring the Unknown." He is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things. Shermer lives in Altadena, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805073829
Subtitle:
The Search for God in an Age of Science
Publisher:
Times Books
Author:
Shermer, Michael
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Social Psychology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20001101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Illustrations:
35 bandw illustrations
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Related Subjects

Religion » Western Religions » General

How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science
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Product details 352 pages Times Books - English 9780805073829 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. The result offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions.

"Synopsis" by ,
At the beginning of the twentieth century, social scientists predicted that belief in God would decrease by the end of the century because of the secularization of society, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recent polls show that 96% of Americans believe in God. Despite Nietzche's claim that God is dead, He has never been more alive for millions of believers who stand steadfast in their convictions. Why is this? Why are people turning to religion in greater numbers than ever before? Why do people believe in God at all?

In How We Believe, Michael Shermer presents the results of an exhaustive empirical study in which he asked 10,000 Americans how and why they believe and about details of their faith. How We Believe offers fresh and startling insights into age-old questions and examines:

• What it means to believe in God

• "Proofs" of God and what they tell us about religious faith

• The relationship between science and religion

• How humans, as the storytelling animal, came to become Homo religious

• How to find the sacred in the age of science

This edition includes a new introduction by the author that brings readers up to date on recent studies on prayer and healing, on the changing religious attitudes and beliefs of Americans, and on the controversial debate about the relationship of science and religion that continues to grab headlines. Shermer also addresses his critics, both believers and atheists, on why belief or disbelief in God is not a question of evidence but of faith. Yet having been a believer and studied the history of science, Shermer is open-minded and inclusive throughout the book. He is most interested in knowing how and why, not in showing right or wrong.

Thought provoking, comprehensive, and well researched, How We Believe is certain to spark lively debate among believers and nonbelievers alike.

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