- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Stellar Conceptions (25 Jan. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0975769626
- ISBN-13: 978-0975769621
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,266,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Shattering the Sacred Myths - The Metaphysics of Evolution Paperback – 25 Jan 2006
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Examines the conflict between science and religion, and helps to dispel the myths and superstitions that have long been used as an excuse for political and religious extremism. Also extends the theory of evolution to include the struggle for political power and the development of advanced technology, and contemplates the existence of the universe and questions whether consciousness has any kind of cosmic purpose.
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I will state a few short reasons why you should not waster your time and money on this book:
- badly written, the phrases and sentences have no life and no flow whatsoever. it's so dull you want to skip ahead to try and see if it gets better. it doesn't
- the area it tries to cover is vast, however the details and precision required of a book that looks at the evolution of morality in relation to religion are completely missing. Dates are rare, and most of the time approximate, and this I find as critically flaw for any book that covers a temporal/historical subject. This was the point that made me give up on he book.
- although the author is supposedly a secular person or so I understand, the book draws too much towards metaphysics and a sort of union-of-all kind of direction for my taste and imho for what should be a rational objective book that does not bring into questions the validity of the contents of the historical facts but the facts themselves
I only got about 30 pages into it and I had to put it down. Perhaps for people with the desire of a "nice story", it might do, but even for that, with difficulty.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests. Theories in physics are often formulated in terms of a few concepts and equations, which are identified with "laws of nature," suggesting their universal applicability. Accepted scientific theories and laws become part of our understanding of the universe and the basis for exploring less well-understood areas of knowledge. Theories are not easily discarded; new discoveries are first assumed to fit into the existing theoretical framework. It is only when, after repeated experimental tests, the new phenomenon cannot be accommodated that scientists seriously question the theory and attempt to modify it. The validity that we attach to scientific theories as representing realities of the physical world is to be contrasted with the facile invalidation implied by the expression, "It's only a theory." For example, it is unlikely that a person will step off a tall building on the assumption that they will not fall, because "Gravity is only a theory."
In addition to Dr. Wolf's explanation, you can see evolution with your own eye's at the Smithsonian's Natural History museum in Washington, D.C.
This history is presented with an emphasis on religion, how all religions evolved from superstition through myth, creation of fictions and selection by church elders of narratives that would "sell" best to the masses. In addition, you get a fair understanding of the role organized religions have played, and continue to play, in wars across the ages. It was interesting to find, for example, that during the "dark ages", the Catholic Church imposed a penalty for being in possession of a bible (you know, the common man could not understand) of death. Religion's constant drive for wealth and power consistently overrode their stated tenets of goodness to all mankind.
Look around and you can see this all being reenacted in modern times.
So, to balance: as mankind discovered new things, and intelligence expanded, our understanding of the world and how it came to be began to challenge the precepts of religious doctrine. And as democracy grew as a governing model, religion saw a threat to their power. Witness now the emergence of the religious right in America and its constant attacks on the poor and helpless among us. Many politicians who don't even believe in religious doctrine have allied with the Christian right because they have determined that they have more power by doing so. Of course, it is not always true, and as science continues to put more facts before us, the power of religion to control the masses will diminish.
Thoughtful discussion is presented throughout about the weaknesses and flaws on both sides - religion and science. Religion presents lies as truth, and science has not yet offered an alternative world view that people can latch onto. The question, for example, of whether all our existence is simply an accident or whether it was overseen by some supreme power is still unanswered.
Prepare to be fascinated, cajoled, prodded and challenged. This is not only a good read, but you will be left thinking and pondering for days, perhaps weeks, afterward. You will want your friends to read it so that you can engage in intelligent conversation about the conundrums presented.