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on 4 February 2016
Fascinating book. For anyone interested in the evolution of religious behaviours this is a must read. A variety of possible explanations are put forward without judgement or agenda. It stuck an effective balance between accessibility for the non-expert and the depth needed to do the subject matter academic justice.
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on 16 August 2011
This books is written based on the unproved assertion thata the Human Genome is the product of evolution and that therefore biology is the cause and determinant of human behavior and religion. This crossover of biology into human behavior is scientifically invalid and even forbidden by sound scientific method. A physical science, for instance, like Quantum Mechanics cannot explain life( as Erwin Schrodinger recognized in his famous lectures in Dublin in 1943), and a biological science cannot explain that which is distinctly human in Homo Sapiens.

There is no empirical evidence that human reason and human behavior, much less religion, is the work of evolutionary biology. That etiology is far more complicated than can be explained by biological engines. I offer three premises based on human embryology, demonstrating a far richer, far more scientific and far more tenable etiology for human behavior and religion. This book, instead of dealing with the specifities of human embryonic life, deals only with biological generalities, that miss completely the real roots of human behavor, culture and religion. The principles are false, the scientific method is outdated and the conclusions repeat with unrelenring regularity that Homo Sapiens is an evolutionary automaton. This work is a piece of evolutionary fiction based, not on Darwin's major work, "On the Origin of Species", but on his fears and horror at the conclusions he had come to in "The Descent of Man".

My three premises are these, drawn from an intimate and detailed study of the human embryo. 1) A human person is the terminus ad quem of human concepion and the terminus a quo from which all human embryonic life develops. 2) Human gestation is a human subject in a state of somatic organizational and developmental repose, with an integrating principle distinct and separate from that of the mother. 3) The integrating priniple of hujman embryonic life is a human person in the unfolding of its innate human potential, gradually experiencing, expressing and revealing its uniquely human powers.

In the light of these premises, which can be demonstrated from the specifics of human embryonic life, the assertion of this book that human behavior, human reason, ethics and religion are are the products of evolution is rendered obsolete.

Father Clifford Stevens
Boys Town, Nebraska
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