Religion and Brain
Michael Mitchell, LPC
12/16/2009 7:35:19 PM
Though not at all as well-versed in the specifics of neurobiology and/or neurotheology, it seems to me that a particular reference to the absence of a "God spot" in the brain is problematic. Though I have my particular beliefs, I have studied numerous religious systems. A commonality in all religious systems that I have studied thus far is the presence of a "spiritual" contact with God, meanning that part of these belief systems include a part of man that science continues to find difficult to identify, that central core of religious systems, the "spirit" of man. Forgetting about "school spirit" and various other affections for particular social structions, this "spirit" of man is typically religiously explained as the object of the religious experience.
There have been various scientific studies to study the presence of a person's spirit. I do not reference this in an effort to discourage any research in the areas addressed by the authors. I only mean to point out that a more difficult problem may exist and to also point out that historically, science has consistently demonstrated that a current inability to scientifically demonstrate the existance of something does not prohibit the reality of its existence. More food for thought. I thank the authors for their work and efforts to find a "truth" to this topic.
Brain Science and God
Stan Hatkoff, PhD, DBS
12/1/2009 11:46:00 AM
In the mid 80's Roger Sperry put forth the theory of emergence which simply states that the brain or brain states give rise to higher properties...as the mind... with distinctly functional properties separate from the brain but wholly dependent on the brain. He also indicated that information and influence flows in both directions.
It is very clear to those trained in psychology and theology that God created the brain with amazing powers...but it is limited to storage and response, it does not think. The mind influences the brain with thought and it responds. All this is to say that God gave man a spirit, part of his Spirit at creation and it has been passed down from Adam to each of us.
The spirit we have also emerges from the brain through the mind and becomes an activated distinct part of our being when we choose to have a relationship with God. It is then that the brain can respond or seemingly "create" these so called mystical or religious experiences. In reality, it is God communicating with us and we with him through the spirit to Spirit connection.