The "God spot"

Interesting article from the UK's Independent on religious belief and a neurological correlate. The long and short of the research is that A) the authors believe there may be a biological/neurological basis for belief (the so-called "god spot"), and B) that such belief in a deity or other supernatural entity may have Darwinian advantages.

While I am inclined to agree with the study's authors that belief may be embedded into other cognitive structures and processes, the simple fact is that neurological activity can and does influence, alter or create physiological changes (e.g., creation and retention of brain involutions, etc). Thus, causation seems to be imputed from a neurological association here. Second, the conclusion that belief (even if it could have a physiological diathetical mechanism -- a conclusion I'm not ready to take a face value) has some advantages for natural selection seems attenuated at best. This is why: The authors point to moral and/or spiritual "conundrums" and decision-making, yet, are these necessarily innate to the survival and reproduction of the human species? I don't see how, and the authors don't explain how. Moreover, the very real social dynamics are ignored: religion and morality are social constructs and very often are mechanisms of social control far removed from the cortical development and advancement of h. s. sapiens.

I'm not ready to call this bunk, but I'd like to see a lot more research first. In the meanwhile, it's food for thought.

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