The Faith Instinct by Nicholas Wade

I don’t even remember when I bought this book. It was a several years ago, I know that for sure. I read the first half, and then life kind of got in the way and it got lost for a bit. After moving, I picked it up again and finished it. Finally.

Funny enough, I found the first half book rather fascinating and the last half rather boring. I’m not exactly sure why. The first half of the book is more about the evolutionary aspects of religion while the last half is about human involvement with religion.

This book is about the evolution of religion from the scientific viewpoint. The author was not overtly critical of religion, but he did have a scientific, methodical approach. Religion is portrayed as the noblest side of human nature and the manifestations of its cruelty. It is hard to negate that conclusion.

I appreciated the author’s aim towards objectivity. He agreed that the idea that the “mind has been prepared by evolution to believe in gods neither proves or disproves their existence.” Science is not in the religion, spiritual, meaning making business. It is in the business of facts.

Religion is found in every society throughout the history of the world. Why? This book tries to figure that out.

This was an enjoyable read, but I don’t know if it would be on my list of recommends.