Religion

Neurophilosophy

Category archives for Religion

Neurosurgical patients get closer to God

REMOVAL of specific parts of the brain can induce increases in a personality trait which predisposes people to spirituality, according to a new clinical study by Italian researchers. The new research, published earlier this month in the journal Neuron, provides evidence that some brain structures are associated with spiritual thinking and feelings, and hints at…

Google Earth image of Moses parting the Red Sea

God’s Eye View, which depicts four biblical events as if captured by Google Earth, is the work of The Glue Society, a collective of writers, designers and art/ film directors based in Sydney, Australia. Says Glue Society member James Dive: We like to disorientate audiences a little with all our work. And with this piece…

American theocracy

The New York Times Magazine contains a long article about the close ties between evangelical Christians and the Republican party.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the Malaysian orthopaedic surgeon aboard the Russian rocket that is now on its way to the International Space Station, can observe Ramadan and perform other acts of Muslim worship by following the guidelines set out in this small booklet, which was produced by 150 Islamic scholars and scientists at a conference held…

Below are a few quotes from this interview with theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, whose new book, A Many-colored Glass, is about to be published. On science, religion and Richard Dawkins: I think it’s only a small fraction of people who think that [science and religion are at odds]. Perhaps they have louder voices than the…

The ethnobiology of voodoo zombification

The word “zombie” usually brings to mind the creatures depicted in numerous horror films – the mindless, rotting “living dead” who shuffle with their arms stretched out in front of them, devouring the flesh of their victims.    Zombies feature widely in popular culture, but the idea of the zombie originates in the Vodun religion.…

The Enemies of Reason, Part 2

In his Channel 4 documentary The Enemies of Reason, Richard Dawkins attacks what he rightly regards as an epidemic of irrational thinking, or, as he puts it, humanity’s “retreat into the fog of the superstitious past.” He notes, for example, that 25% of the British population believe in astrology, and that more column inches in…

Lobotomy & young-earth creationists

My recent post on prefrontal lobotomy has been the most popular thing on this blog so far, and the comments on it are worth reading. While searching for more information about lobotomies and the neuroleptic drugs that replaced them, I came across this fantastic webpage at NobelPrize.org, which contains more information about Egas Moniz, the…

Most people recognize Tutankhamun as the boy-king of ancient Egypt. He is the most well-known pharaoh because his tomb was discovered apparently intact* and, more importantly, because it contained the magnificent gold mask that has become an icon of Egypt. Tutankhamun was otherwise unremarkable, as was his mother Nefertiti, who is renowned only for her…