An Oakwood owl asks
life pilgrims at the end gate,
whooo will pass this night?

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Believing Brain

"As a back-of-the-envelope calculation within an order-of-magnitude accuracy, we can safely say that over the past ten thousand years of history humans have created about ten thousand different religions and about one thousand gods," Mr. Shermer writes. He lists more than a dozen gods, from Amon Ra to Zeus, and wonders how one of them can be true and the rest false. "As skeptics like to say, everyone is an atheist about these gods; some of us just go one god further."  A Trick of the Mind


Mimbres Man said...

Good stuff.
Pattern seekers: I'd mention this constantly in my science classes. This is why we enjoy music and art, because we are wired for it. I encouraged my students to look for patterns and trends in their data.

Anonymous said...

Wiliam James already argued all this in Varieties of Religious Experience.


Gunnar Berg said...

For those interested, the complete William James lectures cited by mw is available here:

Mimbres Man said...

I haven't read William James, but I've had plenty of religious experiences via the bicycle.

Oldfool said...

Just take it easy. That's enough religion.

Gunnar Berg said...

Sorry, in general I try to avoid politics and religion, (or in the case of the House Tea Party members, where their fiscal theories have become their religion).

That is all.