Autodidact: self-taught

Apr
13
2012

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Lewis Wolpert

by V. L. Craven


Why do seemingly intelligent, rational people believe in irrational, sometimes downright ludicrous things? Probably because the parts of the mind that appreciate cause and effect–even in places where it’s not there–allowed early humans to survive and adapt. In Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief , Lewis Wolpert attempts to explain the evolutionary principles behind the billions of people today who believe in supernatural things with no scientific corroboration. For example, people who believed in the same god would flock together and would therefore be safer than the atheists who were off on their own just getting on with things.

While Wolpert isn’t the most exciting writer, what he has to say is interesting and makes many good points e.g. the cause and effect of learning how to use early tools is the same thought process that concludes: something made the sky and that something is probably like me so there is a sentient being out there in charge. He also doesn’t go into as much detail as I’d have liked, but the book is a good explanation of why people believe unbelievable things. I give it four stars.

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