Janus’ Musings

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Explaining Religion

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The Economist has an article in it’s Science and Technology Section attempting to explain religion. There are many studies and tests done on persons to test if religion is really linked to some chemicals or process in the brain:

It is an ambitious shopping list. Fortunately, other researchers have
blazed a trail. Patrick McNamara, for example, is the head of the
Evolutionary Neurobehaviour Laboratory at Boston University’s School of
Medicine. He works with people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
This illness is caused by low levels of a messenger molecule called
dopamine in certain parts of the brain. In a preliminary study, Dr
McNamara discovered that those with Parkinson’s had lower levels of
religiosity than healthy individuals, and that the difference seemed to
correlate with the disease’s severity. He therefore suspects a link
with dopamine levels and is now conducting a follow-up involving some
patients who are taking dopamine-boosting medicine and some of whom are
not.

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Written by janusmusings

March 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

Posted in medicine

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