Sunday, August 9, 2015

Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science. Book report

The book titled "Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science" written by Robert Park, discusses superstition in today's society.  Park describes a personal story about a tragic accident in which he had been injured but survived, and uses this as a segway into the main topic of beliefs in superstition.  Park discusses a different section of either science, religion or pseudoscientific works and beliefs in each chapter, explaining certain beliefs about topics such as prayer in healing, "dreamhealing" and even the possible presence of evil in some instances.  All chapters contribute knowledge to the main topic of whether or not superstition can be justified in some instances.  Overall, Park does an excellent job keeping the reader interested in the information, while relating each new bit of information back to psychology and pseudo psychology.

My favorite part of the book would have to be the second chapter, which introduces Charles Darwin's concept of Natural Selection, and how this idea clashes with religious beliefs both in the past and today as well.  This topic interests me because I thoroughly believe in the idea of evolution and I am always intrigued to hear about others' opinions on the matter.  Robert challenges those looking for evidence of evolution and does so through examples such as the spread of lactose tolerance.  Using examples like this and others, Park supports the existence of evolutionary changes and how they continue to occur rapidly.  

In relation to a topic that was discussed earlier in this course, the idea of evolution can be tied into discussions about the 10% myth, in which some believe humans have access to only 10% of their brains.  Evolution could suggest that the human brain has advanced to the point of all portions being responsible for specific tasks, combining talents to complete ordinary every day actions.  In other words, though it is not proven it is evident that the other 90% of the brain is not sitting dormant for a persons entire life.

Overall, I would suggest this book to anyone interested in the topic of Psychology, because Park does a phenomenal job of informing his audience while at the same time keeping them entertained.  If nothing else, the book may open your mind to new ideas and outlooks never thought of before.  

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