m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

On Daniel Everett

Via Language Log: a Guardian story about former missionary Daniel Everett’s life-changing study of Pirahã, which cost him two faiths and a marriage:

“It’s wrong to try and convert tribal societies,” he says. “What should the empirical evidence for religion be? It should produce peaceful, strong, secure people who are right with God and right with the world. I don’t see that evidence very often. So then I find myself with the Pirahã. They have all these qualities that I am trying to tell them they could have. They are the ones who are living life the way I’m saying it ought to be lived, they just don’t fear heaven and hell.”

The article comes out on the occasion of today’s publication of his new book: *Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes.