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Monday, April 14, 2008

Breakpoint reviews The Spiritual Brain

Kim Moreland reviewed The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul for Chuck Colson's Breakpoint. She kindly writes:
One might think that a book about neuroscience would be difficult or boring to read, but this one is interesting and accessible to all levels of readers. Beauregard and O’Leary include a handy glossary of technical terms, but they explain the terms in the text so the reader will not have to flip back and forth. There are also visual aids such as diagrams and cross-sectioned images of the brain.

Kim, not to worry, if it was difficult to read, I wouldn't understand it myself! If it was boring, I would never get through the job. I'm a journalist, not an academic.
Cloaked in mantles of scientific expertise, scholars like Edward O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett, and Dean Hamer have declared that religious and spiritual beliefs are nothing more than an adaptation for survival. But have they proved it? Using a number of examples, Beauregard and O’Leary expose “promissory materialism” and faulty assumptions made among materialists.
My biggest challenge in many cases was to avoid splitting my funnybone over some of the more ridiculous materialist theories of spirituality.

In her note, Kim adds, "I truly enjoyed reading it, and felt I learned a lot. My biggest problem was choosing what to highlight."

Kim, I had that problem too. Behind every stack of books lay a bigger, more shadowy stack that I "ought to" report on, and so on and on to an apparent infinite regress. And over all brooded the menacing Deadline ...

At times, kind readers have written to ask, why is this or that not in the book?, and I am afraid that the answer is: Because no one wants a 75-lb. book. I try to address as many such topics as I can on this blog and in articles that I can link to this blog.

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