Books by Brights
The Jolly Pilgrim
The Jolly Pilgrim sets out a naturalistic worldview through the vehicle of global travel adventure, taking place across 60,000 miles, 24 countries, five continents and two years.
During that time Peter Baker studied the Abrahamic scriptures and visited some of the world’s most talismanic religious sites. The adventure, related through a series of emails, describes his detailed analysis of the Bible and the Qur’an – setting the phenomenon of religion in the context of human cultural evolution. In addition, he looks at the political, social and economic developments that have taken place since the development of agriculture, 12,000 years ago, which have led to modern civilisation.
The book ends by arguing that the realities revealed by science are far more beautiful and satisfying than any of humanity’s pre-modern cosmologies, and that those cosmologies never did justice to the great blossoming of cosmic and Darwinian evolution of which we’re all a part.
About the Author
Peter Baker grew up in England and read physics at Durham University. After graduating he moved to Asia, working as a science teacher in India and (briefly) as a club singer in Bangkok. On his return to the UK he became a writer for a global insurance consultancy in the West End, while exploring London’s intellectual and cultural scene, pursuing interests in evolutionary psychology, economics and history, and beginning the development of his thesis regarding the shape and character of the human project.
In 2005, he embarked upon the journey recorded in The Jolly Pilgrim, during which his ideas concerning a naturalistic worldview, and the context of contemporary civilisation became fully formed. Following his return home, he spent a year living in a one-room wooden cabin at the bottom of an apple orchard, while writing and caring for his dying mother. He then moved back to London, took a job in the City and spent two years polishing the manuscript. The Jolly Pilgrim is his first book.