John C. Wathey is a computational biologist whose research interests include evolutionary algorithms, protein folding, and the biology of nervous systems. From 1991 to 1995, he was a senior applications scientist at Biosyms Technologies (now named Accelrys), a company that develops molecular modeling software for the pharmaceutical industry. In 1996, he founded his own business, Wathey Research, and since that time most of his scientific research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health. He is currently writing a follow-up work to The Illusion of God's Presence, which explores in detail the neurobiology of religious emotion and behavior.
"This book presents a wealth of scientific information and insight to bear on the question of belief in God. Written in an accessible yet well-documented style, it argues that biology and evolution explain the human belief in higher powers. Whether you agree or disagree with John Wathey's conclusions, you will find his analysis fascinating."
-- Rebecca Moore, professor emerita and former chair, Department of Religious Studies, San Diego State University; codirector of the Jonestown Institute; and author of Women in Christian Traditions and Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple
"Religion is a fundamental aspect of human experience; this important and exciting book explores its biological underpinnings. Atheists will applaud. Theists will be irritated, yet intrigued."
-- V. S. Ramachandran, Distinguished Professor of psychology and neurosciences and director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California-San Diego; adjunct professor of biology, Salk Institute; and New York Times-bestselling author of The Tell-Tale Brain
"I highly recommend John Wathey's insightful book, The Illusion of God's Presence, which contends, 'Knowledge and understanding come not from gut feelings, divine revelation, or sacred texts, but are gradually and painstakingly achieved through reason and evidence.' If only I had understood this when I was eighteen years old, I might not have joined the Peoples Temple death cult. It would take many years of soul searching to come to terms with my misconceptions about God. I look forward to John Wathey's future work."
-- Deborah Layton, author of Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple