Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

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Why do 70 percent of Americans believe in angels, while others are convinced that they were abducted by aliens? What makes people believe in improbable things when all the evidence points to the contrary? And don't almost all of us, at some time or another, engage in magical thinking?

In Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, evolutionary biologist Lewis Wolpert delves into the important and timely debate over the nature of belief, looking at its psychological foundations to discover just what evolutionary purpose it could serve. Wolpert takes us through all that science can tell us about the beliefs we feel are instinctive. He deftly explores different types of belief, those of children, of the religious, and of those suffering from psychiatric disorders, and he asks whether it is possible to live without belief, or whether it is a necessary component of a functioning society.

Author: Lewis Wolpert
256 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company July 2008

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