The Catholic Register likes The Spiritual Brain ... and the fun part is ...
The fun part is that Dorothy Cummings's review picks out the very thing that I found funny about materialist approaches to spirituality, and she enjoyed it too:
The chapter entitled "The Strange Case of the God Helmet" is alone well worth the work involved in reading a book that is, after all, about neuroscience. The Spiritual Brain is hardly a beach book. But it has its rewards, and among them is the account of Michael Persinger, a researcher at Laurentian University who invented a machine he claimed could induce mystical experiences. As Beauregard and O'Leary explain, "Persinger proposed that… electrical microseizures within the temporal lobes generate a wide range of altered states, resulting in religious and mystical visions, out-of-body experiences and even recollections of abduction by aliens." From experiments inducing electrical microseizures in students with his "God helmet," Persinger concluded two things: "that the experience of a sensed presence can be manipulated by experiment, and that such an experience ‘may be the fundamental source for phenomena attributed to visitations by gods, spirits and other ephemeral phenomena.' " However, as Beauregard and O'Leary point out, "The first conclusion is a research result that should be able to be replicated if it is valid. The second is, of course, an opinion." As a matter of fact, Swedish researchers were unable to reproduce Persinger's results. But the God helmet did manage to convince some very influential and credulous people — the pop-science media.
Well, yes, I nearly split a gut laughing, myself, over how credulous self-confessed skeptics can be.
Listen, I learned far more about religious people from being a deputy warden at an Anglican church for some years than they will ever learn from reading village-atheist books. They need to get out more. If they want to know about religious people, they could try going to church, for example, and meeting some of them.