Link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism established by scientists
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January 8, 2019
A study published in the journal Neuropsychologia has shown that religious fundamentalism is, in part, the result of a functional impairment in a brain region known as the prefrontal cortex. The findings suggest that damage to particular areas of the prefrontal cortex indirectly promotes religious fundamentalism by diminishing cognitive flexibility and openness—a psychology term that describes a personality trait which involves dimensions like curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness.
Religious beliefs can be thought of as socially transmitted mental representations that consist of supernatural events and entities assumed to be real. Religious beliefs differ from empirical beliefs, which are based on how the world appears to be and are updated as new evidence accumulates or when new theories with better predictive power emerge. On the other hand, religious beliefs are not usually updated in response to new evidence or scientific explanations, and are therefore strongly associated with conservatism. They are fixed and rigid, which helps promote predictability and coherence to the rules of society among individuals within the group.
vote for nobody
January 8, 2019 at 1:47 PM #9835Land of EnchantmentKeymaster
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Hmmm..the excuse for a human being who came to mind prior to clicking on the link….
Mike Pence, the Christian nationalist who may be the root of Trump’s support among Evangelicals/Screenshot
“Hope is the feathered thing that perches in your heart.” ~ Emily Dickinson
January 8, 2019 at 1:52 PM #9838ThouArtThatParticipant
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This underscores other observations that highlight how much of human behavior is influenced by brain structure and underlying changes in brain conditioning. One way to think of human beings is as “state machines”. In other words we are each a combination of our genetic inheritance, our parental training, our peer influences, our education, our medical conditions and all of our experiences up to the present. This is especially true for the brain since we now understand neural plasticity and how quickly synapses can be rewired. Should there be any impairment to the brains natural neural plasticity, it would be logical that this would show up in expressed behavior over time. In other words, we would see an inability and inflexibility to consider new or alternate information in a changing world. For those interested, would suggest two books:
- Behave: The Biology Of Humans At Our Best And Worst by Robert Sapolsky
- Connectome: How The Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are by Sebastion Seung
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