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Religion and Parapsychology
Record Type: Review   ID: 1298

The Biology of God: A Scientist's Study of Man the Religious Animal

Hardy, Alister

 This book may be considered an extension of Hardy's earlier works, The Living Stream and The Divine Flame. Hardy argues on behalf of consciousness and purposiveness not only in humans but in higher animals. He proposes that both humans and animals can initiate evolutionary changes through altering habit patterns by means of purposive, exploratory activity. A chapter is devoted to a discussion of the relevance of parapsychology to religion and to biology. The last part of the book is on human religious emotions. Hardy reports on the work of the Religious Experience Research Unit (now the Alister Hardy Research Centre) at Oxford, which he founded. He proposes a new natural theology that would, as the title of the book indicates, be based on the fact that man is a religious animal. Although he doesn't make the connection, there appears to be much in common between Rex Stanford's theoretical and experimental approach, which he calls "psi-mediated instrumental response," and Hardy's suggestion that "it may well be that the various separate solutions to our individual problems are always within us if only we could reach them, and that the act of prayer brings them to the surface" (p. 229). It can be said that PMIR makes it possible to reach anywhere in the world to solve our individual problems, and as Hardy suggests, prayer may provide the optimum psychological state for achieving results. In line with Hardy's evolutionary hypothesis, PMIR may be instrumental in solving species-wide problems, not just individual ones.
Publisher Information:New York: Taplinger, 1975. 238p. Bibliographical footnotes; Citations in text; Index: 235-238
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