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Neurotheology Study Links Religious Factors and Hippocampal Atrophy in Late Life

 I found this particularly interesting (though I find Neurotheology interesting anyway)... There was a very significant link between Hippocampal Atrophy and "significant religious experience". There was also a baseline connection between Hippocampal Atrophy and those who (regardless of demonination, or not associating themselves with any religious demonination) consider themselves "Born Again".

 Part of the connection is the association of the added stresses of life changing religious events, which increases cortisol levels, which directly affects the progression of Hippocampal Atrophy, particularly in later life stages.

 

Anywho... in a society which has thought religion to be purely beneficial, there is emerging evidence to the contrary.

Comments?

  Clicky to the study --> http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0017006

Answer Question
 
ObbyDobbie

Asked by ObbyDobbie at 10:59 AM on Jun. 1, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 34 (70,074 Credits)
Answers (40)
  • can of wormspopcorn

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 11:02 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Everything atrophies in late life ... why should this alarm me?
    -Eilish-

    Answer by -Eilish- at 11:16 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • It shouldn't "alarm" you. I didn't anticipate it would.

    Though the argument "everything atrophies in late life", could be valid were we discussing physical health, we're not. We're discussing brain function, and the accelerated atrophy associated with those who are highly religious, in comparison to those who are not.
    ObbyDobbie

    Comment by ObbyDobbie (original poster) at 11:19 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • lol What is the point of this post? Just curious OP. Seems you have a point and an agenda with your many anti religion posts.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:31 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • And my contention is, why does it matter?

    I know atheists hate this argument because it logically fallacious, but I think it can really apply here:

    If (our) God exists, and our brain function atrophies when we are close to the end of this life, why does that matter? At the end of life, we are about to go home. We look forward to a new body at the Judgment. We know that THIS body will fail and will die - we've been expecting this. So why does it matter that neuro-science (or neurotheology) has discovered what we already know to be true?

    If (our) God doesn't exist, and our brain function atrophies close to the end of life, why does it matter? At the end of life our bodies will go back into the soil and we will cease to exist. End of story. No need to make sure we have all of our brain functioning because there is no life after death. There is no purpose to our existence, why should we try to hold on to it? Why does it matter?
    -Eilish-

    Answer by -Eilish- at 11:39 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • And this study
    A recent study by demographers has established a firm relationship
    between length of life and religion. Hummer et al. (1999)

    Says the religious live longer (and even goes on to say happier) Don't you just love the internet- you can find whatever you need to back up whatever you want-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 11:50 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/1/147.extract

    One mentioning how positive religion is in the elderly.
    pookiekins34

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 11:53 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • I thought the article was very interesting, thanks for posting it. I've read in other studies that the chemicals released in the brain during meditation and certain religious practices are addictive, as well. I've been discussing this very idea with close friends for the past 6 months, based on my own observation of people I know, so it's ironic that you brought this to the table. I don't think science is anti-religion, I think it's findings are neutral, unbiased. Whether it's in the observation stage, hypothesis stage, or empirical fact, what is, just is, objectively.

    clarity333

    Answer by clarity333 at 11:54 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • quoting vnt; "Atheist are funny, they spend a lot of time talking about a God they don't believe exist."


    In keeping with the op, this is not about atheists discussing a god they don't believe exists, this is about science discovering atrophy in the brain as a result of religiosity and meditation. Nowhere did it state that those performing the study are atheists, or that there was an atheist agenda behind the study. Is Obby not supposed to shine a light on articles like this, in a religious debate forum? I think it fits here. I think it's worth contemplating, researching. I didn't get the impression that Obby concluded one way or another.  

    clarity333

    Answer by clarity333 at 12:20 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • To this:
    I didn't get the impression that Obby concluded one way or another.

    I would say this:
    Anywho... in a society which has thought religion to be purely beneficial, there is emerging evidence to the contrary.
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 12:47 PM on Jun. 1, 2011

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