As I said in a previous review:
“First things first: I consider myself a very hopeful agnostic. Also, I do not care at all for angry atheists (or theists), who are waaaaay different from genuinely thoughtful, polite people who happen to be atheists (or theists). For more on this thought as well as for my current views on spirituality please go here. It is only fair to state from the very beginning that I am very interested on the topic of this book for intellectual as well as for emotional reasons. Moreover, I have no academic training in theology or any related discipline. On the other hand, I am a very well trained practicing scientist and educator, as well as an author. You have been warned!”
I will not cover every single aspect of the book in this review because I do not want to give too much away. Book reviews are tricky this way. Also, it is always best for you to make yur own mind about it. Thus, I will limit myself to a few good and a few not-so-good asp cts of th book.
Here we go.
I had high hopes for this but ok when I began reading it. The books takes off with a very poignant story about the brain of a deceased child. A very powerful way to start! Very emotional story, a story that sets th stage for some of the “Big Questions” that keep most of us awake in the middle of the night. Questions of transcendence, how the brain makes us who we are, and where do we go (if anywhere at all) when we leave our human existence, among many other such questions. Right there, this is a book that will interest most people.
As expected from the author’s medical (specifcally neurology) background, his brief explorations of the anatomy and functions of the brain are right on point. As he veers off his own area of expertise, things begin to stand in much flimsier ground. Here are some examples:
Page 37: “Our capacity for empathy requires belief… that all life… has purpose and meaning.” Not exactly. I know more than one person who does not believe in any kind of ultimate meaning in the universe and yet they show perfectly good empathy in every sense of the word.
Page 40: “If life is only about the survival of the fittest…” Anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of evolutionary theory is aware that the aforementioned phrase has no meaning even within technical discussions of evolution.
Picture credit: Harmony books
Note: I will post an abbreviated version of this review at the”-azon” website (:-)…
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