Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion by David Lewis-Williams - review by Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist

God Bother

Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion

By

Thames & Hudson 320pp £18.95 order from our bookshop
 

The argument of this book is simple. Religion is a misunderstanding of certain brain-generated neurological phenomena, such as occur in migraine and epilepsy, which in previous generations defied any obvious explanation and were attributed to visitations from gods. Since ancient times the belief in gods has been used by some individuals to oppress others. The whole sham should therefore be exposed and religion finally denounced and discarded. 

How satisfying it must be to inhabit the world of David Lewis-Williams. Untroubled by doubt, and pleasingly aware of his own superior intelligence, he looks down on the mass of pathetic humanity who find life more complicated than he does. He should be a happy man. And yet,

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