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By Dan Fake - I thought it is of interest given the second object.....
(don't be shy people...discussion is good ;) )
Thanks to posts in alt.atheism and talk.philosophy.humanism,
I discovered the following book, recently published, which
offers a vivid and focused explanation for the naturalistic
processes involved in the origins and progression of religion
in human societies across the globe, from the perspective of
cultural anthropology ...
by Pascal Boyer
Hardcover - 300 pages (May 22, 2001)
Basic Books; ISBN: 0465006957 ;
Dimensions (in inches): 1.33 x 9.52 x 6.49
Review from Library Journal:
"Utilizing cross-cultural studies and a multidisciplinary
approach, anthropologist Boyer (Luce Professor of
Collective Memory and Individual Memory, Washington
Univ.) argues that the origin, development, and diversity
of religion are scientifically explainable within the naturalistic
frameworks of evolutionary biology and cognitive psychol-
His point of departure is the complex human brain and its
mental activity, both being a result of natural selection
enhancing the adaptation, survival, and reproductive suc-
cess of our social ancestors through over four million years
of hominid evolution.
Boyer focuses on the inference systems and intuitive expec-
tations of evolved human brain capacities to account for
the biocultural origin of religious concepts and supernatural
agents (e.g., gods, ghosts, demons, spirits, and witches).
He is to be commended for his scholarly and critical examin-
ation of religion. Some readers may find his arguments difficult
to follow and to accept, but this is nevertheless a significant
contribution to anthropology. Especially recommended for
academic libraries. H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc."
-Dan Fake, Pro-Humanist FREELOVER