The Good Book Of Human Nature

971 Words Jun 12th, 2016 4 Pages
When it comes to the Bible, negotiating the span between religious reverence and secular scorn can be a daunting task of intellectual funambulism. Too often, the faithful view the Bible solely as a divine message from God, immune to critical analysis. Likewise, the non-religious often dismiss the Bible as an irrelevant—or even dangerous—collection of outdated and ignorant writings.
In their new book, The Good Book of Human Nature, (Basic Books, $29.99), evolutionary anthropologist Carel van Schaik and historian Kai Michel capably bridge this gap, boldly defending the thesis that the Bible is the most important book in the history of humanity. Though both agnostic, they believe that the Bible offers an invaluable key to a better understanding of ourselves. Through the lenses of cognitive science, evolutionary biology, archeology, and religious history, they explore what the Bible reveals about human nature and the cultural evolution of our species:
In the Bible we find answers to humanity’s greatest questions. We do not mean this in a religious sense. Rather it teaches us why we fear death, how we deal with great misfortunes, and where our deep-seated desire for justice originated. The Bible shows us how we learned to survive in large, anonymous societies, why our modern lives sometimes seem so pointless, and why we are so often nagged by what we should describe as a longing for Paradise. When viewed without its halo, the Bible has something important to say to all of…
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