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Unfortunately, during the experiment, while Prof Dawkins had some strange experiences and tinglings, none of them prompted him to take up any new faith. "It was a great disappointment," he said. "Though I joked about the possibility, I of course never expected to end up believing in anything supernatural. But I did hope to share some of the feelings experienced by religious mystics when contemplating the mysteries of life and the cosmos."
Dr Persinger has explained away the failure of this Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator. Before donning the helmet, Prof Dawkins had scored low on a psychological scale measuring proneness to temporal lobe sensitivity.
Recent studies on identical and fraternal twin pairs raised apart suggest that 50 per cent of our religious interests are influenced by genes. It seems Prof Dawkins is genetically predisposed not to believe.