Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

 

Humans Are BornTo Believe In God

Humans are hardwired to believe in God, say scientists

Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:29 PM on 06th September 2009

Humans are born with an innate ability to believe in God which has been passed down through thousands of years of evolution, new research has suggested.

Scientists stumbled on the idea after studying the way children’s brains develop, as well as how the brain works during religious experiences.

They suggest that during evolution, groups of humans with religious beliefs, perhaps because they tended to work together better - and therefore stood a greater chance of survival.

All in the mind: Scientists have claimed we are born to believe in God

All in the mind: Scientists have claimed we are born to believe in God

The findings, reported in The Sunday Times, suggest that children are born with a natural inclination to think about faith and the supernatural about the world we live in.

It deals a blow to the beliefs of atheists who campaign against organised religion, like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion.

He has long argued that religious beliefs result from poor education and childhood 'indoctrination'.

However, Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology at Bristol University and author of the new study, believes the picture is far more complex.

He said: 'Our research shows children have a natural, intuitive way of reasoning that leads them to all kinds of supernatural beliefs about how the world works.

'As they grow up they overlay these beliefs with more rational approaches but the tendency to illogical supernatural beliefs remains as religion.'

Mr Hood will present his findings at the British Science Association’s annual meeting later this week.

He says organised religion is just part of a wide spectrum of supernatural beliefs.

In one study he found even ardent atheists balked at the idea of accepting an organ transplant from a murderer - because of a superstitious belief that an individual’s personality could be stored in their organs.

'This shows how superstition is hardwired into our brains,' he said.

His work is supported by other researchers who have found evidence linking religious feelings and experience to particular regions of the brain.

Religious feelings: Shaolin monks who practise meditation have been linked to showing religious sensations in parts of the brain

Religious feelings: Shaolin monks who practise meditation have been linked to showing religious sensations in parts of the brain

They suggest people are programmed to get a feeling of spirituality from what is nothing more than electrical activity in these regions.

Andrew Newberg, professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania, has used brain-imaging techniques to show that such feelings are invoked by activity in 'belief networks' operating across the brain.

This supersedes the earlier concept of a 'God spot', activated during meditation or prayer.

'The temporal lobe interacts with many other parts of the brain to provide the full range of religious and spiritual experiences,' he said.

This mechanistic view of religious experience is reinforced by separate research carried out by Michael Persinger of Laurentian University, Ontario.

Mr Persinger has used powerful magnetic fields to induce visions and spiritual experiences in volunteers.

Barbara Hagerty became one of Persinger’s subjects while researching Fingertips of God, a book on brain processes underlying religion.

'I saw images and cartoonish figures,' she said.

'It didn’t convince me there was no God, but it did show me how much the brain is connected to our beliefs and perceptions.'

Some researchers argue that humans’ innate tendency towards supernatural beliefs explains why many people become religious as adults, despite not having been brought up within any faith.

Scientists believe that the durability of religion is in part because it helps people to bond.

Professor Pascal Boyer, an anthropologist at Washington University and author of Religion Explained, supports Hood’s view that the origins of religion may lie in common childhood experiences.

The professor said in a recent article in the science journal Nature: 'From childhood, humans form enduring and important social relationships with fictional characters, imaginary friends, deceased relatives, unseen heroes and fantasised mates.

'It is a small step from this to conceptualising spirits, dead ancestors and gods, who are neither visible nor tangible.'

Boyer says he holds out little hope for atheism.

'Religious thinking seems to be the path of least resistance for our cognitive systems,' he said.

'By contrast, disbelief is generally the work of deliberate, effortful work against our natural cognitive dispositions — hardly the easiest ideology to propagate.'

The Rev Michael Reiss, who is professor of science education at London University’s Institute of Education and also an Anglican priest, said he saw no reason why such research should undermine religious belief.

'I am quite sure there will be a biological basis to religious faith,' Reiss said.

'We are evolved creatures and the whole point about humanity is that we are rooted in the natural world.'



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211511/Humans-hardwired-believe-God-say-scientists.html#ixzz0QLMs2RTJ


Comments:
Hello, it's called a soul.
Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

June 2021   May 2021   April 2021   March 2021   February 2021   January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe