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Is atheism a genetic defect?
March 5th, 2009, 3:01 pm · 14 Comments · posted by Seth Richardson
Science is closing in on the genetic basis for religious belief
By Seth Richardson
Atheists have long been unable to resolve the conundrum of why religion is so ubiquitous and so persistent in human society. They are befuddled by what they see as rank illogic and unreasoning belief in what they call “woo”, which they loosely define as “ludicrous beliefs” or “extraordinary beliefs for which it is felt there is insufficient extraordinary evidence, and people who hold those beliefs.”
It’s a pejorative term that atheists use when dismissing the supernatural claims of religion. Atheists are true believers in the sanctity of science, accepting nothing on faith, and demanding critically robust and falsifiable evidence for just about everything, particularly theistic claims. They are rigorously logical thinkers who have great difficulty comprehending how anyone could possibly believe in, much less worship, an invisible “sky fairy” called God. If you doubt the persistence of their befuddlement, just go to this well-known atheist forum and review any of the many threads in which atheists and religionists tear each other’s hair out, with atheists insisting (more or less politely) that religionists are deluded boobs or mentally defective, and religionists insisting that atheists “just don’t get it.”
And just it may be that atheists don’t get it because they are physically incapable of doing so. In fact, it’s beginning to look like it may be the atheists who are defective, not the religionists.
It’s an undisputed fact that some 85 percent of the population of the planet holds some sort of religious belief. Nobody really understands why, but science is beginning to examine why this social behavior exists and persists over millennia. One cannot see such ubiquitous behavior without asking why people continue to believe in God.
In a November, 2001 edition of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Dr. Michael Persinger published a study called “The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences” in which he revealed that by manipulating magnetic fields around the brain, a “’sensed presence’ or sentient being” was experienced by many test subjects. “[W]e found that when we applied specific complex magnetic fields over the right hemisphere, most normal people who were not aware of the purpose of the experiment experienced a “sensed presence” or sentient being. Many individuals felt the presence interact with their thinking and “move in space” as they “focused their thoughts” on it.” Persinger writes. Persinger goes on to point out that paranormal experiences have been shown to be correlated to geomagnetic events, and that the magnetic fluxes involved are very subtle.
Read the whole thing.