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How We Believe, 2nd Edition

Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God

Michael Shermer; With a new afterword

Holt Paperbacks

Recent polls report that 96 percent of Americans believe in God, and 73 percent believe that angels frequently visit Earth. People are turning to religion in greater numbers than in recent generations. Even with the rise of science, technology, and secular education, people believe. Why?

Drawing on studies that bring scientific fact to such phenomena as out-of-body experiences, coincidence, and extraordinary perception, science historian Michael Shermer dissects the workings of the human mind, exploring how and why humans put their faith in a higher power, create rules of morality, turn to apocalyptic myths, and negotiate compromises between science and religion. In this new edition, Shermer explores findings and theories from neuroscientists, as well as recent polls on religious belief, to illuminate how reason and skepticism can shape our understanding of the universe and out place in it. An all-new afterword covers the latest scientific research on how the brain make us believers or skeptics.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Part IGOD AND BELIEFR. Buckminster Fuller

Sometimes I think we’re alone.
Sometimes I think we’re not.
In either case, the thought is quite staggering.Chapter 1DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD?The Difference in Our Answers and the Difference It Makes


The word God is used in most cases as by no means a term of science or exact knowledge, but a term of poetry and eloquence, a term thrown out, so to speak, as a not fully grasped object of the speaker’s consciousness,—a literary term, in short; and mankind mean different things by it as their consciousness dif
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REVIEWS

Praise for How We Believe, 2nd Edition

"Unusually useful . . . may foreshadow a new spirit of amity and mutual inquiry." -Washington Post Book World

"Ranges eloquently and learnedly over broad areas of philosophy, theology, and science."-Scientific American

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Michael Shermer; With a new afterword

  • Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the editor of Skeptic.com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Southern California.

  • Michael Shermer Jeremy Danger
    Michael Shermer

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Available Formats and Book Details

How We Believe, 2nd Edition

Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God

Michael Shermer; With a new afterword

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Holt Paperbacks

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