Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods

Early Humans and the Origins of Religion
Author: E. Fuller Torrey
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231544863
Category: Science
Page: 291
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Religions and mythologies from around the world teach that God or gods created humans. Atheist, humanist, and materialist critics, meanwhile, have attempted to turn theology on its head, claiming that religion is a human invention. In this book, E. Fuller Torrey draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to propose a startling answer to the ultimate question. Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods locates the origin of gods within the human brain, arguing that religious belief is a by-product of evolution. Based on an idea originally proposed by Charles Darwin, Torrey marshals evidence that the emergence of gods was an incidental consequence of several evolutionary factors. Using data ranging from ancient skulls and artifacts to brain imaging, primatology, and child development studies, this book traces how new cognitive abilities gave rise to new behaviors. For instance, autobiographical memory, the ability to project ourselves backward and forward in time, gave Homo sapiens a competitive advantage. However, it also led to comprehension of mortality, spurring belief in an alternative to death. Torrey details the neurobiological sequence that explains why the gods appeared when they did, connecting archaeological findings including clothing, art, farming, and urbanization to cognitive developments. This book does not dismiss belief but rather presents religious belief as an inevitable outcome of brain evolution. Providing clear and accessible explanations of evolutionary neuroscience, Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods will shed new light on the mechanics of our deepest mysteries.

God's Brain

Author: Lionel Tiger,Michael McGuire
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1633883388
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 4774

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In the fractious debate on the existence of God and the nature of religion, two distinguished authors radically alter the discussion. Taking a perspective rooted in evolutionary biology with a focus on brain science, the authors elucidate the perennial questions about religion: What is its purpose? How did it arise? What is its source? Why does every known culture have some form of it? Their answer is deceptively simple, yet at the same time highly complex: The brain creates religion and its varied concepts of God, and then in turn feeds on its creation to satisfy innate neurological and associated social needs. Brain science reveals that humans and other primates alike are afflicted by unavoidable sources of stress that the authors describe as "brainpain." To cope with this affliction people seek to "brainsoothe." We humans use religion and its social structures to induce brainsoothing as a relief for innate anxiety. How we do this is the subject of this groundbreaking book. In a concise, lively, accessible, and witty style, the authors combine zoom-lens vignettes of religious practices with discussions of the latest research on religion’s neurological effects on the brain. Among other topics, they consider religion’s role in providing positive socialization, its seeming obsession with regulating sex, creating an afterlife, how religion’s rules of behavior influence the law, the common biological scaffolding between nonhuman primates and humans and how this affects religion, a detailed look at brain chemistry and how it changes as a result of stress, and evidence that the palliative effects of religion on brain chemistry is not matched by nonreligious remedies. Concluding with a checklist offering readers a means to compute their own "brainsoothe score," this fascinating book provides key insights into the complexities of our brain and the role of religion, perhaps its most remarkable creation.

Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods

A Conversation on Faith, Psychology and Neuroscience
Author: Malcolm Jeeves
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830895620
Category: Religion
Page: 225
View: 4950

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The field of psychology, and especially neuropsychology, can be daunting for Christian students trying to find their way. In the face of surprising new research and radical new theories, it is tempting to limit the integration of Christianity and psychology to relatively "safe" topics that one can easily differentiate from matters of faith. In Minds, Brains, Souls and Gods, the highly esteemed professor of psychology, Malcolm Jeeves, insists on addressing the difficult questions head-on. Do I have a soul? How free am I? What makes me uniquely human? Does my brain have a "God spot"? In this hypothetical correspondence with a student, Jeeves argues that we must avoid false choices in the relation between Scripture and science. Christians need not choose between a "God of the gaps" that competes with science, a "neurotheology" that bases our understanding of God on the latest scientific theory, or a scientific reductionism that claims to have explained God away as a mere function of the brain. Students encountering the brave new world of neuroscience need not view such research as a threat to the faith. With the wisdom of a seasoned scholar, Jeeves guides us down the road less-traveled—the way of integration.

The Neurobiology of the Gods

How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams
Author: Erik D. Goodwyn
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113649684X
Category: Psychology
Page: 272
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Where does science end and religion begin? Can "spiritual" images and feelings be understood on a neurobiological level without dismissing their power and mystery? In this book, psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn addresses these questions by reviewing decades of research, putting together a compelling argument that the emotional imagery of myth and dreams can be traced to our deep brain physiology, and importantly, how a sensitive look at this data reveals why mythic or religious symbols are indeed more "godlike" than we might have imagined. The Neurobiology of the Gods weaves together Jungian depth psychology with research in evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, mental imagery, dream research, and metaphor theory into a comprehensive model of how our brains contribute to the recurrent images of dreams, myth, religion and even hallucinations. Divided into three sections, this book provides: definitions and foundations an examination of individual symbols conclusive thoughts on how brain physiology shapes the recurring images that we experience. Goodwyn shows how common dream, myth and religious experiences can be meaningful and purposeful without discarding scientific rigor. The Neurobiology of the Gods will therefore be essential reading for Jungian analysts and psychologists as well as those with an interest in philosophy, anthropology and the interface between science and religion.

Ancient Aliens the Healing of Billie: Save Planet Earth

Author: William Stanley Henderson Jr.
Publisher: Fulton Books, Inc.
ISBN: 1633382613
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: N.A
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By writing the book of the Ancient Alien Angels the Healing of Billie, I am releasing my anger at society and religion and mostly my parents for the abuse that I had placed upon me by their actions thoughts. Then through forgiveness I set myself free of the past and releasing them from me so that they no longer have a hold or say or power in my life. I have taken back my power from them and they no longer can make me feel like a victim a helpless child that I no longer view myself as a victim in life. My book is an in depth look into my life from birth to now 65 years later every event in my life I have seen and from the eyes of the child within through my teen age years into adult hood from anger and hate to love and peace within. I had locked away the inner child not wanting to face my past and as society religion and my parents had made me feel like a bad person and I did not want to show the world around me my dark past and I locked Billie in a cage and hid him from myself and the world and now Billie is free and so am I.

The Believing Brain

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
Author: Michael Shermer
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781429972611
Category: Psychology
Page: 400
View: 4607

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The Believing Brain is bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths. Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.

If Only God Used His Brain

Ahead of Time
Author: Snofla Sacul
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 1465335676
Category: Religion
Page: 240
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In order to understand this provocative article as my personal analogy, that is, concerning my outlook on life and religion, especially my critical view referring to the creation of our universe and life, including all diseases here on earth. I will try my best to present my analogy in a most rational way, explaining all the short comings, in reference to our life including my belief in the Judeo - Catholic religion. I will especially scrutinize the Judeo-Christian religion, to which I was introduced in my childhood. Unfortunately, history and my passed life are now in a distant passed. Yes, I soon realized, that I had to change my stalemated view on life to which I was introduced in my childhood. I had to bring it to a platform of a new concept to view Nature and religion from a different angle, to a platform of reality. As for myself, I sense a negative opinion as to my most open and forward references concerning religion and God. Some may call me “The Diablo’s Incarnates” Surely; each one of us has the privilege to his own opinion. This book has no intention to change anyone’s mind. Its porpoise is to expose the hidden truth, which may never be exposed to you otherwise. I also would like to point out, that in many instances I have repeated myself only to accentuate and highlight the subject in a given paragraph. In anticipated criticism and religious hate I am asking to stay anonymous for various reasons. If truth is the reason to hate and cause mental unhappiness, then one must have objection to the existence of God, as God is the only truth!

They Would Be Gods

Author: Anthony K. Forwood
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 1257373625
Category: Curiosities and wonders
Page: 434
View: 665

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The Kingdom of God Is Green

Author: Paul Gilk
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1621899918
Category: Religion
Page: 298
View: 5854

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In the early 1970s, living in inner-city St. Louis, Paul Gilk asked his friends to explain why small farms were dying. The answers did not satisfy. Years of study followed. Through the reading of history, Gilk began to grasp the origins of both horticulture and agriculture, their blossoming into Neolithic agrarian village culture, and the impoundment of the agrarian village by bandit aristocrats at the formation of what we now call civilization. Getting a grip on the relationship between agriculture and civilization was one thing; but, as a person strongly influenced by Gospel stories, Gilk also wanted to know what the connection might be between the kingdom of God proclamation in the canonical Gospels and the peasant world from which Jesus arose. Aided in his thinking by the works of biblical scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, Gilk began to realize that the kingdom of God was both a harkening back to the peace and freedom of precivilized agrarian village and a revolutionary anticipation of a postcivilized village-mindedness organized organically on the basis of radical servanthood and radical stewardship. We are, Gilk says, entering the dawn of this Green culture simultaneously with the deepening of civilized world disaster.

Your Faithful Brain: Designed for so Much More!

Author: Dr. Leonard Matheson
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 1490858598
Category: Religion
Page: 274
View: 9670

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Do you want more out of life? In Your Faithful Brain, Dr. Matheson introduces several powerful brain capacities that can be harnessed through an active relationship with God. You can take advantage of these capacities by developing a “faithful brain”. Using more than four hundred recent neuroscientific references, Dr. Matheson makes the case for the life and teaching of Jesus as your optimal path to brain health and fitness. Dr. Matheson explains how to handle anxiety, depression, and trauma and move toward Jesus’ promise of “life to the full”. You will experience hope and joy and peace as you grow beyond your circumstances. Thought-provoking and exciting, Your Faithful Brain aligns neuroscience with the Biblical narrative of redemption. Faith and neuroscience belong together, because your spiritual and physical lives must be integrated to optimize health and longevity.

Invisible Forces and Powerful Beliefs

Gravity, Gods, and Minds
Author: Chicago Social Brain Network
Publisher: FT Press
ISBN: 0137075456
Category: Religion
Page: 222
View: 3439

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Can science and religion work together, after all? * *Synthesizes an extraordinary five-year long conversation about humanity's deepest questions, by a group of highly respected scientists, physicians, philosophers, and theologians. *Beyond 'science vs. religion' wars: insights that draw on the latest research and enduring wisdom. *Answers and questions that point to a richer understanding of who we are, what we share, and what it means. Can religion and science co-exist? Do they? Is religion hardwired in humans? Invisible Forces and Powerful Belief seeks to answer these questions. The book, from the Chicago Social Brain Network, is the result of an extraordinary ongoing conversation among a group of highly respected scientists, physicians, philosophers, and theologians. Together, they share profound insights into the deepest questions humans ask and explore the invisible forces and powerful beliefs that shape our lives. Their insights reflect both humanity's latest science and its most enduring wisdom. Their answers and questions will challenge readers and reward them with a richer understand of who we are, what we share, and what it means. * *What do we really know about human nature? *How do we see what we see, know what we know, feel what we feel? *How do people come to believe in God? *Where does empathy come from? *What are the health benefits of faith? *Where do you end, and others begin? *What do marriage, family, and friendship mean? *How can people repair the broken connections that keep them lonely? The Chicago Social Brain Project is an ongoing network of more than a dozen scholars unbounded by disciplinary precincts, geographical borders, or methodological perspectives. The Network's goal is to set aside the antagonisms that have grown up between science and humanities in order to explore diverse ways of seeing the world, and shed new light on the human mind. Its scholars hail from psychology, neurology, theology, statistics, philosophy, internal medicine, anthropology, sociology, and other disciplines. Network members interact constantly, and the entire Network convenes twice annually for a four-day retreat to discuss, critique, and learn from each others' work

By Word of Mouth

The Poetry of Dennis Cooley
Author: Dennis Cooley
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
ISBN: 1554587409
Category: Poetry
Page: 84
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Dennis Cooley, one of Canada’s most prominent poets, says writing becomes political when you play with certain kinds of voices. His poetry has been influenced and inspired by the prairies and other Canadian poets, but he insists on disturbing the formal poetic inheritance he esteems. His engagement with a variety of speaking voices asks that readers question authority and challenge institutional privilege. In By Word of Mouth, a collection from across his career, readers will discover how Cooley returns to the prairie vernacular and speaks to Canadian identity. Poetry, says Cooley, is about our time and our place. Nicole Markotić’s introductory essay discusses how Dennis Cooley plays with poetic reference, inspires with syntactical surprises, parodies contemporary writing, and indulges in wild, celebratory puns. This book roams around Dennis Cooley’s poetical world and invites the reader to play along.

God?s Illusion Machine

Author: Mayesvara dasa
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 1493121499
Category: Philosophy
Page: 532
View: 4152

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In the tidal wave of intellectual argument that followed the 2006 release of Richard Dawkins's God Delusion book, a fierce debate has raged between atheism and religion over the existence of God, leaving the world's scientists and laymen largely undecided in their opinion. God's Illusion Machine presents a fascinating alternative to a debate that has largely been argued within the framework of Christian versus science concepts. Drawing upon the world's oldest body of knowledge (the Vedas), the author describes the massive illusion to which we are all subjected as we mistakenly believe ourselves to be physical creations of the material world. In God's Illusion Machine, the material world is gradually exposed as the ultimate virtual reality machine for wayward souls who prefer a self-centred, rather than a God-centred, existence. In contrast to Richard Dawkins's assertion that the religious are suffering a delusion for believing in God, the author argues that both the atheists and the religious are under the spell of God's deluding energy called Mäyä, which acts in reciprocation with a soul's desire to be in illusion within the physical realm. By applying the profound spiritual insights of Vedic knowledge along with a healthy dose of common sense and good humour, God's Illusion Machine is an enthralling exposé of the deceptive nature of the material world and the false claims of materialists regarding the nature of life and love. It is a triumph of spirituality over both atheistic materialism and religious dogmatism. God's Illusion Machine is a work of major importance realigning Western religion, philosophy, and science with eternal spiritual truths, an enlightening read for both the atheist and the religious, bringing spiritual certainty and true love to bewildered souls in troubled times. For atheists who like a good argument, for the religious who are stuck for a reply to Richard Dawkins, for fans of fantasy and sci-fi where forces of light and illusion contend in battle, and for you, the reader, whatever your disposition, this book will forever change your outlook on life and its meaning. As the rising sun disperses the darkness of night, so in the presence of Krishna (The Absolute Truth), mäyä (illusion) cannot stand.

Your God Spot

How the Brain Makes and the Mind Shapes All Forms of Faith
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 9781467052689
Category: Psychology
Page: 172
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"Your God Spot" is based on scientific findings about God, spirit, and religion. Spiritual hardwiring in the brain is the source of all deity and belief, from whichthe mind projects all forms of faith everywhere. This new view sheds light on the most basic and perplexing questions about belief. Subtitled "How the Brain Makes and the Mind Shapes All Forms of Faith," this book consists of three tight fitting parts. Part I, "In the Mirror of Spirit" directs your attention to the God Spot within. Part I, "Through a Prism of Religion,"describes the forms of faith projected by the mind, including their pros and cons. And Part III, "Out the Window of Belief," focuses on some faiths that measures up, and how you can fulfill your spirituality, no matter your state of belief. Seven chaptersbrimwith reader-friendly information and application. There are opening questions and closingstatements.emphasized text, table highlights, quotes from experts, and a "Mirror into Me" vignette from theauthor's clinical experience. "Your God Spot" addsa new choice--free-ist--to the old categories of atheist, atheist, and agnostic. This means that we are now free to tailor make our own belief, and to alter it to fit as wegrow. An extensive bibliography anchorsthis new view, and guides the reader who wants to dive deeper yet.

Minds and Gods

The Cognitive Foundations of Religion
Author: Todd Tremlin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198041559
Category: Psychology
Page: 256
View: 1902

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Around the world and throughout history, in cultures as diverse as ancient Mesopotamia and modern America, human beings have been compelled by belief in gods and developed complex religions around them. But why? What makes belief in supernatural beings so widespread? And why are the gods of so many different people so similar in nature? This provocative book explains the origins and persistence of religious ideas by looking through the lens of science at the common structures and functions of human thought. The first general introduction to the "cognitive science of religion," Minds and Gods presents the major themes, theories, and thinkers involved in this revolutionary new approach to human religiosity. Arguing that we cannot understand what we think until we first understand how we think, the book sets out to study the evolutionary forces that modeled the modern human mind and continue to shape our ideas and actions today. Todd Tremlin details many of the adapted features of the brain -- illustrating their operation with examples of everyday human behavior -- and shows how mental endowments inherited from our ancestral past lead many people to naturally entertain religious ideas. In short, belief in gods and the social formation of religion have their genesis in biology, in powerful cognitive processes that all humans share. In the course of illuminating the nature of religion, this book also sheds light on human nature: why we think we do the things we do and how the reasons for these things are so often hidden from view. This discussion ranges broadly across recent scientific findings in areas such as paleoanthropology, primate studies, evolutionary psychology, early brain development, and cultural transmission. While these subjects are complex, the story is told here in a conversational style that is engaging, jargon free, and accessible to all readers. With Minds and Gods , Tremlin offers a roadmap to a fascinating and growing field of study, one that is sure to generate interest and debate and provide readers with a better understanding of themselves and their beliefs.

We Are Gods

Jesus Said So
Author: Pablo H. Solutin
Publisher: Pablo Solutin
ISBN: 160441796X
Category: Religion
Page: 74
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Pablo H. Solutin brings to the heart of the reader the verses in the Bible that underscore how Godas power works in His best-loved creationaman. Most of these verses are seldom heard from religious leaders and teachers. Pablo explains how these verses can change our life and make the image of God in man work again.

The God-Shaped Brain

How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life
Author: Timothy R. Jennings
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830834168
Category: Religion
Page: 256
View: 1725

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Tim Jennings, one of America's top psychiatrists, here reveals how our brains and bodies thrive when we have a healthy understanding of who God is. Exposing how different God concepts affect the brain differently, Dr. Jennings forges surprising new connections between neuroscience, health and right belief.

Lord Brain

Author: Bruce Beasley
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820327303
Category: Poetry
Page: 95
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Lord Brain is an extended meditation on the psyche (in its double sense of mind and soul) in its relationship to that three-pound bundle in our skull. Bruce Beasley’s collection of thirty-one poems is named for Sir Walter Russell Brain, or Lord Brain (1895-1966), the eminent British neuroscientist and author of Brain’s Diseases of the Nervous System. Bringing into conversation the disparate fields of neuroscience, theology, linguistics, particle physics, and theology, these poems investigate in both lyrical and scientific terms the relationship of brain to mind and soul, and of brain to the cosmos and God. Whether discussing cosmology or astrophysics, neurobiology or insect physiology, Lord Brain connects the inner cosmos of our human anatomy with the external forces (material and divine) that brought the cosmos into being.

Changing of the Gods

The Future of Judeo-Christian-Islamic Religion in a Postmodern World
Author: Bob Ping
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 9781449087111
Category: History
Page: 628
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This book is about the major changes taking place as the world begins to make the transition from the Modern to the Postmodern Era, especially those changes that are already affecting Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The author takes the reader through an account of how certain beliefs are formed -- including beliefs in magic, superstition, myth, legend, and morality. This is followed by a discussion of the world's present state of affairs and projections for the future. Finally, the reader is presented with the challenges that will most likely face each religion as this new world unfolds.