"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The God Spot / Koren Helmet

Neurotheology: “The attempt to explain religious experience and behavior in neuroscientific terms.”

In the series “Through the Wormhole,” Morgan Freeman features a study being preformed by neurotheologists whom are attempting to explain the “correlations between neural stimulation and spiritual experience.” Called ‘The God Spot,’ neurologists believe they have specified a part of the brain that, when correctly stimulated by magnetic energy, will provide users with experiences that are comparable to the spiritual and out of body experiences usually associated with God intervention.

To research ‘The God Spot,’ Stanley Koren, a member of Laurentian University’s Neuroscience Department, created a helmet with the directions of Dr. Michael Persinger, that containing magnetic coils that are strategically aimed at the right temporal lobe. Many test subjects claim that when wearing the Koren Helmet they experienced “out-of-body feelings, apparitions floating around them, sensations of weightlessness, and many other strange phenomena.” Throughout all the testing, scientists discovered that about “80% of test subjects experienced remarkable visions and some sensed the presence of something else in the chamber.”

Now the big question is are these visions truly visions of God? The right temporal lobe, the area that the Koren Helmet stimulates, is responsible for auditory perception, processing of speech and vision, and language functions. It seems that the feelings the test subjects encountered may be false. This could be because parts of the brain related to the experiences of the test subjects are being more intensely activated. The inquiry scientists put on the table when debating this experiment is whether or not the "God-Spot" is a region of the brain that evolved so that humans can communicate with a higher power, or a simply region we developed to create a "comfort blanket" for ourselves amidst the violence that we experience in the world.

Other Questions:
What causes some of the test subjects to relate their encounters to a godly like occurrence?
Is ‘The God Spot’ a spot that creates the illusion of God or is it the spot that allows communication with god?




Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Evolution vs. Creationism

Merriam-Webster Dictionary has defined the definition of evolution as:

A theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

It also defines creationism as:

A doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis

Charles Darwin, one of the founding fathers of evolution, explained the means of evolution in his Origin of Species.  His evolution theory is a premise on natural selection, which is based on survival of the fittest, random variations, and struggle for survival.  This finding over time has become, widely known as Social Darwinism, a major attack on Scripture.  This challenges God as the designer and the status of humanity. 

Here are the counter-arguments from non-creationists:

Creationism is based on the religious belief that there is an intellectual designer of the universe, humanity, and Earth.  The prominent group of these believers is Christian Fundamentalists, who specifically believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.  They target against the theory of evolution.

William Paley introduced the watchmaker analogy in his Natural Theology, which stated that there is an intelligent designer.  Creationists often use this analogy to support their claims against the theory of evolution. 

Here are some questions for you guys to consider:

1.     What is your view on the controversy between evolution and creationism?
2.     Is Evolution just a theory? Does Creationist have solid evidence to argue against Evolution?
3.     Scopes Trial led to the questioning of the teaching of evolution as being part of the public school curriculum.  What is your take on this matter?  Should just evolution, creationism, or both be taught in the public school system?
4.     Earlier we’ve read John Paul II’s address on the need for a dialogue relationship between religion and science, which maintains both identity and integrity.  Do you agree with this? If not which one of Barbour’s taxonomy would you classify the two?

     Happy discussing!

     -Khulan, Riley and Ryan