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Study suggests 'born-again' believers have smaller brains

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posted on May, 26 2011 @ 03:44 AM
I wonder how Mormons would fit in to this study?

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 03:46 AM
reply to post by mkkkay

1.may be they are right ( although i do not confide them personally )

they have greater brain or greater power in this world.

who has the ultimate power in the judgment day ? it is God who will decide.

2.what you are offering is a part of the religious conspiracy , the war between religions , divide and conquer theory. may be it is too late.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 03:52 AM
Explanation: Maybe its due to [speculating here ok ... as OL did read the article linked and the answer is in ther so there is noneed to argue please ... just go read the full article... and no I won't link or quote. Please do some research

Now back to speculating... OK these elderly patients are generally set in their ways and OL is assuming that they have held their own personal religious beliefs for a long time.

Maybe it is simpler to be a Catholic or an Athiest as ones mind is truly made up and one generally doesn't revisit the mental argument unless one goes deliberately looking for it or is hard pressed by some shtf sitx etc.

Neither aAthiests or Catholics need to rely on a PERSONAL relationship with God as athiest think they have that already worked out and its a moot and muted point for them and Catholics just rely on the Pope to think whats best for them etc. Protestants however must CONSTANTLY question everything they do as regards their personal relationship with their God. Who OL notices, if they a real
[I believe they are... just going by different names etc.] ,then one had best be sure to be kosher with them on a constant basis as they made one and they can unmake one!

Personal Dislcosure: That's sure to keep that grey matter ticking over and being required [in protestants]... Maybe?

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 03:56 AM

Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
You do know that "born again Christians" are protestants don't you?

Maybe you do not.

Yes, born again Christians are Protestants. The non-born-again Protestants are the subjects that showed the least shrinkage of their hippocampus, whereas born again Christians, Catholics and non-religious subjects showed greater shrinkage.

I should have been clearer and when I was referring to the Protestant subjects, I was referring to those of the non-born again variety.

The study preliminarily classed the religious affiliation of the subjects as Protestant, Catholic, other or none. Because they had a large number of born again participants, they further divided the Protestant group into two categories: born again and non-born again.

Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
I believe that any study done by a institute of "higher learning" is always flawed and usually biased.

What did they actually do,ask those who were having their heads examined what their religious beliefs were?

They asked them about their religious beliefs, practice and experiences at the start of the study in 1994; the questions were about their frequency of public worship, frequency of private religious activity, religious group membership, born again status and life changing religious experiences.

They were questioned on their born again status and life changing religious experiences every year for the remainder of the study.

They had MRI scans on their brains every 2 years to examine any physical deterioration in the region of the brain that was examined.

Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
Why is a certain religion and belief attacked mercilessly?

I don't think that you can blame studies like this. These studies are neutral and the published findings aren't usually that earth-shattering.

The blame should be put at the door of the sensationalist media. The headline of the article, for example, is a prime example of that: ''Study suggests 'born-again' believers have smaller brains''.

That headline is a complete misrepresentation of the study's findings, and it is designed to elicit a strong response from born agains and anti-born agains.

The study was examining only a small region of the brain, yet the media outlets are reporting the results as showing that born-agains have ''smaller brains'', knowing full well that most people are going to associate the phrase ''smaller brain'' with having less intelligence.

The findings of the study could just as easily be sensationalised into: ''Study suggests non-believers have smaller brains than Catholics and non-born again Protestants''.

Originally posted by IamJustanAmerican
I studied a young girl,now a young woman, born and raised in a atheist household without television or radio or even newspapers and magazines,nonchalantly telling her mother at the age of four that Jesus was real.

How did she know this?

Maybe she got it off a friend who had religious parents ? I dunno, I'm just thinking out loud.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 04:12 AM
Buh, there are alot of studies that are a waist of time and our tax money. Everything that has to do with spirituality they love to debunk. I even read a article that they are considering to stamp greef of losing a loved one as a mental disorder. I think they should researche their own gray masses before saying ignorant stuff like this...

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 04:21 AM
This article is very significant, I found it shocking in it's revelation that Christians
(flavor notwithstanding) have smaller brains because I did not think they had any
brains, at all.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 04:36 AM
The Drug of Religion is Faith, Those that are saved dont have as many worries as those that are not!... lol
The Perception of being saved maybe an illness wouldnt that be amazing!.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 07:29 AM
reply to post by Mactire

their entire lives to free float on the notion that "God has a plan"

Take my catholic grandmother for example.
She has lived with this notion all her life. She is nearly 80. She has lived a full happy life.
Had two healthy children, one of them is my mother.
She worked, got home and cooked lunch for the whole family. She brought up near enough all the grandchildren and great grandchildren as we are very close to her.
She's just got back from Tenerife, she went on holiday with her partner.
She brought us all up and she is a catholic, this to me is not the work of someone with a small brain.
Actually, she's a role model.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 07:38 AM
reply to post by boondock-saint

In this case, how could hell be any worse?

At least you'd be free of pestering, close-minded praying sheep.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 07:53 AM
Aren't the born again Christians the fundamentalists, and they tend to take the bible literally, unable to delve deeply abstract thoughts, or understand metaphors? This isn't cut and dried but overall. An example, my ex's family who treat David Suzuki as if he working for the devil, and believes the world is only 6000 years old, literally, and dino bones are from the devil. In addition, they shorted their children's education by sending them to an alternative school where they didn't take science. Just to become a nurse would require a whole 1-2 year upgrade in science first, so turn 2-3 years into 4-5 years of study.

Since several of my boys have learning disabilities, and one has to struggle with abstract thoughts, I wondered if there was a coalition.
edit on 26-5-2011 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by Ghandi

My question for these scientists, irrelevant of their findings is, don't we have better things to be studying other then differences in human beings? I dunno maybe say finding a cure for brain tumors?

And you don't think a detailed study of the brain, how it works, and how each of us are different, is the first logical step to that? Seriously. that's quite possibly one of the most ignorant things I've seen so far.

Forget about the science of the brain. Cure tumors!!! .... of the brain.


posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:00 AM
Generationally if you marry into one those families who think literally like younger kids, and don't understand metaphors, wouldn't that become a fixed trait. Also, Radiation!!!

The atmosphere tests they did up until 1963 took the SAT scores of the school children down 12% since the 1940's. I'm sure alot of abstract thought went out the window then.
edit on 26-5-2011 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by Victor03

There are absolutley no fossil records that support evolution and every claim of evolving human bones found has been a fake.

Uh, yes there are, and no they haven't. Just saying that stuff doesn't make it true. but yeah, believing some white bearded old man just snapped his fingers and created a man and woman, and every creature on earth, then that man and woman, who are related as Eve was created from Adams rib, proceed to have incestuous relations and populate the earth.

That makes much more sense as there is absolutely no science to back that up, yet there is plenty of science to prove evolution. Just because you choose to ignore it doesn't make it any less real. Until you can provide any evidence, a single shred, that god created man and all the creatures on earth, I'd just stop talking about it, you come off as ignorant and silly, laughing in the face of decades, DECADES of science.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:08 AM
It is true that the more you learn and study, the bigger your brain gets.

I would not argue that blind believers have smaller brains. Any super religious person's house I have been too only has a handfull of books, the bible. They can't accept anything else.

But the article refers to the hippocampus, which regulates emotion. I am not a neurologist, but I am not sure that knowlege determines the size of the hippocampus.

People use religion as a crutch. There is nothing wrong with a crutch, it helps you walk. I am on the side of, the hippocampus is smaller,there for the person is less able to cope with life and understand reasons for things happening, and use the crutch.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:11 AM
I remember pointing out that icebergs weren't salt water but where frozen precipitation and they took alot longer than 6000 years to form.

That was quite the discussion. I had to duck and dodge.

The bible is all a metaphor. The only difference between Anglican and Catholic is arguing on the credo's they derive from what both acknowledge to be primarily metaphor. They are allowed to be abstract thinkers, which according to my father who was a science teacher, is a sign of true intelligence. My youngest's learning disability makes him struggle with school, and he is in a special program, however, his testing on abstract was many years over his grade and my father always tests kids by cracking offbeat abstracted jokes and see who gets it.

And who said the Creator(s)/Designer(s), didn't create this cosmos to evolve too. I do believe its a Creation, as its a hologram/matrix/school, and quite magical in how it performs, and holograms are constructs. The Catholic church doesnt teach literal creation, you're free to believe the Creator created a guided evolving system and the 7 day creation is all metaphor, adam and eve metaphor. Adam was a term we would use for mankind. In fact so is Michael, akin to Adama.
edit on 26-5-2011 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:16 AM
reply to post by NOTurTypical

More appeals to ridicule rather than actual argumentation? Clearly you didn't bother reading the study. Hint, I did. Try it some time. It's open-access, so you don't even have to take a penny out of the bank for it.

Granted, insulting something you don't understand is so much easier, isn't it?

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:18 AM
you know what? It appears to me that us "non-believers" are the only ones that actually READ this. It seems, to me at least, that 99% of the comments (the ones that aren't completely USELESS one liners, you know who you are) are based on the title alone, which is false.

All people in this study were "believers". The "born again" believers all shared a similar trait that the other believers didn't, a small area of the brain for them was smaller.

That's about all you need to take from that study, and also pay attention to what 1 amazingly correct poster (madnessinmysoul) is saying over and over.....

This is a phase 1 study. It does not indicate causation or correlation at all, it could merely be a coincidence that these people all had similar "shrunken" areas of the brain. This in no way says they are less intelligent, or have "smaller brains"

This is a peer reviewed study and has been released to OTHER scientists can look at the data, and do their own work, probably looking at if there is a causation or correlation between the two:

Does having that smaller brain area MAKE you a born-again?
Does being a born again MADE your hippo shrink?

This thread is a great example of a troubling trend here at ATS. People coming into threads like this, ignoring the actual content, base their opinion on the title which is often misleading (like this one is) then go ahead and spew their already formatted diatribe that in most cases barely relates to the thread topic.

Anyways, since the believers seem to think this study is bogus, and nazi propaganda (seriously? Nazi? what are you 12? go read a damn history book you idiot.) let me ask you something, please, do try to answer honestly.

If a study was done, peer reviewed, and released to the public, then posted here that stated (in title and content) that:

Religious "believers" have higher brain functions than "non-believers" would you be complaining about how biased and BS that study was?

Remember before you answer,

every time you lie Jesus kicks a puppy

edit on 26-5-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-5-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:20 AM
reply to post by Unity_99

And who said the Creator(s)/Designer(s), didn't create this cosmos to evolve too. I do believe its a Creation, as its a hologram/matrix/school, and quite magical in how it performs, and holograms are constructs. The Catholic church doesnt teach literal creation, you're free to believe the Creator created a guided evolving system and the 7 day creation is all metaphor, adam and eve metaphor. Adam was a term we would use for mankind. In fact so is Michael, akin to Adama.

Science, at least the current models of the universe and it's creation, do not rule that out at all. I've always said I can't rule out a creator, but I can rule him out in relation to most of the things attributed to him. But who's to say some "creator" didn't spin the wheel and let it ride?

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by phishyblankwaters

Yes I know, my uncle, a physicist, was an atheist, like my father, but he gradually became more of a Buddist over time, as do many scientists find the more they learn the more it seems that soul/life is primary not the rock.

posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:24 AM

Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
It's amazing how many people will leap into a thread, with their bigotry and prejudice to the fore, without availing themselves with the relevant facts.

The study is attempting to ascertain any meaningful correlation between religious beliefs and shrinkage of the hippocampus in older people.

The study found that Born Again Christians, Catholics, other denominations and non-religious people all had more shrinkage than Protestants.

The study was conducted amongst 284 people aged 58-years and older, and was primarily intended to examine the link between hippocampus shrinkage and depression.

They hypothesise that the results may be linked to greater stress in holding a minority view, with Protestants forming the majority of the US population.

edit on 25-5-2011 by Sherlock Holmes because: (no reason given)

I wonder who paid for this study? What a waste of time and money.

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