Read Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not by Robert N. McCauley Online

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The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion--and arriving at some surprising conclusions.Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biologThe battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion--and arriving at some surprising conclusions.Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions. Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position.Rigorously argued and elegantly written, this provocative book will appeal to anyone interested in the ongoing debate between religion and science, and in the nature and workings of the human mind....

Title : Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not
Author :
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ISBN : 9780199827268
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 335 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not Reviews

  • Adam Lewis
    2018-10-26 06:37

    This is a stand-out and one-of-kind book in the slurry of books inhabiting the "science and religion" genre. McCauley tackles the topic from the most fruitful angle -- how scientific and religious epistemes differ from a cognitive standpoint. Although those up-to-date on the topic of religious cognition will find not a lot new here, I'd wager these conclusions and arguments are novel to most everyone else -- including scholars of religion and philosophers of science hailing from more traditional frameworks. Not only is this book successful in it's intended goal -- to explain the titular promise of "why religion is natural and science is not" -- it would also serve as a nice (albeit incomplete) introduction to the cognitive science of religion. I highly recommended this book to all of those interested in the topic from all perspectives (atheists, theists, or whatever). McCauley writes clearly, argues soundly, and avoids any axe-grinding. In short, this book was synthetically enlightening to me and I imagine this effect would be magnified in those less familiar with the field. 5/5 stars

  • Tom Uytterhoeven
    2018-10-26 03:19

    A stimulating read, clarifying some common misunderstandings on the relation between science and religion by offering a cognitive framework to look at both. Very accessible, fun to read!

  • Bookleech
    2018-11-08 01:17

    Lost me at some parts especially in the beginning. I did find the ending very satisfying as it answered some of my questions regarding ideology. I was pleasantly surpised to see autism being discussed. I know of Simon Baron-Cohen's research. However, I think the imprinted brain theory is more convincing as the extreme male brain theory. The extreme opposite of autism (less prone to religion) would be psychotism (more prone to religion) according to the imprinted brain theory.This book is important in my quest that started with cognitive biases and evolutionary psychology, towards the imprinted brain theory and political science. Political philosopher John Gray, who doesn't use much science in his works, has rallied against the idea of progressive human nature.He also holds the belief that religion will persist. This book adds evidence to that view. I personally think that we could see post-religious cultures in the sense of lack of superstitions but never fully, and especially never fully rational or without bias. This because the psychological underpinnings that lead to religion do not go away, so that even ideology (to me the post-religious thought) will have characteristics that religion has. The book divides religion into theology and popular religion, I think that would apply to science as well: as we get to know more science as the general population it will still evolve towards a folk science that is more intuitive and comes more natural.I suggest to read this book with the following political science books: "Predisposed", "Our political nature", "The righteous mind", the following evolutionary psychology book: "The imprinted brain" and the following evolutionary books on religion: "Big Gods" and "Darwin's Cathedral". The latter I still need to read myself.