The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as TruthsThe Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer

I gave this one 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

I loved the first half, Parts 1 & 2, which explained in layman’s details how the human brain seeks patterns and forms beliefs in all kinds of things. It was the kind of stuff that makes you think about your own beliefs and makes you feel like you’re being found out. It’s kind of a rush!

But then the last bit, Parts 3 & especially 4,  focused entirely on theories relating to cosmology and origins of the universe, which is obviously not unrelated information, but I was in one lane and then being asked to switch to another. It was jarring, and I was left already forgetting the brain information I picked the book up for and having my brain stuck with an exhaustive history of universe origin theory. It was good information, but it wasn’t the information I was going for here.

I would for sure say this book is worth the time if you are interested in why and how people form belief systems, but there’s a lot of opinion out there about how and why we believe and this is just one. He is a skeptic and so am I, so it is a book that largely reinforces my own beliefs, which frankly is something the book addresses — being drawn to the data that most closely aligns with your own thinking. I was a little annoyed with the author that he pointed that out (naturally), because now I feel I’ve been challenged to read books that try to scientifically prove the presence of God and ghosts. So, you know, if you know of any…

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