God's Brain and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $7.34 (29%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Light wear on the dust cover. Clean pages.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

God's Brain Hardcover – March 23, 2010


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$17.66
$1.96 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

God's Brain + Being Peace
Price for both: $30.00

Buy the selected items together
  • Being Peace $12.34

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616141646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616141646
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recent, often bitter, debates have lacked a scientific take on religion that is not at the same time trying to destroy it. This lively, creative account helps fill that gap. It may even help you with your own trials of faith" --MELVIN KONNER, author of The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit and the forthcoming The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind.

"With economy, evidence and no little wit and elegance, Lionel Tiger and Michael McGuire look for the answer to religion's ubiquity and persistence in the only place possible: the human brain. To say more would be to give away their answer, and that would spoil a great read and a serious and informative argument. This is easily the best book on the nature of religion to appear for a long time." --ROBIN FOX, University Professor of Social Theory, Rutgers University

"Tiger and McGuire have concocted an amazing and insightful look - based on sound science - into how the human brain 'seeks' religion. The book beautifully describes how belief, ritual, and socialization within a closed group work together to help humans survive the stresses of everyday life." --R. CURTIS ELLISON, MD, professor of Medicine & Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine

"If God's Brain sounds whimsically paradoxical, it is only because the authors believe that most people of faith have been looking for God in all the wrong places. The authors suggest that religious believers should look inward, rather than outward, to find God. The book is a well-written, easy to read, unique perspective on religion. Yes, God has a brain. The book will captivate all but the piously religious faint-of-heart." --JAY R. FEIERMAN. Editor, The Biology of Religious Behavior: The Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion.

About the Author

Lionel Tiger (New York, NY) is the bestselling author of Men in Groups, The Imperial Animal (with Robin Fox), The Pursuit of Pleasure, Optimism: The Biology of Hope, and The Decline of Males. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Harvard Business Review, and Brain and Behavioral Science. He is the Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University.

Michael McGuire, MD (Cottonwood, CA), is the author or editor of ten books, including Believing: The Neuroscience of Fantasies, Fears, and Convictions and Darwinian Psychiatry (with A. Troisi). He is the president of the Biomedical Research Foundation, director of the Bradshaw Foundation and the Gruter Institute of Law and Behavior, and a trustee of the International Society of Human Ethology. Formerly, he was a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles and editor of Ethology and Sociobiology.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I like to think of it as Dawkins' Dilemma.
C. P. Anderson
Oh, I also don't like dual blurbs from the same person on one book cover.
S. J. Snyder
I value highly book which makes me think newly as God's Brain does.
Michael Cogan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Anderson on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I hate to write reviews for books I haven't finished, but I felt I had to for this one - if for nothing else, than as a warning to others.

The book sounds promising enough. I like to think of it as Dawkins' Dilemma. In other words, for those of us who are firm believers in evolution, what do we make of the possibility that our brains may have evolved for belief? I'll bet there's tons of fascinating research out there that support that assertion.

Unfortunately, we don't get that here. What we get instead is stream-of-consciousness musings that go all over the place. The writers' style is particularly frustrating - wordy, repetitive, vague, abstract, trying so hard to be clever. As a former writing teacher, I'm reminded of my students who didn't have much to say or had no clue what they wanted to say, but bravely dove in anyway.

Here's an example:

"Descriptive numbers are capacious enough - they go on forever, after all, from here to infinity - to accommodate the range and reach of religion, and they can seem evenhanded and fair. However, individual religions may seem odd and even bizarre to some or many outsiders, and their benefits and activities are hardly consistent from place to place and time to time. But their overwhelming numbers and rich ubiquity underline the normality in practice. We're dealing with a phenomenon as diffuse as oxygen and seemingly as imperative."

And all to introduce that there are about 4,200 religions in the world.

Try The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures instead.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Peter Rehak on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The authors explain in a clear and entertaining way how the human brain is wired for religion. We may have always known that religion can bring comfort but Tiger and McGuire give a scientific basis to the brain's "safety valve." Religion is in the news almost daily and this book helps understand peoples' attachment and motivation for seeking explanations in a high being. The brain is wired that way. Food for thought even for an atheist.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Fairbanks on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Tiger & McGuire have written an engaging and thought-provoking book that helps to explain why we have religion. To a rational person, the details of immaculate conception, anachronistic food rules and pearly gates seem fantastical. Yet this book shows clearly and convincingly how such beliefs help people cope with the stresses and strains of ordinary life. The concept of "brainsoothing" is a compelling one, and is supported by evidence that the rituals, social interactions and beliefs of modern religions actually affect the brain in positive ways. I like the fact that this is not a science vs. religion book, but one that uses science to understand the value of religion in people's lives. I also like the idea of a "brainsoothe" score to help make us aware of differences in how we respond to daily frustrations, with lots of ideas in the book on how to improve our score.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Mulligan on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was hoping for some interesting insights from this book, but what I found instead were mostly senseless ramblings interspersed with random and annoying attempts at cuteness. I'm so glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it. This book was written in a very odd style with far too many conjunctions, and desperately needed a competent editor. I would read and re-read entire passages, only to scratch my head and think, "Well, that sounded pretty (or intelligent, or important), but what did it say?" It reminded me of how I feel when someone who has had a little too much to drink monopolizes the conversation and goes on and on about something, yet makes no sense.

Take the very last paragraph, for example. "If God is a creation of the brain, then God's brain is our brain. There is then no lower authority to be found than the operations and impact of our brains and the process of brainsoothing. We named the brain as the source of infinity. This is surely appropriate since it was our commitment to that brain that caused ambitious humans to call ourselves sapiens. And, by and large, that we are, give or take... " Huh?

I am left with the distinct impression that the authors were in the habit of splitting a few bottles of wine (or worse) before sitting down to write. Perhaps I should have done the same when I sat down to read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. C. W. West on May 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"What if it is discovered that the source and essence of [religious] identity results not from theological commitment and texts but form operations of the brain? that religion is a product of neurophysiological engagement?" This from an op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal 27 March 2010 by Lionel Tiger, which intrigued me so much I ordered the book. After all, what more confirmation of the doctrine of predestination than a demonstration that the creator and preserver of mankind, who designed the DNA double helix of each of us, hard wired us to believe or to not believe in His existence? How intriguing. We have read population studies of Alzheimers where brain autopsies resulted in valuable information. How promising to have such a study on the correlation of religious belief to physiology on the macro or micro level -- maybe a blip or lack thereof on our DNA printout.

No such luck. Tiger and McGuire have put together a piece of fluff constructed by what looks like the result of daydreaming and googling. You or I could have done a better job as juniors in a college psychology or sociology course, given the financial incentive. Tiger and McGuire start out with a simplistic question: "[W]hat factual phenomenon except perhaps slips of ancient holy paper underlies and animates one of the most influential and durable of human endeavors? We've an answer. Shivers in the moist tissue of the brain confect cathedrals." (11) But do they identify the shivers? Or even look into the physiological causes of the shivers? Nah!

"Our proposal is that all religions differ but all share two destinies: they are the product of the human brain. They endure because of the product -- religion -- on brain function." (11) "Religion pleases the brain's sweet tooth.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?