A Few Things to Consider

According to an article on MSNBC the “God Spot” doesn’t exist. Apparently, it’s all the result of:

…the sense of union with God or something greater than the self often described by those who have undergone such experiences involves the recruitment and activation of a variety brain regions normally implicated in different functions such as self-consciousness, emotion and body representation.

Meantime, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings thinks No Child Left Behind is perfect:

“I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It’s 99.9 percent pure or something,” Spellings told reporters. “There’s not much needed in the way of change.”

Glad to hear NCLB is working in never, never land. Now if they could only make it work in the real world…

4 Responses

  1. With regard to the MSNBC/”god spot” article, the reporting was (unsurprisingly) misleading. The Neuroscience Letters article seemed very clear to me: no single spot exists, but rather a complex system of “spots.” Even if the MSNBC reporter(s) had only reviewed the abstract they would have seen:

    These results suggest that mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions and systems.

    And on p. 188 of the journal in the article’s discussion:

    The present results suggest that several brain regions and systems mediate the various aspects of mystical experiences. This conclusion should not come as a surprise given that these experiences are complex and multidimensional, that is, they implicate changes in perception (e.g., visual mental imagery), cognition (e.g., representations about the self), and emotion (e.g., peace,
    joy, unconditional love).

  2. As I look back over the MSNBC article, however, I find that they did actually paraphrase the above well enough toward the end, but I still think the overall intent of the article was to “debunk” the notion that god is a cognitive function rather than something real in the universe.
    I’ve always thought that the prevailing opinion in neuroscience was that there isn’t a single “god module” but rather a complex set of cognitive functions that comprise the religious and spiritual feelings or connectedness.

  3. but I still think the overall intent of the article was to “debunk” the notion that god is a cognitive function

    That was my take on it also…

  4. Funny, I always thought God was a cognitive dysfunction …

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