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Spirituality and Science

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3
KlintPerson was signed in when posted
11-20-2002
03:32 AM ET (US)
More on Persinger http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.11/persinger.html
2
Introverted at Best
11-18-2002
07:50 PM ET (US)
   I once read in a Newsweek article "Religion and the Brain" by Sharon Begley, that one mystery that will most likely never be resolved is the whether our brain wiring creates the idea of God, or God created our brain wiring. In other areas of the article, religious expiriences are found to be related to sections of the brain, and the amount of activity therein. "' the right anterior cingulate...- a voice or a sound-...This region may contain the neural circuits responsible for tagging events as originating from the external world.'"- Richard Bentall
   Another scientist states, "Slow chanting, elegiac liturgical melodies and whispered ritualistic prayer all seem to work their magic in much the same way: they turn on the hippocampus [one of the brain structures responsible for maintaining equilibrium] directly and block nueronal traffic to some brain regions. The result is "blurring the edges of the brain's self, opening the door to the unitary states that are the primary goal of religious ritual." -Newberg.
   Now, in this little text box that i have to write in, that seems like a bit of a mess. Plainly stated: certain rituals have an effect on the brain which is linked to religion.
   Also, in this article, they talk of a helmet- jury-rigged with electromagnets- which creates a weak magnetic field no stronger than that of a computer moniter. But, it's test results were those of super-natural, or out of body expiriences, a sense of the divine.
   And my favorite passage: "Michael Persinger suspects that religious expiriences are evoked by mini-electrical storms in the temporal lobes, and that such storms can be triggered by anxiety, personal crisis, lack of oxygen, low blood sugar and simple fatigue--suggesting that a some people 'find God' in such moments. WHy the temporal lobes? When the...left lobe is stimulated but the right stays quiescent, the left interprets this as a sensed presence, as the self departing the body, or of God"

I hope i've contributed to this discussion effectively. for any kind of further discussion on the relation of science-spirituality-religion, drop a line at jdivester@att.net.


thanks!
1
bonnie burtonPerson was signed in when posted
11-17-2002
05:20 AM ET (US)
here's another passage that caught my interest:

One researcher theorizes that spiritual phenomena could be explained in terms of electromagnetism. "All of us emit electromagnetic radiation over the whole range of wavelengths (called black-body radiation), though most of the energy comes out as infrared...Human microwave emissions can be measured by modern techniques termed microwave radiometry. This allows the minuscule amounts of energy we each emit, at wavelength of a centimeter or so, to be monitored" (Taylor 1980:29). By itself, however, electromagnetism doesn't appear to have enough force to cause spiritual phenomena. But a theory of some kind of field around the body may hold more promise. Sheldrake's (1981) theory of morphogenetic fields holds that chemical, physical and biological systems are guided and shaped by fields that exert their influence by means of morphic resonance. "As an example, one can say that the reason a plant cell becomes a leaf cell and not a root cell is because it tunes in, as it were, through morphic resonance, with the morphogenetic fields of all previous leaves of the same kind" (Dossey 1989:192).