File Size: 1433 KB
Print Length: 215 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2010
Or else well read in evolutionary biology, if you have never been released to the meme concept and/or if you are enthusiastic about applying critical thought to religious dogma, then by all means I recommend this book. Go ahead and read it, it is a good "all-in-one" explanation. Nevertheless, having read many of the sources used before, nearly all of the text was redundant to me.
The particular book has essentially 4 sections (though the creator does not divide it this way):
Section one: The author introduces memetic theory and evolution. Extremely basic stuff, essentially a primer for those who are not acquainted. The author, however , not a biologist or history scholar. He may be making some a bit non-factual statements here and there. With regard to instance, at a certain point he states "our highly developed ability to transmit ideas (memes) from one person to the next, is a uniquely human ability, one that makes humans truly distinct from other animals". He mentions primates as having a number of that ability. But completely ignores birds, many types of which are "meme replication machines" when it comes to singing. Such as the author, I actually am not a biologist... but I would imagine many other species (beyond birds) also provide the same "uniquely human ability".
Section 2: (and the most interesting to me) This is the greater part of the book: it recognizes a number of "memes" which may have evolved in the abrahmic religions (Judaism, Christianism, Islamism). A compelling history about the evolution of religion is made, and his observations should give anyone pause to thing. This section of the book, alone, justifies the a purchase.
Section 3: the author reviews one of his favorite books (which also happens to be one of my favorite books): Guns, Germs, and Metal: The Fates of Individual Societies , by Jared Diamond. Well, he actually gives a complete synopsis of Jared's book. I actually wish he didn't do that. Jared's book warrants to be read in full (summarizing it is really spoiling it). And having purchased a different book I might hope to spend my time on different, original ideas, not book summaries.
Finally there's Area 4, on the author's motivations and his personal history. This is spread out along the book, and I actually really didn't mind reading it -- his family's history does give an interesting perspective on how people deal with god and religion in their lives. However, Also i think this personal exposition does not fit well on a argumentative, "ideas" book. Jared Gemstone certainly didn't talk about his family in his books, neither did Dawkins. The particular inclusion of this personal angle is apparently a outcome of how insecure people still feel talking vitally about religion. It is almost as if people have to apologise and make clear themselves before pointing a critical finger at made use of.
But so be it. In the end, I actually am in general agreement with the author's thesis and interpretations. The logic in Section 2 is strong and the approach audio. I resonate with his motivations and passionate determination to this book. And for the reasons discussed above I believe the book was a small bit more beginner than it needed to be (perhaps for insufficient a good editor), it is still an sincere, true and passionate security of a non-traditional point of view. It warrants to be read., I actually am nearly halfway through " The Religion Computer virus: Why We feel in God", by Craig A Wayne. So far I find it an excellent and superb read. Very thought provoking and informative in the theoretical inductive and deductive treatment on how religion developed in ways very much like evolutionary natural selection. The text puts ahead a very plausible memetic explanation of how globalistic Jewish / Christian or and Islamic monotheism developed from regional polytheistic ideas that ancient pagans placed in the period that the Patriarch Abraham and others of ancient times were alleged to live. I like this book very much., Very helpful in explaining the " True Believers" who believe are against all logic, reason and science, both carefully and politically.
My only criticism would be for the author to at the very start of the book to lay out there the guidelines and characteristics, then enter in the narrative and at the conclusion to once again to formulate the principles and characteristics. In other words, tell the reader what they are to learn, go about explaining with the conclusion summarize the actual have been told., I came across the book very useful and thought provoking. Meme theory is something I was not very familiar with, and Mr. James provided a well-rounded field of thought to consider. Possessing been raised in a fundamentalist evangelical environment which I was never able to buy into, I have always been curious and read extensively about all the major religions. I understand the various dogmas and methods used to promote the multitude of religious values, but I've never recently been able to comprehend why any human with a reasonably well-developed brain blindly accepts a particular belief system on " faith". Wondering is an integral part of most human thought, yet is universally forbidden, or at least disappointed by key religions. This particular book provides great information on how this can take place., Explains what I have felt about religion for many, a long time. Told from a rational unbiased perspective. Every thinking person should read this book whether you have strong faith based views or not and whether it might change your mind or not. I am aware why many people require a religion to help them get through life but those who have developed beyond this would not be demonized., This is a very insightful book. I actually have read several works on the history and evolution of the principle of god, but this book's approach is concentrated more on why specific brand of religion (the Abrahamic version - Jewish, Christian and Islamic) has persisted and thrived over other competing religions in western civilization. I often wondered why Christianity earned in the western world and this book attempts to answer that exact question, in a very convincing way. If you don't know very well what a " meme" is and how it evolves much like a biological gene, this book will be very instructive for you. The must read for anyone enthusiastic about the development of religious thought., I only knocked off one superstar for my rating as a result of grammar errors I discovered while reading. Other than that, I enjoyed the information and thought process that went into the writing of this book and would wish to start to see the reviews of the people who check out this book who are theists. I may even be enticed to offer money to one or two of my theist friends just to get them to read it and get their input knowing that it would be against their nature to voluntarily read this book., Everyone who goes to church and doesn't go should read, maybe it should be required reading. For that non-religious, it will help you understand how the religious came to believe as they do. For the faith based, it can help you understand the skepticism of the non-religious. A very interesting explanation of how we got where we are and the significance of memes. Issue everything.
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