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Did Man Create God?: Is Your Spiritual Brain…
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Did Man Create God?: Is Your Spiritual Brain at Peace With Your Thinking…

by David E. Comings

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After 2009 humanity (at least those who can read) will be divided into three types: The informed who have read and (perhaps with minor qualifications) accept the book's conclusions, the denialists who have read yet refuse to accept its conclusions (and who may, in vain, attempt to refute it), and the ignorant who have not read it, either through personal refusal or suppression by others. Unfortunately, the countries whose citizens are in dire need to learn of this book's content and conclusions will most probably ban it.

The book covers a vast amount of knoweldge, including evolution (how else), Intelligent Design's counter-arguments, Cosmology, Neurology, Genetics, Natural Selection and other aspects of Spirituality and Reason. It has its faults too: the book does contain some typos, but all considered (including an abundance of graphs, diagrams and colourful plates) it is an absolute steal at the price. It does get quite technical at times but it covers an incredibly wide field of knowledge, and as nobody can possibly be an expert on every topic it needs to be technical. And yes, close on 700 pages of densely filled, narrow-margin pages do take a little dedication to get through but it is exceptionally clearly written, easy to follow and printed on quality paper. It deserves to be read, re-read and recommended to everyone on this planet.

And most of all, you don't absolutely have to read every word. Just reading the handful of red-text summaries per chapter, usually less than half a page at a time, plus the 18-page summary at the end, quite possible in a single sitting, is enough to grasp the beauty of the author's central argument, the scope and thoroughness of his research, the value of the book and the astonishing effort that must have gone into its research and writing. One can always go back and fill in the detail as time and energy allows.

There certainly are other valuable books on religion out there (many of them in my library), but Dr Comings has probably written the definitive introduction and informed layperson's reference to the human phenomenon called religion.

Did man Create God? will no doubt soon become an authorative reference on human religion, epitomising the "Aha!"-moment in mankind's understanding of God. Even if it should fail to break new scientific ground it must be appreciated for its sheer jaw-dropping comprehensiveness, simplicity and quality of argument.

THANK YOU Dr Comings for producing such a thorough, comprehensive, satisfying and easy to read analysis of religion. You must be (pardon the pun) one hell of a person. We owe you. ( )
  Hansieslim | Nov 8, 2009 |
Unlike recent popular books that call for the end of faith and religion, this book by Dr. David Comings, an internationally renown physician, human geneticist and neuroscientist, proposes that spirituality is genetically hardwired into a specific part of the brain, is pleasurable, is critical to the evolution and survival of man, and will never go away.
The primary goal of the book is to allow the reader to develop a rational spirituality in which their thinking brain and spiritual brain can live in peace. A basic assumption of most humans is that God created man and divinely influenced the writing of all his sacred books. This book dispassionately explores the possibility that in premodern times our rational brain created the theory of a personal God to answer questions about the physical world like “Where did we come from?” and “Where do we go when we die?” and to satisfy the transcendent yearnings of our spiritual brain. To add believability and authority to our sacred books the rational brain man also proposed that God ultimately wrote these works. In an era when politicians are judged on the basis of the strength of their belief in God, when schools are urged to teach Intelligent Design, and when religious terrorists threaten the existence of Western civilization it is critical to dispassionately examine the question – Did God Create Man or Did Man Create God?
The book examines a wide range of issues including intelligent answers to intelligent design; the relevance of modern cosmology to the existence or non-existence of god; the role of genes in spirituality; the evolution of spirituality; innate morality; the role of psychedelics in the development of man’s religions; the positive and negative aspects of religion; the problem of evil and many others (see www.didmancreategod.com). The longest chapter, The Spiritual Brain (58 pages), examines the evidence for the role of the temporal lobes in man’s innate spirituality. Combined these chapters indicate that humans are inherently happy and good, independent of religion, and that spirituality played a critical role in the evolution and survival of man. A feeling of being associated with something that transcends one’s self became an important, rewarding, comforting, and innate part of the human condition. Michael Shermer called this the most detailed and up-to-date science ever generated on the subject of religion and suggested it will be the definitive scientific reference on religion for some time to come.
The world recently learned that Mother Theresa had life-long doubts about her faith. This book is for others who have also questioned any part of their faith but treasure their spirituality and want answers that are not hostile to religion.
A summary of the book asks whether our thinking brain is incompatible with religion and faith. It is concluded that for some belief systems the rational and spiritual brains are totally compatible, for some they are compatible with only minor qualifications and for some they are compatible but with major qualifications. However, a belief that the sacred books are literally true, that one sacred book is better than another, that one God is better than another, and that one religion is better than another – provides a situation in which the rational thinking brain and the spiritual brain are totally incompatible.
Dr. Comings concludes that religious intolerance, wars and terrorism are based on irrational spirituality where there is an incompatibility between the rational and spiritual brain, where individuals believe that one person’s God is better than another’s. By contrast a rational spirituality allows individuals of all religions to live in peace. This book is a potentially life changing read for anyone who has ever had doubts about their faith or religion but wanted responses that were sympathetic to their spirituality. ( )
1 vote dcomings | Mar 15, 2008 |
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When I was in grade school I was very interested in all aspects of science.
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Unlike recent books that call for the end of faith and religion, this book, by a renowned neuroscientist, proposes that spirituality is genetically hardwired into a specific part of the brain, is pleasurable, is critical to the evolution and survival of man, and will never go away. It strives to allow readers to develop a rational spirituality in which the fact-based rational brain and the faith-based spiritual brain can live in peace. A wide range of issues are examined, including intelligent answers to Intelligent Design; the relevance of modern cosmology to the existence or non-existence of god; the role of genes in spirituality; the problem of evil; and many others. The longest chapter examines the evidence for the role of the brain's temporal lobes in spirituality. This book will help those who have questioned their faith but treasure their spirituality and want answers that are not hostile to spirituality or religion.--From publisher description.… (more)

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