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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:58AM

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/link-brain-damage-religious-fundamentalism-established-scientists/

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.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 12:05PM

Can there be enough brain damage out there to account for all the fundamentalists? Anyway, I do see among fundamentalists a craving for certainty along with hatred of change -- even regarding things that have nothing to do with religion.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 12:14PM

Insight.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 12:51PM


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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 12:57PM

Time to eat more vegetables, caffiend?

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 01:31PM

*See how inclusive I am? So give me a pat on the head, repeating, "Good boy...good boy...good boy!"

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 02:44PM

Don't need to.

The closer you get to veganism, the more obvious and overwhelming your masculinity will become.*





*notice the tenses.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 10:16PM

Yeah, I'll bet you are a crossfit enthusiast.*





*Intentionally left ambiguous

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 11:13PM


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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:28PM

There wasn't a lot of meat to back the conclusions in that article.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: January 10, 2019 01:55AM


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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 01:50PM

As much as I hate fundamentalism, this "study" (assuming the link is a fair characterization of the study) is laughable; absolutely ridiculous. Consider, this statement:

"To investigate the cognitive and neural systems involved in religious fundamentalism, a team of researchers—led by Jordan Grafman of Northwestern University—conducted a study that utilized data from Vietnam War veterans that had been gathered previously. The vets were specifically chosen because a large number of them had damage to brain areas suspected of playing a critical role in functions related to religious fundamentalism. CT scans were analyzed comparing 119 vets with brain trauma to 30 healthy vets with no damage, and a survey that assessed religious fundamentalism was administered. While the majority of participants were Christians of some kind, 32.5% did not specify a particular religion."

So, out of the gate, the "study" attempts to generalize a biological basis for "fundamentalism" (which is inadequately defined) in the general population by correlating the brain states of 119 brain damaged war vets, the majority of whom were already Christians. Moreover, all of this sampling is not from their own research, but a previous study. And it concludes that based upon some weak statistical inference (which is not articulated in the linked reference) and from a clearly inadequate and otherwise flawed sampling, that "normal" fundamentalists must be brain damaged too! This is patently and embarrassingly absurd! It shows you what some fringe "neuroscientists" are willing to stoop to in order to secure grant funding. (Or alternatively, the extent desperate people need to explain-away fundamentalism, or religion generally.)

__________________________________________________________

Let me just add that all of this "God-gene" type nonsense has no basis in legitimate neuroscience.

Every five years or so, neuroscientist, Michael Gazzaniga, puts out a massive edited volume of the current state of Cognitive Neuroscience, called appropriately, The Cognitive Neurosciences, which addresses the state of cognitive neuroscience on various issues related to human cognition. My copy (2009) has 1294 pages with index. I also have two previous volumes of this work. NONE OF THEM ADDRESS THIS SUPPOSED ISSUE, OR EVEN MENTION IT ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN ENTIRE SECTION ENTITLED "THE EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL BRAIN" and these type of claims have been around for decades.

What this shows is that you can get a scientist to say and believe almost anything. Perhaps there should be a "study" on *that* issue.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 01:56PM

Henry Bemis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> What this shows is that you can get a scientist to
> say and believe almost anything. Perhaps there
> should be a "study" on *that* issue.


APPLAUSE

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Posted by: Leaving ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 02:13PM

Besides the sampling problems, it was a study, not an experiment, so causation cannot be established.

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Posted by: Henry Bemis ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 02:59PM

Right! They would have to show at a minimum that the war vets who were fundamentalists were not so inclined prior to their war experiences; i.e. before their brain damage, suggesting that the brain damage was the cause of their fundamentalism. Add to this the fact that presumably many of them were admittedly already Christians with various degrees of fundamentalist inclinations before the war, it complicates matters considerably. Oh, and add to that the possibility, if not the likelihood, that it was the war experience itself (and/or perhaps other causes), and not brain damage per se, that affected any change in their religious orientations, and you are left--again--with nonsense on stilts!

Thank you for that important addition.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 02:49PM

Does religious fundamentalism cause brain damage? It certainly seems that Mormonism is a mental handicap.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 05:03PM

All religions are a form of brain washing.
Brain washing causes brain damage.

Pretty simple.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 05:11PM

tumwater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All religions are a form of brain washing.
> Brain washing causes brain damage.
>
> Pretty simple.

Brain damage? I would challenge the idea of brain washing causing brain damage.

Now if what you mean was psychological damage, I would agree with that.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 05:23PM

Physical damage----- psychological damage..... damage is damage.

The damaged brain doesn't function as intended.

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Posted by: angela ( )
Date: January 09, 2019 06:17PM

You specifically mentioned brain washing.

Brain washing does not cause physical damage. For those who have experienced brain damage, the distinction matters.

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