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The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God Paperback – 19 Apr 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (19 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482371006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482371000
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 813,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Like a selfish gene or a parasite, the religion virus catches a free ride in the minds of our species, infecting our history and culture. What Guns, Germs and Steel did for anthropology, this book does for faith. It puts the pieces together into a fascinating, coherent model that makes sense! --Dan Barker, President, Freedom From Religion Foundation

Craig A. James has written an accessible book on evolution and religion that manages to explain memetics while being both funny and touching. --Wes Unruh, author, The Art of Memetics, editor of alteratic.com

Full of powerful, ground-breaking ideas, packaged in a deceptively simple, easy-reading style. James has created one of those rare books where, every few pages, I find myself thinking, "I need to send a copy of this to so-and-so." This is the most fun I've had reading non-fiction in a long time. --Phil Steele, Editor, Fragment and The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

By day, Craig A. James is a computer scientist who studied artificial intelligence, linguistics and genetic algorithms at Stanford University. By night, he studies religion, sociology, psychology and memetics (how ideas spread across society and down through history). James is an accomplished guitarist, a tolerable clarinet player and a deep-sea sailor. He is married and is the father of three grown kids who pursue their dreams with passion. In his spare time, he enjoys biking, hiking Southern California's beautiful beaches and traveling the world.


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This book should be in classrooms for it puts in simple phrases how over the millions of years the believe in gods evolved through the mind and carried forward during the years.
This book puts evolution of the mind where it should be.
Cogratulations to Craig A James.
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A well structured and informative read.
A compelling argument for not subjecting our children to religions or superstitions in their early years.
Memes and how they evolve is clearly explained, and illustrated, a process that we all should be aware of,
in addition to what we already know of genes and genetic evolution.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"The Religion Addiction" seems a more appropriate title for this book. Most people want to cure a virus, but few are willing to give up their addictions. However, "Religion Virus" is probably a more catchy meme. And the whole point of this book is that what is passed on from person to person ain't necessarily the truth but the most appealing message.

Craig James takes you on a tour that includes genetic evolution, the history of religion, memes, quotes from famous non-believers and skeptics, and personal interludes. Using the concept of memes, Craig shows how religions evolved. His writing style is informal and engaging--it made his book a thoroughly enjoyable read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
James takes a less angry tone than Dawkins in the God Delusion and expands on the evolution of religious belief in a highly readable and thought-provoking book.
His contribution to the topic can only help humanity make peace with itself.
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A detailed study of the evolution if religious ideas using memetics. For anyone interested in the role of religion in the development of western culture. As an atheist it makes sense. Having been brought up Catholic it illustrates my path to understanding that God is a purely human construct.
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The author is not primarily an evolutionary biologist, but is extremely well read. He develops Dawkins' memes concept to a sophisticated level. For example, gene selection only works on the individual, and so does meme selection. Hence, the religion meme may give the individual some perceived benefits (comfort, community etc), but actually be bad for society. This is illustrated by the `tragedy of the commons'. Read the book to find out what that means.
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This is an excellent book that describes why many believe something so entirely implausible. The evolution of the "Virus" is particularly interesting and it continues before our eyes. One can now buy a book called "The Bible" without the old testament, is this because that has become so implausible?
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This is another brilliant book arguing against religion. The author bases his theme on the concept of ‘memes’ a word used as a simile to a virus which spreads disease. According to the author, religion is not dissimilar to a virus in that it is spread by word of mouth from generation to generation with no intervening rational process in between. To quote the author, “I hope that I’ve created an anti-religion ‘memeplex’ a sort of ‘inoculation’ against the Religion Virus”. Read this book if you’ve been suffering from a viral attack of religion.
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