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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Lewis Wolpert

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief by Lewis Wolpert is a groundbreaking popular science book, examining the evolutionary origins of belief.

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Why does every society around the world have a religious tradition of some sort? Professor Lewis Wolpert investigates the nature of belief and its causes. He looks at belief’s psychological basis and its possible evolutionary origins in physical cause and effect.

Wolpert explores the different types of belief – including that of animals, of children, of the religious, and of those suffering from psychiatric disorders. And he asks whether it is possible to live without belief at all, or whether it is a necessary component of a functioning society.


Lewis Wolpert is a distinguished developmental biologist, and is Emeritus Professor in Cell and Developmental Biology at University College, London. He is the author of, among others, The Unnatural Nature of Science and Malignant Sadness, which was described by Anthony Storr as ‘the most objective short account of all the various approaches to depression’. His most recent book, You’re Looking…

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