- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Times Books; 1st edition (1994)
- ASIN: B00BT00I9S
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies Hardcover – 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
I think one of the main theses of the book can be summed up by the following quote: "Our brains are belief engines, evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the dots and create meaning out of patterns that we think we see in nature. Sometimes A really is connected to B; sometimes it is not." Shermer also explains how the human brain has evolved to create beliefs first and rationalize those beliefs after, rather than thinking clearly and logically before coming to a conclusion about what we believe. In this way, we cherry-pick the "evidence" that best fits our beliefs and refuse to see the true evidence to the contrary. He says, "Humans like to feel like they're in control, and we feel like we're in control when we understand what's going on. In order to `understand,' we may see patterns where there really aren't any." Shermer is sure to stress that everyone is guilty of doing this - theists and atheists, scientists and philosophers, neuroscientists and custodians - and it's important to remember that we can't help it. The scientific method is the best defense against this kind of narrow thinking, and scientific procedures for experiments such as the double-blind method fortify science against our natural biases.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book that promised so much but delivered so little. The book itself does contain a treasure trove of useful information about the way the human mind works and the way beliefs are... Read morePublished 11 months ago by David Marshall