Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review - How We Believe

How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God
Michael Shermer
2000, Holt & Co.

The debate between religion and science is a delicate one at best, and a hostile, divisive one at worst.  As such, understanding how and why people are religious, and approaching these questions with intelligent and respectful discourse, is essential.  In How We Believe, founder of Skeptic Magazine Michael Shermer attempts a comprehensive exploration of this highly sensitive and important issue.

With a cautious and critical eye, Shermer examines everything from mythology in indigenous cultures to Gallup polls of religion in modern American society, from philosophy to cosmology, from biology and evolution to messiahs and the end of the world.  Arguing against conciliatory views of religion and science (e.g. intelligent design), he asserts that while everyone is free to have their own religious beliefs, they cannot use science to support their faith.  He ends by speculating about what it means to find meaning and our place in the universe without God or