why we believe in god(s)
A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith
J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD with Clare Aukofer
Foreword by Richard Dawkins
"As an amateur woodworker, I can state from experience that there's nothing like having the right
tools for the job you're trying to do. Here Andy Thomson and Clare Aukofer have assembled an oh-
so-handy tool chest for the layperson who wants to think more clearly about the ever-less-mystical
origins of religious belief."
--August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director, Secular Student Alliance
"Simply put, this book provides the most compelling scientific explanation for religion ever
advanced. Andy Thomson and Clare Aukofer explicate precisely that evolved psychological and
brain mechanisms combine to produce religious experiences, and show how religious leaders exploit
these mechanisms, sometimes with disastrous results. The book is fascinating from start to finish. It's
at the top of my `most highly recommended books' for 2011."
--David M. Buss, author of Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind
"Despite all the advancements we have made in science, technology, and medicine, our Paleolithic
psychology continues to drag us down into the abyss of archaic beliefs, blind faith, and tribal conflict.
Andy Thomson and Clare Aukofer explain to us not only why the human mind is so susceptible to
believing the unbelievable but also why we are willing to not only die for it, but kill for it as well.
Read this book, and when you are done--send it to your congressional representative."
--R. Elisabeth Cornwell, PhD, Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and
"As Andy Thomson and Clare Aukofer point out in this compelling little book, our snap judgments are
`millions of years in the making' and so is the human propensity to construct and to believe in gods. I
know of no clearer or more concise summary of the various preadaptations that cause us to generate
and sustain religious belief."
--Sarah B. Hrdy, author of Mother Nature and Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of
"In my life I've seen how desperately we need rational thinking in public policy. This book, dealing
with the ultimate issues, can be a framework guiding us to a more rational worldview."
--Sean Faircloth, Executive Director, Secular Coalition for America
"How does the human brain generate belief in an invisible god? Spurred by his study of suicide