This month's BRAIN FOOD newsletter



Domesteaders,

Some time ago, I subscribed to Jay Hansen's "Brain Food" newsletter,
and he publishes at such irregular intervals that each one surprises
me when it arrives.

This one bears some connection to the recent "terraforming Terra"
thread, as well as other topics occasionally appearing here, so I'm
going to commit a listserv no-no and forward the juiciest parts of it.
Its purpose is to advertise a book by Reg morrison:

===========
Guess what?  Humans are genetically predisposed to believe in mystics,
UFO's, Neoclassical Economic Theory, good-luck charms, etc.!  In
short, we
evolved to believe in all kinds of gods -- including the Free Market
God.

Reg Morrison wrote the book I wanted to write.  The forward is written
by
Lynn Margulis.  Morrison's book is endorsed by E.O. Wilson of Harvard,
and
Thomas Eisner of Cornell.  If you are ready for some answers, read
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801436516/brainfood.a

The Spirit in the Gene : Humanity's Proud Illusion and the Laws of
Nature
by Reg Morrison, Lynn Margulis
Cornell University Press , March 12, 1999
Hardcover - 286 pages (June 1999)
Comstock Pub Assoc; ISBN: 0801436516

>From the jacket:

>From famines and deforestation to water pollution, global warming, and the
rapid rate of extinction of plants and animals -- the extent of the
global
damage wrought by humankind is staggering. Why have we allowed our
environment to reach such a crisis?

What produced the catastrophic population explosion that so taxes the
earth's resources? Reg Morrison's search for answers led him to ponder
our
species' astonishing evolutionary success. His extraordinary book
describes
how a spiritual outlook combined with a capacity for rational thought
have
enabled Homo sapiens to prosper through the millennia. It convincingly
depicts these traits as part of our genetic makeup -- and as the
likely
cause of our ultimate downfall against the inexorable laws of nature.

The book will change the way readers think about human evolution and
the
fate of our species. Small bands of apes walked erect on the dangerous
plains of East Africa several million years ago. Morrison marvels that
they
not only survived, but migrated to all corners of the earth and
established
civilizations. To understand this feat, he takes us back to a critical
moment when these hominids developed language and with it the unique
ability
to think abstractly. He shows how at this same time they began to
derive
increasing advantage from their growing sense of spirituality. He
convincingly depicts spirituality as an evolutionary strategy that
helped
rescue our ancestors from extinction and drive the species toward
global
dominance.

Morrison concludes that this genetically productive spirituality,
which has
influenced every aspect of our lives, has led us to overpopulate the
world
and to devastate our own habitats. Sobering, sometimes chilling,
consistently fascinating, his book offers a startling new view of
human
adaptation running its natural course.




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