Fofo’s CBR Review #22 The Science of Superstition by Bruce M. Hood

Target: Bruce M. Hood’s The Science of Superstition

Profile: Non-fiction, Popular Psychology

I’ve always enjoyed vigorous debate with those who don’t share my particular spiritual point of view.  While none of the people I’ve had good conversations with have fit into the most extreme fundamentalist brackets, I have noticed that more evangelical Christians seem to enjoy a kind of thinking that is circular at best.  I try not to just write these people off out of hand.  Their experiences are unknown to me and there may be very good and rational explanations for their unshakable faith.

Well, it turns out there are!

At the core of Bruce M. Hood’s engaging and amusing book is the idea that we are biologically inclined toward supernatural thought.  One of the many quirks of human thinking that makes us so vastly superior to thinking engines is our instinctive urge to group our experiences.  We see patterns everywhere.  If you’ve ever caught yourself staring at a monochrome tiled floor, engrossed in the patterns your eye produces, you know what Hood is talking about.  This ability is critical in our thinking process as it allows us to jump to conclusions about similar items and make educated guesses (hypotheses) about the world around us.

Read the rest of the review

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