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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief

I hope this post does not offend anyone. If you think it may hurt your feelings please refrain from reading. I have many other posts that are way more fun!

I love NPR

Creationism Vs. Evolution: An American Problem, An American Opportunity

This is an interesting article by Adam Frank Adam Frank, Astrophysicist at The University of Rochester

The problem is not Science vs. Religion. The problem is not Science vs. a particular religion. The problem is Science vs. one specific interpretation of one particular religion and, in general, the problem is an American one.

So, today, I wanted to briefly put our situation into context. Specifically I want to put it into a global context.

At lunch one day a British researcher asked me how my book on Science and Religion was doing. Then he looked very serious for a moment and said, "What is up with you Americans and evolution?" Everyone at the table -- Italians, French, Irish, Dutch -- all simultaneously nodded their heads in agreement and shook their heads in sorrow. My British colleague's question, and the groups' response, underline a sad truth.

When it comes to Science and Religion, America is in a league of its own.

The other "developed" nations do not have this problem. The other nations whom we must collaborate with and compete against are not wasting endless hours rehashing arguments over the foundations of biological science. In terms of political, legal and, most importantly, educational influence, the Creationism vs. Evolution debate is an American phenomenon.

When I argued that we need to move beyond the Creationism vs. Evolution debate, I was acknowledging a fundamental truth. No amount of evidence is going sway the most strident advocates of creationism (or its modern variant Intelligent Design). It's not a discussion or a debate that will do anything but cover old ground.

In a similar vein, no amount of debate is going to convince the most stringent of atheists that religion, or spiritual endeavor, is an important part of the human experience that can have its own valuable "content". There is a difference between the strident atheists and strident creationists, of course. The latter group has political power in some parts of the nation that they are willing to wield as a club.

(This was just a small portion of the article, more on or click on the article title)

I believe in God, just not Christianity. I think it is weird. I am taking a Biology of Humanity class at the University of Alabama with Dr. Shelli Carter. It is amazing.

  • Every human has a sense of an Absolute Unitary Being. Proof of a higher realm of existence does not exist but as humans we are inclined to believe that there is one. The biological inclinations can be proven by the research written in the book Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief by Andrew Newberg, M.D., Eugene D’Aquili M.D., PH.D., and Vince Rause. The evidence suggests that humans are not only biologically inclined to consider more than the physical realm of existence but also to experience mystical behaviors. Biologically we are equipped to create myths and perform rituals, from these a series of emotionally charged beliefs have stemmed into religion.

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