Ever wonder why we embrace so much superstition, and are ready to go to battle to defend our beliefs? Or why the face of Jesus smiling up at us from a slice of pizza can start a bidding war on ebay ? Caveman Logic answers these and similar questions from the fascinating viewpoint of Evolutionary Psychology.
Because Natural Selection moves very slowly, a lot of things about us – including our minds – are probably eons out of date. Imagine a Stone Age brain trying to make sense out of the modern world. It’s not a very pretty picture. Sometimes the results can be funny, but sometimes they can be quite scary. We end up behaving in ways that are barely a step up from the fearful and superstitious cavemen who preceded us.
The ideas in this book will be difficult for some people to accept. They will pose a challenge to some of life’s cornerstones. But it’s worth taking that challenge. “We’re capable of leaving Caveman Logic behind,” according to author Hank Davis. “Biology is not destiny. We have a lot to say about how we use our minds, no matter how predisposed we are to primitive thinking.”
Davis argues that rather than turn control over to our Caveman ancestors - who had good reason to be clueless, we should take more responsibility for how we think and what we do. This book will help you identify Caveman Logic in the world around you and give you the tools and encouragement to transcend your own primitive functioning. The time has come to leave the Pleistocene age behind and act in a way that’s worthy of our species’ name: Homo sapiens. Intelligent man.
Hank Davis is an award-winning Professor of Psychology who teaches at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of five previous books on behavioral science and popular culture, and more than one hundred
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Praise for Caveman Logic, Hank Davis's Intriguing Look at Our Reliance on
Stone Age Thinking
“Hank Davis does a terrific job in helping readers understand how ways of thinking that were both reasonable and advantageous in caveman days become illogical—and potentially destructive—when they are overextended to modern times. A stimulating, thought-provoking book!”
- Madeleine Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things
“An intriguing idea—cogently argued. Hank Davis reveals the deep roots of humanity's weakness for superstitions, blind assumptions, and primitive thinking and shows how
we can start to overcome Caveman Logic."
- Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age
“Why do we humans suffer from delusions such as those of religion? Davis gives the best explanation yet. Our brains are still the same as those of our Pleistocene ancestors, whose survival was enhanced by seeing dangers even when there were none. By using critical thinking we can rid ourselves of these no-longer-needed survival tools.”
- Victor J. Stenger, author of the New York Times best seller God: The Failed Hypothesis
“What was good enough two hundred thousand years ago no longer works very well. Davis makes his case with illuminating examples from everyday life. Caveman Logic is written with wit, humor, and compassion. A must read for those searching beyond superstition and fear to understand
our place in the universe.”
- Professor Harry M. B. Hurwitz, director, the Lessing Institute
“Caveman Logic is a whirlwind tour through the deeper recesses of our evolved mind. Hank Davis brings to bear cutting-edge research from the cognitive sciences to reveal how mental tools designed to serve the needs of our ancient ancestors continue to exert an influence, both subtle and powerful, on human thought and behavior today. Davis argues that to allow this primitive mind-set free play in a world armed with weapons of mass destruction is to court our own doom, and he makes this case in a manner that is both compelling and entertaining. This is a work that can be read and appreciated by a wide range of readers – and deserves to be.”
- John Teehan, Associate Professor of Religion, Hoffstra University, and author of In The Name of God: Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence
“For those comfortable with explaining coincidences, randomness, and imagined patterns . . . in archaic supernatural terms and in projecting the human ability to control events beyond what scientific evidence affords, Caveman Logic is bound to be a disturbing read. For those who have a desire to take a further step on the evolutionary ladder toward a culture based on a scientific understanding of the events that shape our everyday lives, this book will provide an insightful and deeply moving rallying call.”
- Elliot D. Cohen, PhD, author of What Would Aristotle Do?
Self-Control through the Power of Reason