“God” Part of the Brain
A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God
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Is Man the product of a God...or is “God” the product of human evolution?
From the dawn of our species, every human culture—no matter how isolated—has believed in some form of a spiritual realm. According to author Matthew Alper, this is no mere coincidence but rather due to the fact that humans, as a species, are genetically predisposed to believe in the universal concepts of a god, a soul and an afterlife. This instinct to believe is the result of an evolutionary adaptation—a coping mechanism—that emerged in our species to help us survive our unique and otherwise debilitating awareness of death.
Spiritual seekers and atheists alike will be compelled and transformed by Matthew Alper’s classic study of science and religion. The ‘God’ Part of the Brain has gained critical acclaim from some of the world’s leading scientists, secular humanists, and theologians, and is as a must read for anyone who has pondered the question of God’s existence, as well as the meaning of our own.
Praise for The "God" Part of the Brain
"This cult classic in many ways parallels Rene Descartes' search for reliable and certain knowledge...Drawing on such disciplines as philosophy, psychology, and biology, Alper argues that belief in a spiritual realm is an evolutionary coping method that developed to help humankind deal with the fear of death...Highly recommended."— Library Journal
"I very much enjoyed the account of your spiritual journey and believe it would make excellent reading for every college student - the resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education. It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience." — Edward O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize-Winner
"This is an essential book for those in search of a scientific understanding of man's spiritual nature. Matthew Alper navigates the reader through a labyrinth of intriguing questions and then offers undoubtedly clear answers that lead to a better understanding of our objective reality." — Elena Rusyn, MD, PhD; Gray Laboratory; Harvard Medical School
"What a wonderful book you have written. It was not only brilliant and provocative but also revolutionary in its approach to spirituality as an inherited trait."— Arnold Sadwin, MD, former chief of Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania
"A lively manifesto...For the discipline's specific application to the matter at hand, I've seen nothing that matches the fury of The 'God' Part of the Brain, which perhaps explains why it's earned something of a cult following." — Salon.com
"All 6 billion plus inhabitants of Earth should be in possession of this book. Alper's tome should be placed in the sacred writings' section of libraries, bookstores, and dwellings throughout the world. Matthew Alper is the new Galileo...Immensely important...Defines in a clear and concise manner what each of us already knew but were afraid to admit and exclaim."— John Scoggins, PhD
"Vibrant ... vivacious. An entertaining and provocative introduction to speculations concerning the neural basis of spirituality."— Free Inquiry Magazine
What a disappointment
This author seems to believe his readers are mentally deficient children who need to have the same points repeated over and over. And he's not a very good writer. He uses the same worn out phrases in sentence after sentence, never realizing that it might be a good idea to vary sentence structure and length. He also uses the wrong word sometimes - like incredulous when he means incredible. And we haven't even gotten to content yet.
He keeps equating traits and behaviors common to all members of a species with traits and behaviors common to all societies of humans. They're not the same thing at all! And it's absurd to claim that the propensity toward religiosity is universal in humans. There are millions of atheists in the world. Millions. That's hardly a rare aberration. But it's the cornerstone of his premise! He also doesn't bother address the many reasons for primitive humans to turn to supernatural explanations for the mysteries surrounding them and how or why that need has changed with the advent of scientific understanding. It would be fascinating to explore, but this writer is so wrapped up in his self-congratulatory delusions of omniscience that we all miss out.
There probably IS a god part of the brain. The "I am truly blessed" reviewer is clearly afflicted with it. Unfortunately, this author just didn't come close to proving it. Or even making a good, convincing argument. In fact, "Blessed" did a better job of making the author's point. Good job there, mindless believer.
Bottom line, there are so many inaccuracies and misleading premises in this book that the author managed to defeat his own purpose with its publication.
Not worth ten dollars
The author makes the same points countless times. When he talks of all the "gods", he mentions Buddha, who is not a god but a prophet like person. Also his "universal god theory" is incorrect because the Greek and Egyptian gods make mistakes like normal humans, whereas the Christian god is perfect and all knowing. And last, Greek and Egyptian religions are polytheistic and The Christian religion is monotheistic, therefore not the same god.
He talks of humans as robots with no soul. But you can take out the hard drive or processor to a robot and the bot will continue without damage. But if someone dies of heart failure, even if the heart is replaced with a new strong heart the person will not awaken like a robot would.
The God Part of the Brain
Some of the most reasonable and compelling arguments that the religious experience is nothing more than a biologically programmed delusion to be studied, understood and eventually dismantled by neuroscience.
A great read!