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Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved Hardcover – May 28, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (May 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195385810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195385816
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The existence of God has been part of human discussion for centuries. Believers point to evidence of design and rationality as convincing proofs of divine presence. Rossano, head of the psychology department at Southeastern Louisiana University, looks instead to notions borrowed from anthropology and sociology to construct a purely nonreligious view of the evolution of religion. Favoring science over sentiment, he takes great comfort in the idea that £pieces of our evolutionary puzzle are now falling into place.¥ He suggests that religion, which he describes as an £evolutionary adaptation,¥ arises from intergroup competition and is the result of the inevitable struggles that occur when groups compete for the same prizes (in this case, adherents to their message). To true believers, this is a grim assessment of the religious notions that underlie their lives. Casual readers will find this book tough going and, in some instances, overly technical. But with patience, most will find food for thought.
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"Well-reasoned and ultimately persuasive book...Writing with verve, insight, and even occasional wit, Rossano does an outstanding job of placing his reconstruction of the origins of human religiousness in the context of up-to-date knowledge from diverse scientific fields of human origins. Very highly recommended." -- Library Journal

"This exhaustively researched and intriguing sure to get you thinking about the nature of religion." -- New Scientist

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LeRoy W Bloom on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Probably the best and most informative book I have ever read concerning this subject. I particularly liked the way he progressed from the beginnings of rituals, how they began, how these conclusions were arrived at by comparing traditional hunter gathers and other primates types of rituals, through shamanism and finally arriving at supernatural agents.

One Quibble. Mr. Rossano, like many modern authors, have begun to use she in place of he when describing a group or a representative of a group. Traditional English language uses the word he for this sort of description. Using she is, in my mind, a form of political correctness. This always starts me wondering if any of the authors who write this way allow political correctness to alter some of there findings.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ACT I on May 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have written a lengthy review of this book that will be posted on another site, and so will make just two comments on the book here: (1) The author is obviously confused as to whether he is offering an account of the evolution of religion (between 500,000 - 35,000 YPB) or discussing the relevance of religion as a factor in biological evolution. (2) I hunted and hunted for a theory of religion's evolution in the book, but could find nothing worth mentioning; the book is a hodgepodge of materials whose relationship one to another, and to the theme of religion's evolution, is virtually impossible to detect. Shortly, my copy of the book will end up in the recycling bin!
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