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People who are religious or spiritual have 'thicker' brains

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posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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Itisnowagain

antonia

Itisnowagain
Animals are not concerned what happened yesterday or how it will effect tomorrow
Animals are not concerned with how they appear.


As you are not able to communicate with animals you cannot be sure of that.

I watch animals and see that they see and hear what there is to see and hear.
They are not lost in ideas of other or things in time.
edit on 31-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)


You have identified the difference between our ability to have abstract thought, and most other animals inability, being locked in concrete thought. However, there is some capacity for abstract thought in other animals. I have seen my dogs planning insofar as they will exit the back door with expectations of what they will encounter. Variations on that expectation create different results in their behavior. There isn't deep abstract thought...but there is some amount of it there. If i tell them "Go see (insert sons name)", they will both go to wherever he is in the house and sit next to him. Same with my mom and my wife. Same with each other. I can ask Sasha, "Where is Lillie" and she will run to find her.

That said, sapience is just one facet of what makes us who we are. Being aware...that is only a portion. To be aware that you are aware....that is what makes us different.




posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:46 AM
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It could be that mystical techniques such as meditation have been helping humanity survive for a long, long time.

Meditate on It
Could ancient campfire rituals have separated us from Neanderthals?


A couple hundred-thousand years ago—sometime after our hominid ancestors had controlled fire, but long before they were telling ghost stories—early humans huddled around campfires to meditate and partake in shamanistic rituals. Today, when we slow down for a yellow light, recognize a dollar sign or do anything, really, that involves working memory, we have these ancient brainstorming sessions to thank.

That's the somewhat controversial connection psychologist Matt J. Rossano is making. Ritualistic gatherings sharpened mental focus, he argues. Over time, this focus strengthened the mind's ability to connect symbols and meanings, eventually causing gene mutations that favored the enhanced memory we now possess.

"We have decent evidence that shamanistic rituals may go very deep into history, and that these rituals might have had positive psychological effects," says Rossano of Southeastern Louisiana University, whose theory appears in the February Cambridge Archaeological Journal.

[...]


But we don't want to make our non-spiritual thin-brained friends uncomfortable or defensive, so maybe we should make meditation illegal or taboo or label it a mental illness or something, eh?


edit on 31-12-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Yes, to all of what you've stated. I went to Catholic school for 13 years, and studied several other religions while being in school. The difference between you and me is, I don't just chalk up things I don't understand to it "being God".



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 

Yes, animals can be conditioned - they make associations - like ringing a bell every time you feed your dog, it will salivate on just bell ringing.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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BlueMule

parad0x122

Itisnowagain

parad0x122
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 

The knower of God knows it is all just happening and no one is doing anything.
Isn't it just amazing?



And with that tidbit of religious babble, I bid you adieu. Next thread, I'm over this one.
edit on 31-12-2013 by parad0x122 because: formatting


Babble? Hardly. Sounds like someone has a thin brain! teehee



Very mature and constructive content there. Can't say I'm surprised.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 10:55 AM
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bigfatfurrytexan
However, there is some capacity for abstract thought in other animals. I have seen my dogs planning insofar as they will exit the back door with expectations of what they will encounter. Variations on that expectation create different results in their behavior. There isn't deep abstract thought...but there is some amount of it there. If i tell them "Go see (insert sons name)", they will both go to wherever he is in the house and sit next to him. Same with my mom and my wife. Same with each other. I can ask Sasha, "Where is Lillie" and she will run to find her.

Abstract thought is made of concepts of things that are not present. The human brain has concepts like past/before and future/after and life and death. All sorts of stories can be made out of those concepts.
Animals have no concept of time or living in time or that their time may end.

It is abstract thought which builds a separate dream world that the brain thinks it has to negotiate, to survive in.
edit on 31-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:03 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


I don't see religion being an evolutionary trait. Spirituality might be, though.
edit on 31-12-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:10 AM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


I don't see religion being an evolutionary trait. Spirituality might be, though.
edit on 31-12-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)

It is more of a revolution.
It is whole then it appears divided.
The individual always returns to source.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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Alright. Let's stop these personal off topic posts.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


One thing I have concluded is that mercury in food can make people more spiritual. It can also make madhatters out of us. Mercury in fish is not harmful to us unless it is excessive but it still could effect us a little. I am not afraid of mercury in food unless it is in high amounts. In small amounts it may be beneficial to us. If it gets consumed too much, it becomes a problem though. The amount of mercury that leaches out of our fillings into our bodies is much higher than the level in fish. But if you add the mercury leaching from the fillings to the mercury in foods, then you may get a problem.

I see that the safety testing on mercury that is leached from fillings does not take into consideration mercury in food. Mercury is in almost all food, it's bond makes things soft and plyable. The molybdenum bond makes things hard. Sulfur compounds of various types take both these metals out of the body. Onion and garlic both work well, so do the cruciferous veggies. Even cilantro will work, the fluoride does it. So if this is true about fluoride in cilantro chelating out the mercury, does it also make the mercury come out of fillings faster. Does this counteract the stability of fillings and make them fall out more. You have to understand that government's job is to keep us a little doped up so society remains civil. The job of the FDA is also to regulate this, even if it compromises our health. If the body cannot excrete the mercury from the chelation by fluoride, it starts to cause a problem. Keep the bottom of your feet clean and also keep your mind open. It is what fluoride does as a very active ion that is important.

So now I got off topic once again



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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Most religions, at their outset, seem to be related to two items in general: seasonal changes in the environment and structural aspects of the tribal unit. Both are directly connected to human survival strategies, to my mind.

By focusing on (and ritualizing) annual changes in the environment, groups could take greater advantages of herd and prey movements, and later, productive pasturing for domesticated animals and of course, crop productivity.

By focusing on the abstractions of interpersonal relationships in the small social-family group, tribe, etc., a sense of worth and belonging was made available to all productive members within the limitations of whatever hierarchy had developed to best integrate group activity in regard to item one.

The view is more than a little simplistic, but it serves to generically think about the issue.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


Why??
Edit.
It just shows anything can show up out of the blue - very fishy.
edit on 31-12-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


The sign of Jesus was a fish. There are references in the bible which talk about fishes. The people who were Catholics were in society and their traditions of fish on friday spread out to all Christians. During Lent, the price of fish goes down traditionally, this means more people can afford to eat fish.

I feel a little guilty when I don't eat fish on Friday, even though I am not and never have been Catholic. I try to eat fish one day a week minimum though.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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Different studies seeming to go after the same questions finding different results, who woulda thunk it?

Well, it happens all the time.

Eggs are good for you, eggs are bad for you. Red wine is good for you, red wine is bad for you. Stress is good for you, stress is bad for you.... and on and on.


It seems there is at least one central issue when looking at discrepancies in studies seeming to tackle the same issue.

I'll focus on one right now. That's generalized assumptions in theory or protocol which can't be used to verify the outcome or results to prove anything at all.

Like eggs being good or bad. What were the protocols between the studies? What were the exact differences? Are we assuming an egg is an egg is an egg, amount doesn't matter, time of intake (relating to circadian rythm) doesn't matter? Did they intake the same eggs? What was the diet of these chickens?

You see? A generalized assumption that the studies were identical.

In the case of finding if religion or spirituality is better for the brain, I think the assumption is that this would be the same across all of human beings. Does that not seem a bit preposterous to anyone else?

Why would anyone expect meditation, religion, or having a higher/spiritual perspective on life in general to be universally detrimental or beneficial to every human being?

How about, different strokes for different folks?

If that were the case, it would make perfect sense to find differing results from study to study.

Some may show strong correlations between either outcome, and some may show weaker.

Variance shows either the studies have different protocols, else the question they're asking is far too generalized and simply the wrong approach altogether.

I can so see some people not only being offset, but actually causing harm to them from taking in certain beliefs related to religion or a higher power.

I can also see other people being harmed by NOT taking in a higher power, or set of religious beliefs.

Also, correlation doesn't prove causation. Maybe some were simply of thicker cortices in either grouping to begin with, and swayed the results because of such small sample size and pure statistical variance?

There's too many questions I have to find much of anything from studies like this.

Oh, and what about agnostics?
edit on 31-12-2013 by webedoomed because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:51 AM
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Stormdancer777
reply to post by logical7
 




Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner


Is that scientifically proven?
I do not know that. I do know that we all try to minimise cognitive dissonance. If reflecting and pondering increases it in non spiritual people then they would stop doing it and less use of cortex may lead to its thinning.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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bigfatfurrytexan

logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


You don't need a God to have a higher purpose.

My "higher purpose" is humanist. I like to help others. Make life better on this planet 1 action at a time.

One thing I have noticed in my 40+ years here on this Earth is that God isn't here to help us. All we got is each other.


edit on 12/31/2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)
Just tell me sir, why you want to be a humanist? Whats the PURPOSE??



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:02 PM
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logical7

bigfatfurrytexan

logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


You don't need a God to have a higher purpose.

My "higher purpose" is humanist. I like to help others. Make life better on this planet 1 action at a time.

One thing I have noticed in my 40+ years here on this Earth is that God isn't here to help us. All we got is each other.


edit on 12/31/2013 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)
Just tell me sir, why you want to be a humanist? Whats the PURPOSE??



Didn't you read his post? The one that you quoted?


bigfatfurrytexan
I like to help others. Make life better on this planet 1 action at a time.


Seems pretty self-explanatory.



posted on Dec, 31 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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antonia

logical7
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Humans are rational beings, we need a higher purpose to feel a sense of well being. Spiritual people have it. Others get cognitive dissonance and to counter that their cortex gets thinner, simply put they operate more lower animals like.


What? That article did not compare the functions of the brains of nonbelievers with "lower" animals. Many animals have sharper brain function in certain areas than humans.

Also: Correlation does not equal causation.
I did not compare them with lower animals. I meant their behaviour becomes more influenced by their lower animal drives, eat, sleep, procreate, die. They could be very smart in all material sciences but distant from philosophical reflections as it causes questions that their belief cannot answer.



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