Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

By Deborah Heiligman

Charles Darwin released The beginning of Species, his innovative tract on evolution and the elemental rules concerned, in 1859. approximately a hundred and fifty years later, the idea of evolution keeps to create rigidity among the medical and non secular groups. demanding situations approximately educating the speculation of evolution in faculties ensue every year everywhere in the nation. This similar debate raged inside Darwin himself, and performed a major half in his marriage: his spouse, Emma, was once particularly non secular, and her religion gave Charles much to contemplate as he labored on a idea that keeps to spark severe debates.

Deborah Heiligman's new biography of Charles Darwin is a thought-provoking account of the fellow at the back of evolutionary thought: how his own lifestyles affected his paintings and vice versa. the result is a fascinating exploration of heritage, technology, and faith for younger readers.

Charles and Emma is a 2009 nationwide publication Award Finalist for younger People's Literature.

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And religious affiliation is not biological either (there are no Catholic or Buddhist genes, for example), but depends mostly on the belief of parents or other persons to whom someone is closely attached. Religiosity on the other hand – the mental predisposition to be religious, to affiliate oneself to a religion – has a biological foundation. (This is also true for religiousness, the individually varying manifestation of religiosity, if one wishes to draw this further distinction (Voland this volume), but this need not be 28 R.

It is of dramatic importance for the life and future of mankind. Now that we have created the technologies to cause global catastrophe, our jeopardy is multiplied to the maximum: a toxic religious mania could end human civilization overnight. We need to understand what makes religions work, so we can protect ourselves in an informed manner from the circumstances in which religions go haywire. (Dennett 2006, p. 2 The Seven Main Characteristics of Religion and Religiosity “Religion is nothing but the shadow cast by the universe upon human intelligence,” Victor Hugo once said.

But there is also a high correlation, about 50%, for intrinsic religiosity, especially spirituality (D’Onofrio et al. 1999; Hamer 2004; Kirk et al. 1999; Koenig et al. 2005). Spirituality is a basic personality trait (Cloninger 2000). , of miracles, extrasensory perception, telepathy, vitalization). There is even a candidate gene identified, the VMAT2 gene on chromosome 10 (Hamer 2004; Vaas 2005c): People with at least one C (cytosine) at nucleotide position 33,050 instead of A (adenine) seem to be significantly more spiritual.

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