A Few Sample Readers' Comments
"I very much enjoyed the account of your spiritual journey, and believe that it would make excellent reading for every college student. The resultant residence-hall debates would be the best part of their education. It often occurs to me that if, against all odds, there is a judgmental God and heaven, it will come to pass that when the pearly gates open, those who had the valor to think for themselves will be escorted to the head of the line, garlanded, and given their own personal audience."
"Mr. Alper has written an extremely readable and comprehensive analysis of the physiological basis of religiosity...comparable to Freud's 'Future of an Illusion' in its contribution to the continuing maturation of the human mind. I am using "The 'God' Part of the Brain" in a Sociology of Religion course with remarkable results."
"Matthew Alper is high maintenance. Not only is his intellect superior to most Ph.D. candidates that I know, but his intensity in displaying that intellect and arguing his world view is more compelling than many of my grad school courses. So, here I am, fiercely advocating this unconventional, first time author who, with one slim book, has thrown hundreds of years of human religious beliefs out the window and replaced them with a concise scientific view of spirituality that is impossible to argue with...The brain is the secret. In our brains lie nature's survival mechanisms in which God is nothing but a protective lens through which humanity is programmed to view the world. Matthew Alper has the chutzpah to remove that lens, to crush it under his heel, and then, as we cringe in the unfiltered light, he dares us to look up and stare into the pure scientific truth he has discovered. "The 'God' Part of the Brain" is a challenge at first, but once you open your mind to the potentials of its theories, there is nothing to do but follow its arguments to their logical conclusions. And although he rips away our old stiff crutches, this audacious philosopher is kind enough to spoon-feed us a new and positive way to approaching our existences."
"An impressive compilation of data and ideas...both accurate and thoughtful."
"Your book was sensational. Your writing was clear and concise; your summation was bold and masterful."
"Wonderfully written..."The 'God' Part of the Brain" is one of the most insightful, incisive works I have ever read in the field of the Psychology of Religion."
"Vibrant...vivacious...an entertaining and provocative introduction to speculations concerning the neural basis of spirituality."
"What a wonderful book you have written. It was not only brilliant and provocative but also revolutionary in its approach to spirituality as an inherited trait. For years, I had studied cases of people who suffered from varying degrees of head injury in which the victims showed radical changes in their religious behavior after their accidents. Though I was intrigued by this particular phenomenon, I could never really make sense of it until I read your book. For this I cannot thank you enough."
"One of our new projects here at Chase Scientific is to create an Artificial Brain which will, at very minimum, possess basic human cognitive capabilities...We here at Chase have found very few books - I can count them on one hand - regarding the cognitive sciences which present a coherent argument supporting their theories. I think your book, "The 'God' Part of the Brain", has introduced better arguments as to how and why a "spiritual" function may exist in us than any other book I have seen."
"I am profoundly grateful to you for sharing your research and personal conclusions in your book, "The 'God' Part of the Brain". About a year ago I embarked on a quest almost identical to yours - to determine by scientific inquiry whether there exist sufficient grounds to accept afterlife and God as a reality. But my quest was somewhat more urgent than yours. At sixty years old, I would have much less time than you to nail down logical conclusions. I found myself frustrated and downright fearful that I would not make sense of it all, when I heard you on the radio and ordered your book...You have presented what amounts to a unified theory about the nature of mankind's concepts of God and an afterlife, their origins and evolutionary purposes. I have never seen a better-supported, more comprehensive theory on those questions. Until, or unless, I encounter evidence that meaningfully contradicts your conclusions, I'm going to adopt yours as my own working theory. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it available to me."
"...clear, thoughtful, intensely rational...I was amazed by the sheer volume and obvious quality of material read and synthesized - a Herculean task...As a lawyer, I enjoyed the clarity and logical progression of the arguments. Although you present your theories in an accessible, easy to understand fashion, you demand the reader's active participation. I found myself challenged, frustrated, exhausted, exhilarated, and enlightened, often simultaneously. Just when I thought I understood a point, you raised the ante, asked another series of questions beginning with "why" or "what if" - questions that would never have occurred to me, questions that were absolutely integral to proceeding forward...I was unprepared for the hope for humanity expressed in your "new paradigm" - world peace via the elimination of the spiritual impulse as a controlling force in human behavior, a novel concept but, after reading this, not an impossible one."
"With your Bio-theology you have created humankind's first genuine science of religion. Finally, a tangible explanation of God! I did not think that within my lifetime I would be offered a new spiritual paradigm to choose from, particularly one based on such humanitarian goals and values."
"I just found out about your upcoming appearance on Art Bell. You don't know me. I'm just someone who you have enlightened and I am forever in your debt. Please accept my gratitude and allow me to give you a few words of support. There are scores of us out here who believe like you do, and we know you are right. I've been sharing your discoveries with my friends and we're really excited that you'll be on the radio again. Your calm demeanor and articulate speech is an example to us all. When I read your book, I kept thinking to myself, "How could it be any other way?" Thank you sir for speaking truth in a world encumbered by mythology."
"Matthew. This is a fan letter. As a poet I have always enjoyed receiving them, just got one from Bill Moyers, in fact. One of the questions I ask when doing a workshop is "Who would you like to receive a fan letter from" a neat way of getting to someone's essence. I have just returned from one of my college speaking tours using your "The 'God' Part of the Brain" as my airport and travel pass time. Thank you! Thank you! I now know where many of my poems have been coming from. I will only bother you with one here. A KIND OF HOPE written back in the late 60's for some of my radical heroes. After reading your book, I could have written it for you: I guess you'd call him a revolutionary but when he laughed, he laughed real laughter and when he was quiet his eyes were sad so I hung around him and listened to him talk he said: "We have broken the ocean beyond repair. The crabs are leaving; we will soon follow." he said: "We live in an insane asylum where the sensitive go insane, that is to say 'go sane' and then must kill the pain with pills and needles." he said: "The next time the conquering heroes arrive the future is gone in a nuclear flash." he said: "...And there is no time left for the corn to grow." but the fact that he bothered to get out of bed this morning and say it gives me a kind of hope. Know this, my friend, you will be quoted and referred to often in my future speaking tours. Once again, thanks for the 'Hope'."
"I want to congratulate you on your insights, knowledge, wisdom, excellent writing skills, and sharing of yourself. It certainly offers a unique and integrative perspective worth anyone's exploration and appreciation. Keep up the good work."
"I began skeptically reading Matthew Alper's book, as the subject is contradictory to everything I was taught throughout my childhood. For the first 15 years of my life, I never questioned the religious beliefs my family and church imposed on me. After that age, I began to have my own thoughts, and to wonder if what had been "programmed" into me really existed. I began to doubt that I would experience eternal life, and began to be more inclined to believe that when I die, I will totally cease to exist. However, I never explored these possibilities, and chose rather to try to ignore my concerns and fears. I have done a reasonable job of subscribing to the "ignorance is bliss" theory until I unexpectedly happened upon Matthew Alper's thought provoking, stimulating, and well written book. I read it in its' entirety today, and I feel that in some ways I may have opened Pandora's Box. But I also feel that thanks to Mr. Alper, I can now begin to form a solid foundation to explore these issues more thoroughly, and to hopefully begin to understand myself and all the feelings, questions, and fears that I have tried to suppress all these years. I highly recommend this enlightening book to anyone who has feelings similar to mine, but who has also been afraid of beginning the quest for truth."
"This work draws on many scientific disciplines, including evolution, psychology, anthropology, and history, to put into clear perspective the origin of the human need to seek a higher power and, more important, the effect this need has on humanity and its cultures. I found the book to be a "revelation" of sorts in that it finally makes sense out of the din of competing religious views. In this book Matthew Alper shows an enviable commitment to truth, exacting logic and scholarly research as well as a vast intelligence as he explains his search and the answers he found. I did not want the book to end! It explains a very important part of what it means to be human. "The 'God' Part of the Brain" has already made a very great, very positive impact on my life."
"The best in its field...brilliant."
"Alper uses a Socratic method to brilliantly and flawlessly argue that our concepts of God are derived from the mechanics of the brain...enormously important...full of scientific and philosophical truths."
"All 6 billion plus inhabitants of Earth should be in possession of this book. Alper's tome should be placed in the sacred writings section of libraries, bookstores, and dwellings throughout the world. Matthew Alper is the new Galileo. Immensely important. Defines in a clear and concise manner what each of us already knew but were afraid to admit and exclaim. The cats out of the bag."
"Thank you for making sense out of the hunches and gut feelings I've had for years. I feel more peaceful and positive now. I hope that the candle you've lit in the vast darkness will burn as bright as the sun."
"This is an essential book for those in search of a scientific understanding of mans spiritual nature. Matthew Alper navigates the reader through a labyrinth of intriguing questions and then offers undoubtedly clear answers that lead to a better understanding of our objective reality."
"A lively manifesto...For the discipline’s specific application to the matter at hand, I’ve seen nothing that matches the fury of “The ‘God’ Part of the Brain,”which perhaps explains why it’s earned something of a cult following."