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Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:11 PM

Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who say they've had a life-changing religious experience are more likely to have a greater decrease in size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain critical to learning and memory, new research finds.

According to the study, people who said they were a "born-again" Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or "atrophy") compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.

<<snip>

As people age, a certain amount of brain atrophy is expected. Shrinkage of the hippocampus is also associated with depression, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

In the study, researchers asked 268 people aged 58 to 84 about their religious affiliation, spiritual practices and life-changing religious experiences. Over the course of two to eight years, changes to the hippocampus were monitored using MRI scans.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/132456883.html#ixzz1tYYtWTq2
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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study (Original post)
JonLP24 Apr 2012 OP
anti-alec Apr 2012 #1
Initech Apr 2012 #3
Cirque du So-What Apr 2012 #4
patrice Apr 2012 #6
Sedona Apr 2012 #2
Ian David Apr 2012 #5
oldhippydude Apr 2012 #14
Enrique Apr 2012 #7
madamesilverspurs Apr 2012 #8
Zalatix Apr 2012 #11
snooper2 Apr 2012 #12
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #18
Zalatix May 2012 #22
LeftyMom Apr 2012 #21
MisterP Apr 2012 #9
handmade34 Apr 2012 #10
whistler162 Apr 2012 #13
longship Apr 2012 #15
BadgerKid Apr 2012 #16
toddwv Apr 2012 #17
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #19
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #20
jwirr May 2012 #23
meow2u3 May 2012 #24
UnconventionalWisdom May 2012 #25

Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:13 PM

1. Being born again makes people incredibly stupid.

 

Thanks for the link - it just confirms what I thought - Republicanism, Birchers and born-agains are essentially the same thing.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:21 PM

3. Which is why the values voters scare the crap out of me.

Combine mob mentality, religious extremism, anti women vitriol, and a fondness for the apocalypse and this is how Taliban style governments are created.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:25 PM

4. Conversely

the brain pathology may make some more susceptible to 'religious experiences' and other forms of woo.

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Response to anti-alec (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:41 PM

6. Profound point in that, anti-alec! There is this one personality/cognitive type that IS getting

credited in MULTIPLE categories of individuals, when, actually, they'd likely be NO different in almost any other status-quo.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:15 PM

2. When ever anyone asks me if I'm "born again"

I tell them I got it right the first time.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:36 PM

5. I wonder if that could explain the "Crazy Jesus-Eyes." n/t

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Response to Ian David (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:22 PM

14. i kind of thought

Last edited Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:32 PM - Edit history (1)

that the second time through the birth canal, crushed their skulls...guess thats where the Jesus eyes comes from.. sort makes me think, they would respect their own mothers more however..

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:42 PM

7. also makes you more likely to send money to Pat Robertson

coincidence?

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:43 PM

8. It serves our purpose poorly

to post something that is hurtful to many of those who bring positive energy to these boards. There are many DUers who hold great faith and exercise its positive aspects to our benefit. Let's leave the snide dismissals to those better suited to such things. We are, after all, supposed to be better than that.

-

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:31 PM

11. Exactly. Thank you for saying this.

 

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:42 PM

12. What about those of us who want to push humanity to a greater knowledge?

Like science and critical thinking skills?


I say no more, no more pandering. Religion needs to be ostracized so in 1000 years we won't have idiots in power passing societal laws based on the ramblings of a carpenter

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:12 PM

18. Truth trumps public relations

And why is this "hurtful" to the people you describe?

Is a medical study of the human brain a "snide dismissal"?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #18)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:46 PM

22. I'm sure that was also the rationale behind "The Bell Curve"

 

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:23 PM

21. Science serves our purposes. Logic and facts serve our purposes.

Getting bent out of shape because reality didn't take anybody's feelings into consideration is ALWAYS counterproductive.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:45 PM

9. did they also subdivide by politics? I'm asking since there were many left-leaners who were born

again in the 70s--Johnny Cash, Jimmy Carter
as for the "Catholic born-agains," they might be Charismatics, who are heavy into neolib Prosperity Gospel

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:02 PM

10. also...

new study on analytical thinking and faith

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/04/to-keep-the-faith-dont-get-analytical.html

"...One example comes from a study by neuroscientist and philosopher Joshua Greene and colleagues at Harvard University, published last September in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. They asked hundreds of volunteers recruited online to answer three questions with appealingly intuitive answers that turn out to be wrong. For example, "A bat and ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" Although $0.10 comes easily to mind (it's the intuitive answer), it takes some analytical thought to come up with the correct answer of $0.05. People who chose more intuitive answers on these questions were more likely to report stronger religious beliefs, even when the researchers controlled for IQ, education, political leanings, and other factors.

In the same study, another group of volunteers wrote a paragraph about a time in their lives when either following their intuition or careful reasoning led to a good outcome. Those who wrote about intuition reported stronger religious beliefs on a questionnaire taken immediately afterward. If intuitive thinking encourages religious belief, as Greene's study suggested, analytical thinking might encourage disbelief—or so Gervais and his adviser, social psychologist Ara Norenzayan, hypothesized..."

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:47 PM

13. Are people really this stupid?

do they actually believe this garbage in whatever form it crops up!

Anne Coulter on Liberals

Some other idiot on Conservatives

Same garbage different approach.

I pity all the bigots who suck this up.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:05 PM

15. I had a stroke last night and a grand mal seizure this morning.

This morning I went to church and prayed, "Thank you, Jesus."

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:46 PM

16. Seems plausible to me.

Regardless of whether God "is" or not, to be able to perceive God requires a brain, or more exactly, the neural connections comprising the brain. Change the neural connections due to atrophy, and voila, you perceive a different God.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:07 PM

17. Polite way of saying that "Born Again" equals brain damaged?

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Response to toddwv (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:17 PM

19. No, a straightforward way to say that

Among older people who report "born again" experiences there is a meaningful positive correlation with shrinkage of the hippocampus.

All science says precisely what it says, no more, no less.

What other people might do with the results does not affect the results themselves.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:19 PM

20. A different interpretation of these results:

The hippocampus is that part of the brain that interferes with our ability to know God.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:49 PM

23. Just saying: Not all christian churches define born again in the same way. That experience stutt is

pretty much a definition of rw churches.

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 02:31 PM

24. I'd love to see Rick Santorum's CAT scan

There'd be a whole lot of brain atrophy there!

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Response to JonLP24 (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 09:39 AM

25. Read the ENTIRE article

Here's what the article says: "According to the study, people who said they were a "born-again" Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or "atrophy") compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again."

Almost universally, people posting responses jumped on the "Christians are brain-damaged morons" bandwagon. But who has hippocampal shrinkage - in addition to those who say they're born again? According to the article, "those who had no religious affiliation".

It looks like atheists and agnostics do-gooders who want to save Christians from certain brain atrophy will never succeed because they themselves have brain atrophy to worry about.

Before ranting about someone else's supposed brain atrophy, cure your own.

Just sayin'

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