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The Evolution of God    by Robert Wright order for
Evolution of God
by Robert Wright
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

From Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal and Nonzero, comes a controversial book that is sure to set off the ire of most if not all religious groups. In The Evolution of God Wright gives readers a complete history of religion from our ancient prehistory when fire was something novel and ancestral people saw spirits within every rock and tree, to the modern day clash of faiths throughout the world.

Dividing his book into five sections, Wright begins at the very beginning, exploring why people imagined spirits and gods in objects and the ether to help give reasons behind phenomena like natural disasters, cataclysms, and what happens when a family member dies. He explores these ideas, both at the scientific level and the psychological, reducing faith to its component parts. Wright then moves onto the advent of monotheism, Christianity, and Islam, providing a history lesson and analyzing these world-dominant faiths under the same parameters. In the last section, God Goes Global, he addresses the state of today's religions and what it means to us on a global scale.

The Evolution of God doesn't look to refute religion, or decide which one is better or more true than another; Wright is just telling a history of the evolution of religion and faith through our ancestry to our present. Whether you're an atheist or are deeply religious, whether you agree with all of it or not, you will find The Evolution of God an interesting read.

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