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“Michael Shermer has long been one of our most committed champions of scientific thinking in the face of popular delusion. In The Believing Brain, he has written a wonderfully lucid, accessible, and wide-ranging account of the boundary between justified and unjustified belief. We have all fallen more deeply in his debt.” –Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Moral Landscape, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The End of Faith.
“The physicist Richard Feynman once said that the easiest person to fool is yourself, and as a result he argued that as a scientist one has to be especially careful to try and find out not only what is right about one's theories, but what might also be wrong with them. If we all followed this maxim of skepticism in everyday life, the world would probably be a better place. But we don't. In this book Michael Shermer lucidly describes why and how we are hard wired to 'want to believe'. With a narrative that gently flows from the personal to the profound, Shermer shares what he has learned after spending a lifetime pondering the relationship between beliefs and reality, and how to be prepared to tell the difference between the two.”—Lawrence M. Krauss, Foundation Professor and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University and author of The Physics of Star Trek, Quantum Man and A Universe from Nothing
"Michael Shermer has long been one of the world's deepest thinkers when it comes to explaining where our beliefs come from, and he brings it all together in this important, engaging, and ambitious book. Shermer knows all the science, he tells great stories, he is funny, and he is fearless, delving into hot-button topics like 9-11 Truthers, life after death, capitalism, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and the existence of God. This is an entertaining and thoughtful exploration of the beliefs that shape our lives."—Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works
"The Believing Brain is a tour de force integrating neuroscience and the social sciences to explain how irrational beliefs are formed and reinforced, while leaving us confident our ideas are valid. This is a must read for everyone who wonders why religious and political beliefs are so rigid and polarized—or why the other side is always wrong, but somehow doesn't see it."—Dr. Leonard Mlodinow, physicist and author of The Drunkard’s Walk and The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking)
"We might think that we learn how the world works, because we take the time to observe and understand it. Shermer says that's just not so. We just believe things, and then make our world fit our perceptions. Believe me; you don't have to take my word for it. Just try clearing some space in your own Believing Brain."—Bill Nye, the Science Guy ©, Executive Director of The Planetary Society
"The Believing Brain is a fascinating account of the origins of all manner of beliefs, replete with cutting edge evidence from the best scientific research, packed with nuggets of truths and then for good measure, studded with real world examples to deliver to the reader, a very personable, engaging and ultimately, convincing set of explanations for why we believe."—Professor Bruce Hood, Chair of Developmental Psychology, Bristol University and author of Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable
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.
It is well written and interesting, and it motivated me to read some of Professor Shermer's other books.
I liked this book more then the "Demon Haunted World" because it builds up the argument for why anyone would believe any one of these things.
In his new book, Shermer lays out a theory of "belief based reality" that he argues is a human being's 'basic operating mode.'
took me a bit to go through it as it is not a page turner novel. one of those books if you want evidence, here it is. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Laurie Richards
Up until page 140 this is a 5 star book. These are the pages where the author describes belief as stemming from what he calls patternicity and agenticity. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Loves the View
I am a fan of Michael Shermer and his style of argumentation. This book does not really add much to his corpus in the way of breakthrough theories. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Justin Charles Hite
Repeat order. I gave this book and other copies of it to relatives in University. It will help them understand themselves as well as others.Published 3 months ago by Jerome L Blafer
Unbelievably comprehensive in scope and essential for the understanding of how we formulate our notions of the world. Well done.Published 3 months ago by Joseph T. Barr
Michael Shermer sticks to his role as skeptic and agnostic. If you are not both of those, you will find yourself in the book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tero
The fundamentals of what makes us believe are well explained.
Although the author acknowledges that he like anyone else is inclined to the bias of his beliefs, he guards... Read more
Another good book written by Michael Shermer. If you're a Skeptic, then this book is most definite read for you.Published 4 months ago by Mike
This book covers a wide variety of bias dynamics and gives sufficient examples to help the reader understand the concepts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bob Greaves, the unconventional pastor