[bksvol-discuss] Just submitted

  • From: "Deborah Murray" <blinkeeblink@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "BookShare" <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 01:24:47 -0400

Hi all,

I've just submitted for validation
"Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief" 
by Lewis Wolpert.

It's cleaned up; headers stripped and page numbers and chapter titles 
Approx. 250 pages.

[From the book jacket]
Why do 70 percent of Americans believe in angels, while others are convinced 
that they've been abducted by aliens? Why does every society around the 
world have a religious tradition of some sort? What makes people believe in 
improbable things when all the evidence points to the contrary?
In Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen tells Alice that to believe in 
a wildly farfetched fact, she simply needs to "draw a long breath and shut 
[her] eyes." Alice finds this advice ridiculous. But don't almost all of us, 
at some time or another, engage in magical thinking? Franklin Roosevelt and 
Winston Churchill canceled all appointments on Friday the 13th. Niels Bohr 
tacked a horseshoe over his desk-just to add some luck to his quantum 
In Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, evolutionary biologist Lewis 
Wolpert delves into the important and timely debate over the nature of 
belief, looking at belief's psychological basis to discover just what 
evolutionary purpose it could serve.
Are there advantages to imaginary friends and fantasy worlds, superstitions 
and religions? Are we born with an evolutionary defense mechanism to believe 
in things that make us feel better about the world? Wolpert leads the reader 
through all that science can tell us about the beliefs of which we are so 
instinctually sure. He deftly explores these questions and the different 
types of belief-those of children, of animals, of the religious, and of 
those suffering from psychiatric disorders-and he asks whether it is 
possible to live without belief, or whether it is a necessary component of a 
functioning society.


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