Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs, and Bad Ideas

Overview

Human beings evolved in a tribal environment. Over the millennia, our brains have become adept at fostering social networks that are the basis of group cohesion, from the primary family unit to the extended associations of clans, villages, cities, and nations. This essential social component of our behavior gave the human species distinct survival advantages in coping with the challenges of an often-hostile environment.

This book examines the many ways in which our tribally ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (36) from $2.40   
  • New (18) from $3.92   
  • Used (18) from $2.38   
Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs, and Bad Ideas

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$11.99 List Price

Overview

Human beings evolved in a tribal environment. Over the millennia, our brains have become adept at fostering social networks that are the basis of group cohesion, from the primary family unit to the extended associations of clans, villages, cities, and nations. This essential social component of our behavior gave the human species distinct survival advantages in coping with the challenges of an often-hostile environment.

This book examines the many ways in which our tribally oriented brains perceive and sometimes distort reality. The author describes how our social nature led to the development of cognitive tricks that have served us so well as a social species. Some examples are our habit of imposing patterns on random phenomena, of weaving entertaining narratives to explain the mysteries of the universe, and of favoring the biases of group think. Luckily, we also stumbled upon science, which McRae views as a fortuitous accident. With this new technique, humans had discovered a method of objectively evaluating the accuracy of our traditional tribal notions. Even more important, the scientific method proved to be self-correcting, allowing us to weed out the bad ideas from those that really work.

McRae argues that science is our most successful social enterprise to date. Through the sharing of scientific ideas, our species has expanded the reach of the tribal community to a global scale. Our problems may be bigger than ever, but science gives us a sure basis in reality and the best method of facing the daunting challenges of the future.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Science has never been more important, or more deeply misunderstood. Tribal Science explains what science gets right, with a light sense of humor and a keen sense of why so many—even scientists—get science wrong. McRae’s sharp eye for historical detail and natural storyteller’s art make for a joyous and entertaining tour of science’s evolution and the ways that human evolution and biology have shaped what science became. Readers of all tribes will find much to enjoy in these pages."
-JOSHUA ROSENAU, Programs and policy director, National Center for Science Education

"Whether you’re new to the shadowy intersection of science and belief or a seasoned traveler, Tribal Science will turn your assumptions on their heads. It invites you to marvel at still-stranger vistas and tempts you to walk the paths that others overlook."
-DANIEL LOXTON, Skeptic magazine

"Our modern, luxury-filled world is full of things we tend to take for granted. It is amazing how we as a human tribe have overcome our natural unscientific thinking. McRae has done a superb job of taking readers through a tale that gives insight into how we have gone from nothing but superstition and fallacy-filled understandings of the world to our present civilization built upon a legacy of scientific observations and evidence."
-DEREK COLANDUNO, Podcast co-host and producer at Skepticality.com

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616145835
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,312,738
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike McRae is a science writer for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra, Australia. He is a former secondary-school science teacher and touring science communicator for Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in medical anthropology at the Australian National University.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)