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Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion Kindle Edition
In Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods, E. Fuller Torrey offers a scholarly and insightful treatise on the neuroscientific relationship between humanity and deities. In his twenty-first book, one senses a profound vision of the hereafter in the arc of this eminent mental health advocate and researcher’s career, from whom we hope there will be more to come. -- Jeffrey Lieberman, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and psychiatrist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital
An excellent text that throws new light on where religious ideas come from. -- Patrick McNamara, director of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Neurobehavior, Boston University
A masterful synthesis that merges the archaeological and anthropological evidence for the evolving elaboration of religious activity with the fossil evidence for the neurobiological evolution of the human brain and the psychological evidence for the evolution of the human mind housed within that evolving brain. -- Michael Rosenberg, professor of anthropology, University of Delaware
Presented in a manner that is accessible to nonscientists....[an] insightful, thought-provoking work. ― Publishers Weekly
This is the book I have been waiting for, which brings together all of the various strands of data and ideas gathering in neuroscience, sociology, psychology, archaeology, anthropology, and brain development, and integrates them into a well-balanced and tightly presented theory of the origins of religion. -- Daniel Liechty ― Religion
Torrey takes readers on a grand tour of what science has learned about early hominins and the development of several early civilizations. One may not agree, but the book is richly rewarding...Highly recommended. ― Choice
A wonderful addition to the current corpus sitting at the intersection of religion and evolution. It will be helpful for the scholar and layperson alike. ― Reading Religion --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B071J1MZ95
- Publisher : Columbia University Press (September 5, 2017)
- Publication date : September 5, 2017
- Language : English
- File size : 5912 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 298 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0231183364
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #931,760 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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This is an intriguing book that presents a thesis of a biological basis for the development of the rudiments of gods and religion.
This story begins with the evolution of the structures of the human brain and how they related to the progressive development of modern human thought, “the order of the mind theory”, which begins with the recognition of self, others, what others think of each other and themselves, the ability of projecting the present into the past and into the future and, finally, the development of the abilities to reason and to plan. The author specifically describes the changes in the brain structure accountable for each stage of the development of the human mind as determined by archeological morphology and confirmed by modern techniques of functional brain imaging. The text is illustrated with easily understood diagrams of brain anatomy and its functions.
The author then describes how the evolution of the human mind coincided with the progression of human cultural development from the hunter- gatherer, to organized agriculture and husbandry, and finally to complex ancient civilizations. about which, the author provides much archeological information.
As the human brain became capable of contemplating the future, homo sapiens confront the reality of death and its terrifying finality by entering the spiritual world thought to be stimulated by dreams during which communications occurred with the deceased giving rise to concept of life after death. Some deceased ancestors ultimately evolved as more important than others, “……thus the seeds of gods had been planted”.
As the first ancient civilizations emerged the formal worship of gods evolved who not only provided spiritual needs and the promise of life after death, but were enlisted by secularly authorities to help enforce their rules and laws, thus, the birth of religions. Over a short period of 600 years the major religions of the world evolved.
Finally, the author summarizes other alternate theories of the development of religion.