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Old 11-22-2009, 07:43 AM   #12
WT Sharpe
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This is not a book on science, nor evolution proper, yet I feel it may be of interest to readers of this forum.

The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

I first became interested in Robert Wright when I read the following quote:

"Last year I read a book which influenced me greatly by a man named Robert Wright. It’s called Nonzero, and, did you ever read a book where somebody says what you’ve been thinking, and you immediately decide the author is a genius? We’ve all done it. Because this person puts something, that you’ve been thinking and feeling but could never quite say, in the way you wish you could have said it."
-- President William J. Clinton, Speaking at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival, May, 2001.

Whatever else may be said about our former President, I think we can all agree that he is an intelligent man, and hearing him refer to another author as a "genius" got my attention. To be sure, Nonzero is still on my waiting list, but his latest book (published earlier this year) stirred my interest even more. In The Evolution of God, Wright details how the Abrahamic God has evolved over time from a tribal to a universal deity. He argues that, despite appearances, the historic trend is toward religious toleration and recognition of our shared humanity. In a world where religious frictions between the Abrahamic religions and between the Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions threaten to tear humanity apart, Wright offers compelling reasons why there is room for hope.

A TED talk, "Robert Wright on optimism" (with a smattering of asides touching on biological and cultural evolution), can be found at http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_wright_on_optimism.html.

More on Wright's The Evolution of God can be found here.
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