Thursday, December 22, 2005


Human spirituality as a quantum effect?

From Quantum Biocommunication Technology, Is Religion Rooted in the Biology of the Human Brain?:
God’s numbers have never been better...more than seventy percent of the American population claims to believe in God.

What can account for the amazing staying power of religion? Why, exactly, won’t God go away?

[R]esearchers Andrew Newberg and Eugene d’Aquili offer a new explanation, at once profoundly simple and scientifically precise: the religious impulse is rooted in the biology of the human brain.

Newberg and d’Aquili base this revolutionary conclusion on a long-term investigation of brain function and behavior as well as studies they conducted using high-tech imaging techniques to peer into the brains of meditating Buddhists and Franciscan nuns at prayer. What they discovered was that intensely focused spiritual contemplation triggers an alteration in the activity of the brain that leads one to perceive transcendent religious experiences as solid, tangible reality. In other words, the sensation that Buddhists call "oneness with the universe" and the Franciscans attribute to the palpable presence of God is not a delusion, or subjective psychology, or simple wishful thinking. Rather, it is triggered by a chain of distinct neurological events that can be objectively observed, recorded, and actually photographed.
These are quotes from a very positive review of the researchers' book Why God Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. I will have to read this book to see how these claims are supported. That aside and continuing with blogging the review:
And finally, there is the compelling and overarching question: Is religion merely a product of biology—a neurological illusion—or does the very fact that our brains function in such a curious way argue that God is not only real, but reachable?

Resting on a firm foundation of solid empirical data...laboring to understand the deepest implications of his research, [Newberg] found himself led to a place where intellectual analysis wasn’t sufficient, where objective reality didn’t seem so solid, and where the borderline between the world of science and the realm of the spirit is not such a clear one after all.
Instead of trying to push religion where it will not fit, a little creativity can find places where science and spritiuality do overlap.

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