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Scientists See God on the Brain

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posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:34 AM
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Scientists See God on the Brain


Science can't say whether God represents a loving, vengeful or nonexistent being. But researchers have revealed for the first time how such religious beliefs trigger different parts of the brain.

Brain scans showed that participants fell back on higher thought patterns when reacting to religious statements, whether trying to figure out God's thoughts and emotions or thinking about metaphorical meaning behind religious teachings.

"That suggests that religion is not a special case of a belief system, but evolved along with other belief and social cognitive abilities," said Jordan Grafman, a cognitive neuroscientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland.


www.livescience.com...




posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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Brain areas activated by considering how involved God (or another perceived supernatural entity) is. These are areas that also help us understand the intentions of others and the emotional significance of these intentions. Credit: D. Kapogiannis


LiveScience Image Gallery
www.livescience.com...



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:41 AM
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Unsurprisingly, statements of religious doctrine activated parts of the brain that help decode metaphor and abstractness. That contrasted with statements reflecting religious experience, which prodded the brain to retrieve memories and imagery of self in action.

Even statements that believers or nonbelievers disagreed with produced intriguing results.

"Reading a statement that you have been asked to compare your own personal beliefs with certainly will activate your own belief system," Grafman pointed out. He and his colleagues observed brain regions relating to disgust or conflict lighting up in response.

One question that remains unanswered is whether religion evolved as a central functional preoccupation for human brains in early societies, or whether it simply relied on brain regions which had evolved for other types of thought-processing.
\

Is anyone up for tackling this, in terms I can understand?

Did religion evolve as a central functional preoccupation for human brains in early societies, or did it simply rely on brain regions which had evolved for other types of thought-processing?



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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participants fell back on higher thought patterns when reacting to religious statements,


So with this in mind whether you a are believer or a non-believer, is discussing religion a plus?

And what about philosophy?

[edit on 103131p://bFriday2009 by Stormdancer777]



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:52 AM
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Spirituality Spot Found in Brain
www.livescience.com...


Among the more spiritual of the 26 subjects, the researchers pinpointed a less functional right parietal lobe, a physical state which may translate psychologically as decreased self-awareness and self-focus.

The finding suggests that one core tenant of spiritual experience is selflessness, said Johnstone, adding that he hopes the study "will help people think about spirituality in more specific ways."



a natural consequence of turning down the volume on the Me-Definer.


Hmmm interesting,


The greatest silencing of the Me-Definer likely happens in the deepest states of meditation or prayer, said Johnstone, when practitioners describe feeling seamless with the entire universe.
That is, the highest point of spiritual experience occurs when "Me" completely loses its definition.


Yes moments of timelessness, not only "ME" but the whole world as we know it gets shut out.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


My personal take on that - religion and faith always were (and are) very important part of humanity. So these finds are pretty predictable in a way.
And by the :



Did religion evolve as a central functional preoccupation for human brains in early societies, or did it simply rely on brain regions which had evolved for other types of thought-processing?

puzzle author wanted simply to say that there is no conclusion on whether
:brain developed special areas/pathways for religion(faith) thought proceesing or
: brain uses for this purpose pre-existing pathways/areas that were supposed to be used usualy for other purposes.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:08 AM
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Audio: Does Science Condemn God?

www.livescience.com...

Something besides Science as a way at looking at the world,

Yes ,did the sciences and philosophical brain functions evolve from religious thought?



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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GOD is acronym for Genius Of Design, our master designer of our universe and everything ever first created.

Religion was invented by (shadow) governments to split up humanity in the name of GOD so each of us elusively fights for our own so-called god, fake religion and false consciousness, and hence will never unite and stand up together against the (shadow) governments and cabals.

Think, GOD does not want her people to fight for her sake.

Wake up, sheeple!



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


My personal take on that - religion and faith always were (and are) very important part of humanity. So these finds are pretty predictable in a way.
And by the :



Did religion evolve as a central functional preoccupation for human brains in early societies, or did it simply rely on brain regions which had evolved for other types of thought-processing?

puzzle author wanted simply to say that there is no conclusion on whether
:brain developed special areas/pathways for religion(faith) thought proceesing or
: brain uses for this purpose pre-existing pathways/areas that were supposed to be used usualy for other purposes.







My personal take on that - religion and faith always were (and are) very important part of humanity. So these finds are pretty predictable in a way.



Oh yes I believe so too.

I still wonder, were we programmed to believe in a higher power, or something outside ourself, and so god belief plays an important role in evolution.

This being outside ourself, or me, is important in so many levels for the survival of the tribe/society/civilization.

Then why on earth did it all go so horrible wrong?



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by ctjctjctj
GOD is acronym for Genius Of Design, our master designer of our universe and everything ever first created.

Religion was invented by (shadow) governments to split up humanity in the name of GOD so each of us elusively fights for our own so-called god, fake religion and false consciousness, and hence will never unite and stand up together against the (shadow) governments and cabals.

Think, GOD does not want her people to fight for her sake.

Wake up, sheeple!


Yes, there is a big difference between spirituality and religion.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds
www.livescience.com...

I think we have lost something, in many ways, we are less intuitive, less aware,

Why?

It is obvious we are losing many of our natural instincts.

[edit on 113131p://bFriday2009 by Stormdancer777]



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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Then why on earth did it all go so horrible wrong?

That is question of questions. Scores of theologians, philosophers and other individuals tried to figure it out. However every single answer given in my opinion is not THE answer. And of course, i do not know the answer too. I assume that it is part of free will "burden" - but it is granted that there is a free will, and i am not sure in this myself.
However i think that removing the responsibility for state of affairs from us and placing the blame on God (or creator) as is done in Gnostic approach is not correct.

As for how the God concept/idea/being entered our conscious and subconscious - also scores of answers exist. Also - problematic. It is all very shaky area. Children trust their parents (and other familiar adults) almost blindly until certain age (when they discover that parents are just as clueless - simply more experienced). Faith-like trust. The same in a lot of animals. If God is extrapolation of the same belief in something all-powerful and just or if God is what is described in religions or if there is other reason - probably we will never know for sure.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777
Spirituality Spot Found in Brain
www.livescience.com...



The greatest silencing of the Me-Definer likely happens in the deepest states of meditation or prayer, said Johnstone, when practitioners describe feeling seamless with the entire universe.
That is, the highest point of spiritual experience occurs when "Me" completely loses its definition.


Yes moments of timelessness, not only "ME" but the whole world as we know it gets shut out.


I think that article should have been titled "the ego spot." Not the spiritual spot.

After all, what they are describing is the quieting of the Ego via meditation, and the "Me" idea is egoistic.

Both articles are very interesting. I think the thing that perhaps is significant about the article is that atheists and scientists often try to paint the religious as "primitive" "regressive" and often imply that spirituality is something we are outgrowing.

Perhaps that should be reconsidered. After all, it doesnt fit the facts. This data suggests to me that we are evolving INTO spirituality, not out of it. Perhaps the "me spot" is what we are evolving out of. After all, "selflessness" was probably quite useful in terms of us becoming social animals. Allowing us to make sacrifices for the group, and by sacrificing our own "me" needs, ensuring the survival of the collective.

Studies with other primates are showing a "moral" sense as well. Perhaps spirituality, morality, and religion are senses that are evolving to allow us to take a less "self" (me) centered view of the world on the way to a more collective awareness.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by ZeroKnowledge
 





Also - problematic. It is all very shaky area. Children trust their parents (and other familiar adults) almost blindly until certain age (when they discover that parents are just as clueless - simply more experienced). Faith-like trust. The same in a lot of animals. If God is extrapolation of the same belief in something all-powerful and just or if God is what is described in religions or if there is other reason - probably we will never know for sure



Yes it goes without saying we look to god as the, father/mother/guide/disciplinarian/ruler/lawgiver,and inevitable judge and jury.

I wonder who thought the first god thought?

We worshiped rulers as gods, ahemmm I think we still do.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by ZeroKnowledge
 


I think the answer to why "it all got so horrible" is that that the religious violence in the past was not attributed to people who were thinking about god in the sense that the people in the study were, they weren't spending much time using the higher thought types that the article was mentioning.
This article is about active, introspective thought about the true or theoretical nature of God. Most blind followers don't spend a lot of time trying to understand the nature of God themselves, they let others dictate that to them, often with disastrous results.
A suicide bomber does not spend his life introspecting, he spends his life being brainwashed by his trainers and media propaghanda. His convictions are not formed from looking inside himself, but are instilled by outside forces. He has not conditioned himself, he has been conditioned.
The answer to why it all got so horrible is that the major religions do not teach their followers to figure out God for themselves.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Yes, thank you, I agree, I think science and spirituality should go hand in hand,

Also along those lines of thinking, music and art come to mind.

How is contemplating a scientific theory not the same as meditation?

Could it be the same thing?



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by outsider13
 



That's true, outsider,

It became, about control.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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A spot in the brain to enforce herd/hive functions.



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Aeons
A spot in the brain to enforce herd/hive functions.


Then you are saying the ME is the positive, and the US is the problem?

[edit on 123131p://bFriday2009 by Stormdancer777]



posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Stormdancer777

I still wonder, were we programmed to believe in a higher power, or something outside ourself, and so god belief plays an important role in evolution.

This being outside ourself, or me, is important in so many levels for the survival of the tribe/society/civilization.

Then why on earth did it all go so horrible wrong?


Perhaps it didnt.

Perhaps what we consider "so horribly wrong" has simply been a developmental stage.

When things are evolving, there are stages where there are many competing "mutations." Perhaps it is/was a stage in the competitive phase that the "selflessness" was expanded out a bit at a time. From "me and me alone" to "me and my family" to "me and my tribe" to "me and my nation" to "me and my species" on the way to "me and all living beings" and then to "me and all that Is."

Thats what you see in levels of spiritual teachings. Perhaps there are some humans who are simply front runners in this evolution, but it is the way we are all headed. Toward Oneness.

Perhaps the violence that we decry in these religions has been a necessary evil, in the sense that it is allowing those who have some degree of this mutation to out compete those who do not. Or, perhaps it has been a blind alley in the sense that those who are being "out competed" were the more altruistic of the species.

Studies of altruism in groups have shown that in order for the altruists to win the evolutionary game, they must discriminate against the non-altruistic, or they will be rapidly overrun.

www.msu.edu...


Figure 2: Two sample runs seeded with 95% kin-altruistic
organisms (HDT.5) and 5% kin-cheaters (HDT.0) with a
genetic (Hamming) distance of 1 between the two groups. In
one of the displayed runs (solid line) the kin-cheater quickly
fixates. This occurred in 45/50 runs. In the other run (dotted
line) the kin-cheater quickly expands in the population,
coming very close to fixation, but is stopped at the last
moment by the kin-altruist, which has mutated away until it
no longer considers the kin-cheater to be its relative, and thus
is no longer altruistic towards it. This phenomenon occurred
in 5/50 runs.


So, perhaps instead of looking at religion as a "failure" we should acknowledge that there may be a bigger game and mechanism at work here, and perhaps arriving at perfect "altruism" too early in said game would have been fatal for altruism altogether.



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