Scientific insight to religiosity

brain chips computer science mind fmriA study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that expert advice may shut down areas of the brain responsible for decision-making processes, particularly when individuals are trying to evaluate a situation where risk is involved. The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the Public Library of Science (PLOS One) and was conducted at Emory University.

The study used the scans to look at the decision making part of the brain, when given expert advice, concerning personal financial decisions. Upon receiving this expert advice, the decision making part of the brain stopped sending signals. The subjects’ brains stopped making decisions and gave over their function to the person who was considered the expert.

“This study indicates that the brain relinquishes responsibility when a trusted authority provides expertise, says Berns. “The problem with this tendency is that it can work to a person’s detriment if the trusted source turns out to be incompetent or corrupt.”

Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc… all have their “experts” on spirituality. Thousands of years of torture  murder, and terror leave no doubt to the followers who their spiritual authorities are.

I truly believe that this is the lynchpin to religiosity. The religious can be shown all the evidence in the world that the invisible and non-verifiable don’t exist, but until we remove that authority figure, whether a person or book, the religious will never take that leap of reality.

JH Chrestos is the author of the website


  1. Finally someone found a connection between science and [u]why[/u] so many people are open to blindly accepting religious dogma. It never made sense to me. This, finally helps me understand.

    This [b]is[/b] the lynchpin for religion and a lot of other areas of our lives- politics for example . . .

    Wow! 😮

  2. Excellent. I would like to read this study. Where can I read it? Could you provide the link?

  3. Link to the study
    Here it is.

    Financial Advice Causes Off-Loading in Brain ([url][/url])

  4. Скептический верующий

    Hmm, I guess this also shows us how people all around the world, including our own president, blindly accepted the “findings” of Michael Mann and Phil Jones…WAIT those were scientists!!!! Well, I guess this study is not only a lynchpen for religion and politics 😉

  5. A revealing slam
    A great point is brought up here, in that we shouldn’t blindly accept the findings of scientists either. But his is where religion and science diverge. The acceptance without question is the glue of religion. It is absolutely necessary for its existence. It is called faith.
    Science however seeks empirical evidence. It seeks data that must support the claim. If there is none then the claim (hypothesis) is dismissed and its back to the drawing board. The findings are then published and peer reviewed. If a single person can prove one single part of the claim false then the claim is false. I understand that the comment “I guess this also shows us how people all around the world, including our own president, blindly accepted the “findings” of Michael Mann and Phil Jones…WAIT those were scientists!!!!”, was meant as a slam. The comment is useful in that it reveals a gross misunderstanding of science.
    None of us are experts at everything. To trust a scientific theory is to trust a process that eliminates incorrect possibilities and is willing to change its position if improved evidence is presented. To trust the clergy is to trust an expert in a book that is very experienced in logical fallacy and is never willing to change its position even if mountains of evidence are presented that prove their position is false.

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