Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith - J. Anderson Thomson Jr., Clare Aukofer, Richard Dawkins This is an amazing little book. It's only 144 pages (including the foreword, preface, notes, and short glossary) but it packs quite a punch. Dr. Thomson succinctly and clearly explains why man has created and believed in gods since we evolved into homo sapiens and still believe in them today. He offers medical and psychological data and experiments as his evidence and understandable logic to guide you through his arguments (Michael Persinger's "God Helmet" experiments sounded especially fascinating as well as Dr. Thomson's research on suicide bombings). Although sometimes he could be somewhat vague and not completely expand on a point as much as I would have liked, considering the size of the book I think he does a very nice job explaining his points. It's like a small guidebook that serves as a springboard to shed light on other books like The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins gives a wonderful foreword by the way) and The Origin of Species. The author's tone is never snide or vicious towards Christianity or other religions but occasionally you can pick up on some sarcasm, which actually made it more enjoyable to me. I love how he used well-known Christian quotes and snippets of prayers for his chapter names (like "Our Daily Bread," "And Deliver Us From Evil," and "Oh Ye of Little Faith") and then gave a quote from Charles Darwin right after it. It made for nice contrasts and the quotes were very interesting.

Another thing I liked about this book is that it also helped me understand better why I feel bad for not believing in God. It's a combination of a culmination of tens of thousands of years of the conditioning of human nature, various chemicals and reactions in the brain, and social survival concepts. As he says in the book, it is harder not to believe in a god because of the social stigmas and lack of support and acceptance. It is literally going against one's own nature. Man made gods for a reason; not to intentionally delude himself but to try to better understand the world around him and fill a void. Modern religions have just adapted and contorted homo sapiens' original beliefs and rituals like chanting and dancing in order to better fit their own needs and purposes.

I am extremely tempted to leave this on my Jesus/God-obsessed co-worker's desk. She talks about her religion constantly (at work, in a government office) not only to co-workers but to the people we serve and no one bats an eye at this behavior. I think it's ridiculous how Christians are allowed to shove their beliefs down other people's throats and call it "saving people" but atheists are supposed to just keep quiet about their beliefs for fear they'd offend someone. It'd be nice if she'd actually read this book and at least attempt to give it some thought but I'm pretty sure she'd just throw it away or burn it (and I'd like to keep my copy, thanks). Seriously though, even if you're a hardcore Christian like my co-worker, read this book. It's not going to turn you into an atheist or make you go to hell (I'm pretty sure anyway). It's just going to explain to you why and how you believe what you do. Keep an open mind.