August 29, 2006


Nuns prove God is not figment of the mind (Roger Highfield, 30/08/2006, Daily Telegraph)

[T]he God module, as some scientists call it, is a mirage, according to the study by Dr Mario Beauregard, of the Department of Psychology at the Université de Montréal and his student Vincent Paquette, published in the journal Neuroscience Letters. [...]

Rather than reveal a spiritual centre in the brain, a module of neural circuits specifically designed for religious experience, the study demonstrated that a dozen different regions of the brain are activated during a mystical experience.

In other words, mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions and systems normally implicated in functions such as self-consciousness, emotion and body representation.

In the past, some researchers went as far as to suggest the possibility of a specific brain region designed for communication with God. This latest research discredits such theories.

Ever get the feeling that science exists just to recapitulate what we always knew?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2006 11:06 PM

You could replace "religion" with "science" and your pronouncement would be equally intelligible. Do the two abstract terms always have to be considered as completely separate from each other?

Posted by: Theo at August 29, 2006 11:17 PM

Neither is abstract, which is why they're separate.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 11:22 PM

Anything can pretend to be science if you find enough suckers (gov't, university and foundation) to fund it.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 29, 2006 11:50 PM

Mysticism is experiencing the "deactivation" of boundaries among brain functions that are normally compartmentalized during full consciousness. It is not a separate function. Silly neuroscientists.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 30, 2006 12:19 AM

Silly nuns. I read the Brothers Judd to get my mystical experiences.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at August 30, 2006 2:49 AM

Both are abstract, because they can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Like a body that strikes at its own reflection in the mirror, a mind that narrowmindedly seeks to find the divisions in the categories of its existence will find itself constantly at war against the boundaries that it draws itself.
The study can show what some of the ancients knew, which was that there are observable laws that connect all spheres of human thought and action; the mystical experience is not characterized by the activity of one brain center, but by the union of seemingly disparate compartments, like ghostcat pointed out.
So wouldn't you think that that insistant scapegoating of a variety of marginalized groups/opinions, that regularly occurs on this website, might be a little...insane? Sacrilegious?

Posted by: Theo at August 30, 2006 3:23 PM


The ancients took their knowledge on authority from God and science shows it to be correct. So is the morality He gave us. Groups get marginalized because they are immoral.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 3:44 PM